lpr5184

Perry Sultana...

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4 hours ago, lpr5184 said:

 I found two holes that look like exit holes at the same dimension on the opposite side. The thing is,  the holes have healed over so I think Jim may be right about the worm being in the wood while the tree was alive and when exiting the hole grew shut and closed. I don't know what would cause the dark streaks.

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Hi as much as i love to you succeed i am scare you going to have problem with your choice for this one.

i have seen what lovely instrument you would make and i wish it will survive for 100s of years. i would follow this one as i did for your beautiful amati viola.  I always am scare of worm damaged wood ,their anzim soften wood and  change it  their way would change  the surrounding area. 

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The dark streaks are just as hard as the rest of the wood.  When I press as hard as I can with the fingernail  I'm unable to put a dent in it.  If it doesn't carve out then I'll use a different piece of wood.

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Since this instrument is pretty special to me I decided instead to use different wood. I'm not all that comfortable about using a two piece slab cut back so I'll put the red maple up for something else in the future.

Unless I come across something better, I'll use quarter sawn Carpathian maple and Swiss alpine spruce. I hate to use it because I was saving this set for another Amati viola. I have a few nice one piece Carpathian backs I have saved for violins but they're not wide enough for the sultana and would require adding wings.

Now that the wood choice out of the way it's on to building the form.

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8 hours ago, lpr5184 said:

The dark streaks are just as hard as the rest of the wood.  When I press as hard as I can with the fingernail  I'm unable to put a dent in it.  If it doesn't carve out then I'll use a different piece of wood.

I've been trying to think where I've seen streaks like this before.  Finely remembered, Ambrosia maple.   Quote from the wood database (where I got the picture), "Much like Spalted Maple and other forms of figured maple, Ambrosia Maple is technically not a specific species of Maple, but rather a general description of any type of Maple that has been infested by ambrosia beetles. The beetles bore into the tree, and with it bring fungus that discolors the wood."  Personally, I don't see a problem with the wood, and it would look good on the Sultana.  I'm not sure how good it will look on more traditional models.

Ambrosia Maple

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Great Project!  I remembered when you started your first 5-string violin which inspired me to start making a few 5 strings.   I am tempted to join you in this project but I am more interested in making a 5 string violin-d'amore than a viola d'amore.   Do you know of any violin d'amores or plans for a violin d'amore.  I don't want to build any instrument longer than 361-365 mm ( Like a Maggini).  Its September and its back to making again!

thanks for posting your build

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Oh, About your Ambrosia Maple.  The staining is due to the Ambrosia beetle.  Usually there is an exit hole visible but if the staining bothers you, you can reduce its effect with Hydrogen Peroxide (Industrial strength)

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Great to know. Thanks for that info Jim!  I sealed the holes with glue so no critters can get out and I found no other holes anywhere in the wood.

Do you think it's safe to take out of quarantine now?......<_<

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Ernie, I think the biggest risk with red maple is that you wind up with a dashed line after you carve it.  A dark line can be worked with, or if it all carves away, that's fine, but if only bits of it carve away, it won't look very good.

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Yeah I think so too Addie.

Another thing...how do others feel about joining a two piece slab cut back? At least with a one piece slabbed cut,  the grain lines are going in the same direction.

Do you think there is more chance of distortion over time when joining a two piece slabbed back?

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1 hour ago, lpr5184 said:

Great to know. Thanks for that info Jim!  I sealed the holes with glue so no critters can get out and I found no other holes anywhere in the wood.

Do you think it's safe to take out of quarantine now?......<_<

You show good evidence that the holes occurred while the tree was alive.  The part that healed would have been part of the sap wood, at least at the time.  Exit holes are all about the past.  If you've had the wood for a year with no additional exit holes it should be safe.  Or you can send it to Don for torrification.  Then any critters, fungi, microbes etc. will get cooked to death.  B)

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48 minutes ago, lpr5184 said:

 

Another thing...how do others feel about joining a two piece slab cut back? At least with a one piece slabbed cut,  the grain lines are going in the same direction.

Do you think there is more chance of distortion over time when joining a two piece slabbed back?

More of a chance? Absolutely. Will it warp,, I don't know, wet it and dry it a few times, leave it in hot box with light bulbs for a consistent temp.(I've had my old metal refridgerator up to 500 degrees using light bulbs) Wet again then dry again, abuse it for a while, beat all the meanness out of it, re flatten it then use it and it will have less of a chance of warping later,,,slab cut anything can potentially warp ,,,,,,,,,,

or not.

I will use anything to make a fiddle, flame no flame slab, I don't care,,,,if I use slab I prefer one piece, but for a deal like this,, even I would reach for something exceptionally nice. I understand that slab has been associated with a deeper richer sound when it is properly used with the correct arching,, but just lower arching will help with that ,,,so,,

Have Fun, we are watching you!

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Thanks Evan and I'll try and document as much as I can. I still haven't bought a better camera so please bear with any poor photos. This is a rare opportunity and I wish Conor could be building one along side me but I know he's very busy. So here we go...

Making and preparing the form...

 Conor supplied a tracing of the sultana and from that I'll begin by checking the symmetry.

Sultana1.jpg.f64a2292d842558a5f03526399c92ffe.jpg

 

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The first thing to do is copy the outline onto tracing paper...then use dividers to find the center of the plate and establish a straight centerline.

 

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1 hour ago, lpr5184 said:

 very close to perfect

A 'modern' concept appropriate for pistons and cylinders.

[Mechanical timepieces excluded]

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8 hours ago, lpr5184 said:

I like to use aluminum sheet for the half template. It cuts easily on the bandsaw.

 

 

What kind of blade do you use?

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I'm out of aluminum so I will need to buy more. I get it from a metal fabrication shop in town. They shear it to whatever size I need.

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Just a little on the origins of the instrument.

I've been confused by the variations in stringing that Perry produced. I've seen six string sultanas, and thought I remembered nine strings too, but presumed I must have been wrong. Today I came upon a book by the V&A MUSEUM that cleared it all up.

I should probably check my facts before posting in future!

Edit.

My photos failed to upload.

In shortthe museum has two examples, each with six courses of strings.

The six string Sultana has six single strings. The nine string has three single lower strings, and three double upper strings. All were wire. 

 

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Thanks Conor. The Oxford paper that I referred to on page one of this thread has a photo of the Sultana in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It has nine strings.

 

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Here is a piece of spruce I just acquired from Orcas Island Tonewoods. Medium density Sitka (sg.40) with medium grain spacing. It was a one piece top that I cut down to try and better match the sultana's grain spacing.

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