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Berl Mendenhall

Roger's edge method

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Roger Hargrave:

In spite of having handled all but three of Strad's decorated instruments, I have never been inspired to make one. (Not to mention the ivory ban.) They are a little too flamboyant for modern tastes and they smack a little of decadence on the part of the maker. In the passed such decadence was generally the prerogative of the customer. Nevertheless I have experimented with this kind of inlay work and I have also made several instruments with black corner inlays, which by todays standards are a little more tasteful.

 

Can You show us more? Tell us about using this special tools and about process of making Strad's decorated instruments.

 

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Can You show us more? Tell us about using this special tools and about process of making Strad's decorated instruments.

 

 

These tools are basically scrapers. The open V starts the work until the strips fit into the holes. It works fairy well, but as you can see from the size difference, you can only remove a bit at a time. It is a bit of a fiddly job and makes a lot of dust, which is not nice to breath in. Anyway, you cannot use ivory and mammoth is also not exactly environmentally friendly. Moreover, it is almost impossible for a layperson to tell the difference, so you may well get problems. Last year I saw an inlayed violin that had been made with plastic, but for me that just did not work. Other than these comments, I'm sorry I am not going to go though this in any detail, except to say that although it takes time (here comes that word again) it is a relatively easy process.    

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I received a question about the historical practices of the edge to purfling distance. The question is whether there is any classical maker(s) who departed from the customary 4 mm edge distance down to say 3.5 mm or smaller? How small did this figure go or was it always set at 4 mm?

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I received a question about the historical practices of the edge to purfling distance. The question is whether there is any classical maker(s) who departed from the customary 4 mm edge distance down to say 3.5 mm or smaller? How small did this figure go or was it always set at 4 mm?

Michael, if I gave the impression that the edge was always 4 mm that was wrong. First of all I am sure that the edge thickness was not in millimeters. Secondly the starting thickness for violin edges (the flat platform) was probably much closer to 5 mm. The Lord Wilton del Gesù is worn, but the corner ends are still almost 5 mm thick.

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Michael, if I gave the impression that the edge was always 4 mm that was wrong. First of all I am sure that the edge thickness was not in millimeters. Secondly the starting thickness for violin edges (the flat platform) was probably much closer to 5 mm. The Lord Wilton del Gesù is worn, but the corner ends are still almost 5 mm thick.

Hi Roger! The Question is not about thickness but the distance between the purfling and the edge. Are you speaking about that? (sorry, i dont undestand english very much)

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Not your fault. That was me just reading too quickly.

This varies a lot. There are many things that determine this distance. The corner length, the corner width, the overhang and even the purfling width. But the main determining factor seems to be that they tried to place the line of the purfling over the rib and lining. This was obviously to add stability to what was potentially a weakness in the edge. For this reason instruments with large overhangs usually have heavier edges and generally thicker and often shorter corners. Conversely, long slender corners tend to have smaller overhangs with the purfling set closer to the edge. There are exceptions to this general rule.

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Not your fault. That was me just reading too quickly.

This varies a lot. There are many things that determine this distance. The corner length, the corner width, the overhang and even the purfling width. But the main determining factor seems to be that they tried to place the line of the purfling over the rib and lining. This was obviously to add stability to what was potentially a weakness in the edge. For this reason instruments with large overhangs usually have heavier edges and generally thicker and often shorter corners. Conversely, long slender corners tend to have smaller overhangs with the purfling set closer to the edge. There are exceptions to this general rule.

Good!! then it is important a good carved channel, with a purfling placed over the rib and lining, and the space between the edge and purfling is more a aesthetic thing, isnt it?

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Good!! then it is important a good carved channel, with a purfling placed over the rib and lining, and the space between the edge and purfling is more a aesthetic thing, isnt it?

 

Well they may have had some other specific reason, but on ballance I would say that it is probably an asthetic thing, linked to the overal design. But don't forget that pufling, in particular three part purfling, is an extremely important factor for the health of the instrument. It is also why I believe that Strad and the other Cremonese makers were so carful about how deep they cut their channels. (As I mentioned above). 

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Well they may have had some other specific reason, but on ballance I would say that it is probably an asthetic thing, linked to the overal design. But don't forget that pufling, in particular three part purfling, is an extremely important factor for the health of the instrument. It is also why I believe that Strad and the other Cremonese makers were so carful about how deep they cut their channels. (As I mentioned above). 

Perfect! Thank you and thank Michael Molnar!

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Many thanks Roger!

 

I'm not there yet, but your images and posts made me realize a lot of things.

 

post-37356-0-65603000-1403878877_thumb.jpg post-37356-0-54248100-1403878914_thumb.jpg post-37356-0-17899700-1403893623_thumb.jpg

 

Posting here while working on edges and corners

 

....

was away for awhile to the supermarket, edge work finished, added an image of the button

 

Thanks Bill :)

Edited by Peter K-G

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Many thanks Roger!

 

I'm not there yet, but your images and posts made me realize a lot of things.

 

attachicon.gif2014-06-27 17.00.19.jpg attachicon.gif2014-06-27 16.58.09.jpg attachicon.gif2014-06-27 18.38.31.jpg

 

Posting here while working on edges and corners

 

....

was away for awhile to the supermarket, edge work finished, added an image of the button

 

Thanks Bill :)

 

That really looks good. Like Bill I also like the first picture, but I love the second one.

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Many thanks Roger!

 

I'm not there yet, but your images and posts made me realize a lot of things.

 

attachicon.gif2014-06-27 17.00.19.jpg attachicon.gif2014-06-27 16.58.09.jpg attachicon.gif2014-06-27 18.38.31.jpg

 

Posting here while working on edges and corners

 

....

was away for awhile to the supermarket, edge work finished, added an image of the button

 

Thanks Bill :)

 

God damn it you're making me jealous -_-

 

Personally, I like the soft edge without corner sharp.
 
