Dwight Brown

Slab or Quartered?

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Is this back slab cut or quartered maple.  I used to think I could tell, but like so many things I used to think were simple and easy it has gotten much harder :-)

Thanks Folks,

 

DLB

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I cannot see much of anything on the end grain, but I have a Canon 6D with a Macro Lens and Life size adapter.  I will give it a try. Sometimes things show up on photographs that you cannot see (especially me!)

 

DLB

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I'm also curious of what outline that is.

The wood reminded me of something, so I had to look in my drawer. Yes, peace of mind. It looks like this piece of wood I have laying around:  
(not that it would help immensly, but the on in my picture is mainly quartered, but not dead on - it deviates a bit towards slab-cut, especially on the left side.)

Yours look to me the same. Quartered, but not dead on. 

tonewood.jpg

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1 hour ago, Ken_N said:

Dwight,  That's a very cool looking viola.  What is it?

Ken, It is a viola I commissioned from John Dilworth based on an original by Ventura diLinarol, Venice 1560 or so.  It was probably some kind of Lyra da Braccio originally.  The original was restored by Dilworth and was played by one of the founders of the English Chamber Orchestra.  Mine is a pretty amazing instrument lots of power and very easy to respond and play.  Mr. Dilworth gives credit to the very wide center bout and the rather low flat arching.  I give credit to Mr. Dilworth!  He was very kind and easy to work with, a real pleasure.

This is a link from the blog on his web site about it.   http://johndilworthviolins.co.uk/blog/

 

This is from the owner of the original and a copy.  

‘I first met John Dilworth in 1979 when he made a quite exquisite copy of my early Venetian viola. Apart from its beautiful appearance, this reproduction has a fine tone and I have used it on many occasions. Since that time John has made many fine instruments and many reproductions of a Maggini viola which I also owned at one time. It has always been a pleasure to recommend John’s instruments to colleagues past and present, and indeed we currently have three Dilworth instruments in the ECO’

Quintin Ballardie OBE FRAM
Director of the English Chamber Orchestra

DLB

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Just had a really nice Margarita for lunch out with my wife :-)  We had the day off.  Further photography will probably have to wait though :-)

 

DLB

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Very nice!  It reminded me of a viola in They Made Violins in Cremona,  a book I borrowed from the Michigan Violin Makers library.   A 1650 or so Giacomo Gennaro.  Looking at the photo  now, yours looks like it was put in a vise and made even shorter and fatter!   At the same time it is very clean and almost simplistic, especially the scroll.  I was thinking about that one when I read the thread about the 5 string viola.

There is room to bow there?

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The gentleman standing scecond from the left is Mr. Ballardie And I think it is the original viola.  BTW LOB is 405mm with a fairly short string length.  The middle bout presents no problem to bowing at all.

 

If anyone out there knows Mr. Ballardie I would love to be able to write him.

 

DLB

Cannot manage left from right!  Maybe I should say Bass and Treble! :-0

 

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3 minutes ago, Ken_N said:

There is room to bow there?

It really presents no problem at all.  I have even tried to be sloppy on propose and I don't get rosin on the edge at all.  It would probably make a good model for a five string as it had more than  four strings in the first place.

 

DLB

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I'd be hard pressed to say it's slab . notice how the grain runs top to bottom , slab grain lines form islands as it arches top to bottom and side to side . can you pic up any medulary rays?

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31 minutes ago, James M. Jones said:

I'd be hard pressed to say it's slab . notice how the grain runs top to bottom , slab grain lines form islands as it arches top to bottom and side to side . can you pic up any medulary rays?

Mike,

 

The grain does run directly top to bottom, I just cannot see much on the top or bottom edges.  I am not exactly sure what medulary rays are.  I have heard the term many times, but I still do not understand what they are.  i will look them up right now.

 

DLB

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I did look up medullary rays, but I only found them for oak (really don't like oak that much)  I was able to see some grain lines on the edge of the back where the varnish has been touched by my hand and they run at about 30 degrees from the vertical so I guess it is just off quartered?  if anyone has pictures of rays in maple, I would be in your debt.

 

DLB

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you have seen them lots I'm sure , just never saw them. The radiate from the center of the tree so are an indicator of true cut quarter , they will run as little hash marks across the grain,they are generally visible on well cut bridges the little lines running down towards the body and to the strings. , .  

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With Stavangers picture I now  understand the difference between the two cuts. A picture can be worth a thousand dollars words is so true. Thank you for sharing.

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3 hours ago, Dwight Brown said:

I did look up medullary rays, but I only found them for oak (really don't like oak that much)  I was able to see some grain lines on the edge of the back where the varnish has been touched by my hand and they run at about 30% from the vertical so I guess it is just off quartered?  if anyone has pictures of rays in maple, I would be in your debt.

 

DLB

Here's some end grain Dwight.  I was only able to see it as you said where the varnish was worn on the treble side of the upper bout next to the button and the button.  I would call this quarter sawn.

-Jim

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I can't see any rays in my instrument. I see them very easily in Mike's pictures and on My Matsuda violin back.

Will work on it some more.

 

DLB

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