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Jim Bress

The Bress Bench

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8 minutes ago, lpr5184 said:

The stems looks a little too straight but overall looks nice Jim.

Nice knife!

The actual stems or their placement? Right now they’re exactly 7.0 mm at the center point so I can give them just a touch more belly (only descriptive term that comes to mind). 

Just a Hock knife. As easy as it is to make knife handles I still haven’t found time to put handles on any of my knives. I guess I’m just not bothered enough to make the time. 

Thanks for your input,

Jim

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8 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

Lefty update:  Had a lazy week following shoulder surgery.  All I managed to do was make 4 sound posts out of 5 attempts, and two of the "successes" turned into violin sound posts (6.5 mm) instead of the target viola sound posts (7.0 mm).  The box is down to lots of detail work for the edges and f-holes.  Same for the scroll, plus the peg box needs to be finished (currently hogged down to bottom of peg holes).  By then I should be in better shape to work on the fingerboard.

The f holes on the Estense G. Amati have very skinny legs.  So while I started from a template from the picture there were quite a bit of adjustments by eye to make it "work".  Treble side (close up pic) is closest to being finished.  Feel free to comment on what you like or don't like about it.  Including any aspects that make the f-holes look non-Amati(ish).  Yes I know there are no nicks yet. :P

Cheers,

Jim

Bass_f_hole_20180619.thumb.jpg.5b14d276d173ef69f51a0f0192933dc2.jpgTreble_f_hole_20180709.thumb.jpg.0983ac82c85eaa13a92438ae17409e4e.jpgScroll_and_body.thumb.jpg.0427d9d46b78c301adf9f105e2e4cd56.jpg

Hey Jim, glad to see you on the mend, looking good , if any thing , there’s a little dewlap on the treble lower wing , a bit on the bass, don,t know if that’s exactly Amati or not . Also it looks like some of the wall area is not quit perpendicular to the arch, or seems to vary a bit, If you tip your line of sight to look down the face, I can tip my IPad, similar to checking a board for warp, some of the curves kind of jump a bit. Rather than making the max wider , I might be inclined to pull just a bit from the upper inner wings going into the curve. But over all bravo well done.

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8 hours ago, James M. Jones said:

Hey Jim, glad to see you on the mend, looking good , if any thing , there’s a little dewlap on the treble lower wing , a bit on the bass, don,t know if that’s exactly Amati or not . Also it looks like some of the wall area is not quit perpendicular to the arch, or seems to vary a bit, If you tip your line of sight to look down the face, I can tip my IPad, similar to checking a board for warp, some of the curves kind of jump a bit. Rather than making the max wider , I might be inclined to pull just a bit from the upper inner wings going into the curve. But over all bravo well done.

Thanks Mike.  I see those.  I'll have to put my magnivisor on for this work.  Umm, dewlap?  Is that the same as the little dingleberry on the corner of the wing?

Cheers,

Jim

124785517_Treblefhole20180709-Copy.jpg.fd4de216c0bc82c70b7e9ff3d0d23237.jpg

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Yep, might straighten the very end a bit as well. ...also see that outside wall face about 5 o’clock , take just a bit off the inside face, not from the surface ,just the cross section cut ,only pissy little details though your doing great Jim, feel good!

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Slow progress. Box, FB, and scroll are done. Time to shape the neck. I’ve been sidetracked preparing 3 neck blocks to take on a 4 week work related road trip. My evening activity will be carving 3 scrolls in my hotel “workshop”.   Still can’t push a plane, so pushing wood instead.  

 

A3568CC7-08D9-4F3B-A9F3-912205529697.thumb.jpeg.37bc6db2b1fec8a794433dfacb7efc4f.jpeg

 

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Finally got the neck set this weekend. My least favorite job right now. Which means one of my favorites is getting close. Varnishing!  Also working with two arms again. A side benefit of my injury is that I’m equally working with knife and chisel with either hand. I guess I’m ambidextrous now. 

89FAAC19-DBDB-4F4A-A40F-F95DFF8A54EF.thumb.jpeg.1bb695b893b8cee45880560b5fd3bbf1.jpeg

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36 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

Me to.  Wait, what does a viola sound like?  :lol:

There have been alleged instances of what they may sound like. But, like most things, lost to the sands of time. 

I'm interested to find out how the relatively close f holes on yours compares to the farther apart f holes on mine. 

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How close is close?  My demensions are 

LOB 409 mm

UB 194.5 mm

CB (caliper) 129 mm

LB 244 mm

upper eyes (caliper) 47.75 mm apart

lower eyes ( caliper) 115.85 mm apart

arch height before glue up:

back 15.7 mm, top 19.5 mm

Maybe too many variables to compare?

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On July 10, 30 Heisei at 2:02 AM, Jim Bress said:

 

Treble_f_hole_20180709.thumb.jpg.0983ac82c85eaa13a92438ae17409e4e.jpg

Hi Jim,

I should have responded to your post much earlier.