This (for now) is mine.
 
 
bo8.JPG
bo6.JPGbo5.JPG
bo4.JPGbo3.JPG
bo1.JPG

 

 

I'm starting to hate when people post images of their work precisely because it's o damn even and clean. I like your soft corners :)

 

 

Anyways, wt/e with this bickering, it's making me want to slap a few folks up side the head and place them in a dark corner for an extremely long time out, y'all forced me to read through megatons of text that didn't exactly help me understand purfling or edge work any better LOL,  AIN'T nobody got time foh that is all I have to say -_- !

 

I respect everyone's opinions and methods equally if they produce good results, the more methods the better for me to practice learn and practice/try out, personally I like Mr Hargrave's approach because it's explained out and step by step in a manner that I personally understood! NOW, speaking on behalf of the new and narby pseudo luthiers, I believe you all veterans have something meaningful to say and a lot of pent up passion around this subject, WRITE a tutorial, make videos, take images and publish them so that WE the new generation can benefit from you knowledge. I'm talking about you mr Burgress, Curious, etc etc

 

Part of the reason why stuff like cremonese varnish and even edge work are a mystery is soley because damn Stradivari was too lazy to write down anything other than invoices, excuses for varnish drying taking too long and complaints about Omobono busting out of cremona to party across italy for prolonged amounts against Papa S's wishes -_- So I suggest you all take fingers to keyboard and get this stuff down on virtual paper with IMAGES to help illustrate your points. Too lazy for that, click on the camera and record you're processes. Too lazy even for that, I'm available for internship and I would be more than happy to do that for you if you set up an apprentice program :)

 

In all seriousness, this thread is great, you all are teaching me (and I'm sure a megaton of people) a hell of a lot  :) Thank you, NOW get to work on the tutorials/images -_- I'm also not joking about apprenticing -_-

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Your writing style is very reminiscent of a former member of this forum. You don't have a brother flogging violins in the U.S, do you? :D

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  NOW, speaking on behalf of the new and narby pseudo luthiers, I believe you all veterans have something meaningful to say and a lot of pent up passion around this subject, WRITE a tutorial, make videos, take images and publish them so that WE the new generation can benefit from you knowledge. I'm talking about you mr Burgress, Curious, etc etc

 

I totally understand and sympathize with where you're coming from.

I'm more of a maker than a writer or videographer. It's really easy for me to get sidetracked from what I think of as my main purpose, so I make a deliberate effort not to. If I indulged in everything which interests me, the making would suffer.

Fortunately, there are many others here who I think do a very fine job of filling in the gaps. Or it might be more accurate to say that I try to fill in a few gaps that they leave.

Lots of freaking talented people here, both professionals in the fiddle trade, and experts in other fields, who bring their perspective.

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I totally understand and sympathize with where you're coming from.

I'm more of a maker than a writer or videographer. It's really easy for me to get sidetracked from what I think of as my main purpose, so I make a deliberate effort not to. If I indulged in everything which interests me, the making would suffer.

Fortunately, there are many others here who I think do a very fine job of filling in the gaps. Or it might be more accurate to say that I try to fill in a few gaps that they leave.

Lots of freaking talented people here, both professionals in the fiddle trade, and experts in other fields, who bring their perspective.

 

Yes I agree wholeheartedly with this comment and for this reason I will be gone for quite some time. 

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Yes I agree wholeheartedly with this comment and for this reason I will be gone for quite some time. 

Well that's sad news. :(

Thanks for everything you've done, and it was neat to have you hanging out here regularly for a while. Maybe we'll run into each other later this year.

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Yes I agree wholeheartedly with this comment and for this reason I will be gone for quite some time.

I apologize to all if I have driven Roger off in despair and frustration but I hope, like the rest of us, he simply has a living to make.

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Your writing style is very reminiscent of a former member of this forum. You don't have a brother flogging violins in the U.S, do you? :D

 

Please tell me it's not lyndon LOL

 

No I have no brothers, only a sister 

 

Yes I agree wholeheartedly with this comment and for this reason I will be gone for quite some time. 

 

No no no no no! Right when I start to learn a hell of a ton and get deeper into construction methods , in a more historically accurate context with actual reasoning behind the them and the guy who forces me to take notes ups and leaves -_-

 

TAKE pictures!

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Since I learned to make violins , the arching method I used seemed to end wrong to my point of view...

The natural flow I might want to get was not exactly what I got...

 

But when I got to know Roger ' s analyse of " Classical edgework " method, It soon made sense to me.

 

I must admit I thought about arching to the edge and then inlaying purflings , since a long time, because it sounds more natural to me to define the whole arching before the next stage ( purflings ).

 

The flat platform does help having an even thickness of the edge, but I don' t think it helps defining the shape of the arch,..

 

Still, your method is great Roger!!!

 

But could the middle bout edge thickness be slightly higher ? cause the narrow gouge goes in the wood a bit deeper when doing the fluting... And the middle arch is higher :blink::huh::wacko:

 

So many questions arise...

 

Friendly, Regards , Dave.

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But could the middle bout edge thickness be slightly higher ? cause the narrow gouge goes in the wood a bit deeper when doing the fluting... And the middle arch is higher :blink::huh::wacko:

 

So many questions arise...

 

Friendly, Regards , Dave.

Good question. Seems there are 3 options for the c bouts compared with the rest of the instrument: 1 the original edge thickness (before fluting) was greater in the c's, 2. The fluting goes less deep in the c's, 3. The fluting was not cut right out to the edge in the c's.

What do you reckon, Roger, and what's your approach for getting the c bout edges thicker?

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