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Why Notches on Sides of Buttons?


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18 hours ago, rossini said:

I guess other than looking nice for some taste it has no purpose.  But someone may say every single cut would effect vibration of the body.  I start doing it couple years ago and didn't do it for my earlier violinScreenshot_2017-05-23-16-19-09.thumb.jpg.0cec25b6a50b8bf8952d088aea5d9460.jpg

Rossini, that is a gorgeous looking fiddle. The varnish is spectacular! Please tell more about your varnish...and more pictures please

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2 hours ago, Don Noon said:

To me, the frequency of button damage indicates a structurally vulnerable zone.  And analyzing the forces, the button is highly loaded under tension, with the purfling groove cutting across some of that highly loaded area.  I try to keep the wood thicker and the purfling groove shallower around the button for these reasons.

Maybe this could be something to be improved on. I have an idea: what if the neck was fastened to the block, perhaps two or three nails?:ph34r:

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  • 2 weeks later...

On 5/24/2017 at 10:36 AM, lpr5184 said:

Rossini, that is a gorgeous looking fiddle. The varnish is spectacular! Please tell more about your varnish...and more pictures please

Sorry for late response. I missed the post. Here are some new picture of the violin it s almost dry and ready to ride. I'm impulsive regarding violin varnish .I don't plan it. I don't sale so I can play freely.  Let's say start up with amber varnish and add a hue of red earth pigment.  The inspiration was BBQ chicken. :lol:







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The original design of the buttons in classical work is based on a scribed circle.  In many cases you can still see the center point from the compass.

The notches in classical work imply the continuation of the circle into the edge.


Later work just imitates this feature of classical buttons.


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On 5/23/2017 at 6:15 PM, Don Noon said:

Yep, aesthetics.

It probably isn't that big of a deal structurally, but if anything would weaken the local area.  However, recall that the notches are a few mm away from where the neck root ends, and that's more likely to be where you'd see the break, I think... and the neck root ends about where the purfling cuts across... now THERE'S a weak spot created by aesthetics.


This is my thought, too. There are a few places on the instrument where you will find evidence of scribe points used for layout, and that being the case it's also just easier to follow that line a bit. It looks very strange not to do it. The place where buttons break is almost always at the purfling with two straight lines up to the edge from the purfling. 

I've often thought that there shouldn't be purfling across the button. It would look strange to just end it, but one could bring it inwards the way they do on some double purfled violins and do something decorative. Even just dropping it down to make a mitred point that doesn't run over this vulnerable area, as Don points out, would do a lot to improve the strength. I suppose one could also just end the purfling and do a shallow scribe filled with mastic across the button area. I would worry about excessively shallow purfling because the best glue surface of pulling is the sides not the bottom unless you were going to spend a lot more effort fitting that area.

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