So as advised I took off my gloves and am ready for a few words on your f-hole. 

Although I am not too familiar with Girolamo Amatis work because I never attempted to copy one there are a few points I would like to comment. 

I think you got a pretty good layout for the f holes (for what I can see from the slightly angled view) and the general composition of the f hole itself.

If this was your goal, you don't read further, if you want to know my approach on f-hole cutting, here we go.

For any aesthetic detail I am asking myself some basic questions. 

1. What is (are) the main characteristic(s) to make it look like this?

2. How fast was it done?

3. If I can't answer those questions I first draw the f holes with a pencil on a piece of paper to see how the design works and repeat it until it is in my eye memory. 

What I understood from your comment about 'skinny legs' you didn't intent to copy the original f-hole which is absolutely fine. 

BUT

I would like to see on any Amati f hole of the brothers (or Nicolo) some 'finesse' coming from slow and rather contemplative work. (However if you really cut them left handed, I guess you got some excuses here)

Talking about your treble side f hole, I like the upper portion. Perfect round hole nice flow into the stem and somehow looking upwards. 

But for finesse I would like to see the same thing on the lower half as well. It's not quite there I would say. What bothers me most is probably the hanging down belly on the lower half which makes it a look a bit heavy. 

Then I look at the stem where the convex and concave part of the curve meet.  to synchronize the outer line with the inside line of the stem they are positioned somehow diagonally opposite. The way the curves of the stem are formed on your f hole the two lines don't really 'hit' this point. 

The worst (sorry to be politely direct here) is how the outside line of the stem ends in the wing. The flow of the line is all of a sudden interrupted at the end and just for this small detail the lower wing doesn't have any clear definition. 

However maybe you already corrected my comment points in the meantime. looking forward to see it finished.

Cheers

Andreas

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On 10/21/2018 at 1:41 PM, DoorMouse said:

Jim, your workmanship is looking super clean and crisp. 
I'm looking forward to seeing the varnish progress. 

Thanks.  I'll be experimenting with pigments for the first time.  Just enough to nudge the color in the direction I'm targeting.

-Jim

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On 10/22/2018 at 8:34 AM, Andreas Preuss said:

Hi Jim,

I should have responded to your post much earlier.

So as advised I took off my gloves and am ready for a few words on your f-hole. 

Although I am not too familiar with Girolamo Amatis work because I never attempted to copy one there are a few points I would like to comment. 

I think you got a pretty good layout for the f holes (for what I can see from the slightly angled view) and the general composition of the f hole itself.

If this was your goal, you don't read further, if you want to know my approach on f-hole cutting, here we go.

For any aesthetic detail I am asking myself some basic questions. 

1. What is (are) the main characteristic(s) to make it look like this?

2. How fast was it done?

3. If I can't answer those questions I first draw the f holes with a pencil on a piece of paper to see how the design works and repeat it until it is in my eye memory. 

What I understood from your comment about 'skinny legs' you didn't intent to copy the original f-hole which is absolutely fine. 

BUT

I would like to see on any Amati f hole of the brothers (or Nicolo) some 'finesse' coming from slow and rather contemplative work. (However if you really cut them left handed, I guess you got some excuses here)

Talking about your treble side f hole, I like the upper portion. Perfect round hole nice flow into the stem and somehow looking upwards. 

But for finesse I would like to see the same thing on the lower half as well. It's not quite there I would say. What bothers me most is probably the hanging down belly on the lower half which makes it a look a bit heavy. 

Then I look at the stem where the convex and concave part of the curve meet.  to synchronize the outer line with the inside line of the stem they are positioned somehow diagonally opposite. The way the curves of the stem are formed on your f hole the two lines don't really 'hit' this point. 

The worst (sorry to be politely direct here) is how the outside line of the stem ends in the wing. The flow of the line is all of a sudden interrupted at the end and just for this small detail the lower wing doesn't have any clear definition. 

However maybe you already corrected my comment points in the meantime. looking forward to see it finished.

Cheers

Andreas

13

Thanks for your critique!   I have worked on them more and reached the point where I'm calling them good.  Not sure if I addressed the points you commented on.

My main error was not having a good template where I could cut to the line and be done except maybe a little cleanup.  Instead, I had a too skinny f-hole drawing that I widened by eye.  Yes, f-holes were cut with my left hand, but that's no excuse.  The hand obeys the mind.  The "heavy down belly" was fixing a poor cut and then shaping the opposite f-hole to match.  The lower wings were intended to be slightly wider, but again I corrected poor knife work on one side then shaped the other to match.

"The worst (sorry to be politely direct here) is how the outside line of the stem ends in the wing. The flow of the line is all of a sudden interrupted at the end and just for this small detail the lower wing doesn't have any clear definition."

I don't understand this comment.  Can you please explain.  Even if by chance I corrected the error already.  I would still like to be able to see what you are seeing.

Thanks,

Jim 

5212F1C3-0A08-45EC-B706-006B88758CE7.thumb.jpeg.145674133f95168455458707c58d8c8f.jpeg

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39 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

Thanks for your critique!   I have worked on them more and reached the point where I'm calling them good.  Not sure if I addressed the points you commented on.

My main error was not having a good template where I could cut to the line and be done except maybe a little cleanup.  Instead, I had a too skinny f-hole drawing that I widened by eye.  Yes, f-holes were cut with my left hand, but that's no excuse.  The hand obeys the mind.  The "heavy down belly" was fixing a poor cut and then shaping the opposite f-hole to match.  The lower wings were intended to be slightly wider, but again I corrected poor knife work on one side then shaped the other to match.

"The worst (sorry to be politely direct here) is how the outside line of the stem ends in the wing. The flow of the line is all of a sudden interrupted at the end and just for this small detail the lower wing doesn't have any clear definition."

I don't understand this comment.  Can you please explain.  Even if by chance I corrected the error already.  I would still like to be able to see what you are seeing.

Thanks,

Jim 

5212F1C3-0A08-45EC-B706-006B88758CE7.thumb.jpeg.145674133f95168455458707c58d8c8f.jpeg

Sure Jim.

First I would like to remark that you should get away from the idea that first the pattern has to be corrected to bring a better result. I am preaching always that measurements and patterns are the main obstacle to create beauty. Have you ever seen anyone saying 'this violin is beautiful because the edge is 3.8mm'' or 'this maker knows how to follow a pattern!'

Visual aspects of our work are judged only by the eyes. The eye judgement puts everything in relation to each other. 

Patterns are good as a guide or the rough layout. The thin stem pattern was good enough or maybe even better because it forces you to do the finish only by eye. This is extremely important and I cannot repeat it often enough: Learn to train the coordination of eyes and hands instead of wasting your time to make a perfect template.

Now back to your f hole I made a quick drawing with my comments. I hope you can read my handwriting. On top I am trying to explain how it should be and on the bottom what I saw on your f-hole. 

Cheers

Andteas

image.jpeg

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Andreas peaked my interest in signature modes especially for comparing same models with different arch heights.  Whether there will be any meaningful correlations between body modes and how the instrument play and sound I have no clue.  Taking the measurements are easy so time investment was small.  I'm unsure if the small third peak is B+1 or the large peak just after it.  Hopefully, my attachment works and folks in the know can set me straight.

Viola 20181030 in the white with sound post and fingerboard.

AO = 222 Hz

B-1 = 420 Hz

B+1 = 595 Hz or 619 Hz

Weight = 523.6 g

-Jim 

Viola 20181030 in the white with sound post and fingerboard.docx

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6 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

 

Andreas peaked my interest in signature modes especially for comparing same models with different arch heights.  Whether there will be any meaningful correlations between body modes and how the instrument play and sound I have no clue.  Taking the measurements are easy so time investment was small.  I'm unsure if the small third peak is B+1 or the large peak just after it.  Hopefully, my attachment works and folks in the know can set me straight.

Viola 20181030 in the white with sound post and fingerboard.

AO = 222 Hz

B-1 = 420 Hz

B+1 = 595 Hz or 619 Hz

Weight = 523.6 g

-Jim 

Viola 20181030 in the white with sound post and fingerboard.docx

For the weight you are doing great! For the rest I can't say anything because I am about to learn this stuff as well.

 

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16 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

For the weight you are doing great! For the rest I can't say anything because I am about to learn this stuff as well.

 

I took the viola to a violist I know to see if she felt anything on the neck she didn't like.  My hands are as about as sensitive as sledgehammers.  Her first comment was "Wow this is light".  Of course, I think this was the first time she held a white viola without any fittings.  It is telling by her comment that weight may be important to some players.  Here is an old document that Don wrote that I found very helpful. Maybe you'll find some value in it as well.  Hopefully, Don doesn't mind me reposting it.

Sound_Analysis by Don Noon.doc

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3 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

Hopefully, Don doesn't mind me reposting it.

No problem.  What a blast from the past... 9 years ago, and the photos are being demonstrated on violin #1.

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After fussing with samples for a few weeks I had to make a choice and push forward.  Three of my pigment/varnish combos were close but not quite what I was looking for.  I chose the third best for color because the top two in color were just a tad less transparent.  For some reason the back did not take on color as well as the rest of the viola.  I think maybe because I burnished the back, I was able to apply the color coat thinner.  I'll add a little color to next coat for the back and straight varnish (has some color cooked in) for the rest.  Hopefully everything will even out.  Pictures were taken with natural light coming through a sliding door.  Color of pictures looks right on my monitor.

1716971287_Frontonecolorcoat.thumb.jpg.229b1c35ac219bb7b122e600ae2f4f51.jpg1272362256_Backfirstcolorcoat.thumb.jpg.3edfe97f5f5fd432a379ceba0ca0d68c.jpg115050290_Pigmentmixedwithvarnish.thumb.jpg.2b93bf862e4cbd451e86068b52456129.jpg

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