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H.R.Fisher

plate tuning specs ?

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15 hours ago, FoxMitchell said:

Ooh so that's what that thing was for!

Learning something new every day!  :) 

Well, not very practical, I dubt they used it customarily......

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39 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Well, not very practical, I dubt they used it customarily......

I was searching Google for Magic Probe and found Michael version, and ordered the parts to make one.

https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/317992-well-michael-molnar-showed-me-his-thing/&do=findComment&comment=402200

 

Here is a video of someone who made one.

 

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On 12/13/2017 at 5:44 PM, FoxMitchell said:

Ooh so that's what that thing was for!

Learning something new every day!  :) 

Being that the tool appears to fit snug in the F hole, it would only allow a measurement to be taken in a radius centered upon the widest opening of the F hole. I think this would be rather limiting in the process of measuring and thinning the top.

Or, maybe that radius was decided as the most important areas for voicing the finished instrument?

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On 12/14/2017 at 10:35 AM, Davide Sora said:

Well, not very practical, I dubt they used it customarily......

Had to make a few passes to get handy with it , after ten ,fifteen minutes it worked pretty Ok 

21 hours ago, Bill Yacey said:

Being that the tool appears to fit snug in the F hole, it would only allow a measurement to be taken in a radius centered upon the widest opening of the F hole. I think this would be rather limiting in the process of measuring and thinning the top.

Or, maybe that radius was decided as the most important areas for voicing the finished instrument?

Had to make a short on the tools use, considering Strads methods and likely knowlage of the relative importance of thickness in achieving tone, he might have considered this an important tool . The tool shaft is still a bit large and the fact,s narrow , after a little filling and fiddling it,s aa bit smaller now. 

 

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Indeed a nice tool, the comforts of modernity make it seem impractical, but even a Hacklinger is not so comfortable compared to a digital one.

Perhaps the soundpost setter is not solely responsible for destroying the margins of F holes in old violins....;)

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The old masters were surely concerned by some sort of tunning otherwise they would have never been concerned by thicknessing,

But I ' m not sure they were so fussy as we are today, and their tuning process was surely different, as was the diapason ( reference A pitch ).

The study of the standing waves , is not uninteresting, but in our days I think we are to much obsessed, and it would be nice to know how all the old masters instruments sounded before re-graduating , leveling of ribs , patches ... were done.

Thanks James for showing how this tool would work. It makes sense if we consider final tuning/thicknessing to occur in the fluting area with the set-up.

Dave.

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5 hours ago, D. Piolle said:

The old masters were surely concerned by some sort of tunning otherwise they would have never been concerned by thicknessing,

It is also quite reasonable that they knew what thicknesses resulted in a good instrument, and didn't pay the slightest attention to tuning anything. 

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7 hours ago, D. Piolle said:

The old masters were surely concerned by some sort of tunning otherwise they would have never been concerned by thicknessing,

 

1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

It is also quite reasonable that they knew what thicknesses resulted in a good instrument, and didn't pay the slightest attention to tuning anything. 

Exactly. Experience is the key. And we can rely on others experience as well as our own.

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3 hours ago, Don Noon said:

It is also quite reasonable that they knew what thicknesses resulted in a good instrument, and didn't pay the slightest attention to tuning anything. 

This is my thought as well.

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As the old timers around here say “hard telling not knowin”        Given the hump of the tool and it,s ability to spread much more than needed to insert (only need about an inch the tool goes to four), and the inherent extra cost of making it so, weighted by the old form follows function ,especially applicable to tooling,compounded by Strads awareness of tonal capacity,(whatever that was), I,d say this opens the possibility of edge thinning while in the white, not so much to tune to a pitch, but rather listening for overall response while being played ,could be just to measurements, but then why the hump? Why not simply close the box and spec it out then set up? Some of our better makers will pop a top to do some more.Of course cured varnish play a big role n modern methods , but back in the day....?

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Again, how much work could be done with this tool when It is only capable of measuring a single radius? Maybe 2 radii if you use the other end.

I think this tool was made for some other purposes. Maybe something to do with his guitar or lute work?

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4 hours ago, Bill Yacey said:

Again, how much work could be done with this tool when It is only capable of measuring a single radius? Maybe 2 radii if you use the other end.

I say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

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On 19/12/2017 at 6:47 PM, James M. Jones said:

I,d say this opens the possibility of edge thinning while in the white, not so much to tune to a pitch, but rather listening for overall response while being played

It makes sense to me :)

 

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The other thing that makes me think you're barking up the wrong tree is: Why would Strad need a caliper to measure thickness afterwards if he graduated the plates himself and closed up the instrument? And, why would he care what the absolute final thickness is on this one, single radius arc if he's scraping by trial and error the exterior? Surely he would visibly see if and when he's removing too much wood.

Is there something special acoustically about that particular arc? Why seek precision of measurement on this one, single arc only to guesstimate on the rest of the area of the plates?

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Strad's shop pruduced a very larger number of instruments and accessories. Whatever they did, surely it was efficient.

For that reason if no other, they idea that they messed about very much to get their results seems unlikely.

 

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One could speculate that final adjustments where done in these areas (upper/lower bouts), with the soundbox closed and to check that they didn't go too thin.

It looks like a horrid tool, but maybe it's not so scary if you do it all the time and get used to it.

Who knows, they had to be efficient (Strad workshop) to produce that many instruments that's for sure.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Bill Yacey said:

The other thing that makes me think you're barking up the wrong tree is: Why would Strad need a caliper to measure thickness afterwards if he graduated the plates himself and closed up the instrument? And, why would he care what the absolute final thickness is on this one, single radius arc if he's scraping by trial and error the exterior? Surely he would visibly see if and when he's removing too much wood.

Is there something special acoustically about that particular arc? Why seek precision of measurement on this one, single arc only to guesstimate on the rest of the area of the plates?

What if the purfling platform was left flat until after the plates were glued on?  It could give a way to check the thickness of the channel as it was being carved on a closed instrument.  My 2 speculative cents.

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22 hours ago, Don Noon said:

It is also quite reasonable that they knew what thicknesses resulted in a good instrument, and didn't pay the slightest attention to tuning anything. 

Is variable thickness even important? How many makers used the same measurement, 1/8 ths of an inch or 3 mm? Or slightly thinner in the upper bouts, slightly thicker in the lower?

 

5 hours ago, David Beard said:

Strad's shop pruduced a very larger number of instruments and accessories. Whatever they did, surely it was efficient.

For that reason if no other, they idea that they messed about very much to get their results seems unlikely.

 

Feeling the thickness between the fingertips? I've been practising this method and I'm going to test my ability over the next few weeks.

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5 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

What if the purfling platform was left flat until after the plates were glued on?  It could give a way to check the thickness of the channel as it was being carved on a closed instrument.  My 2 speculative cents.

This tool would only allow four small spots of the entire outline to be measured. This is the point I keep reiterating, the size of the tool and the fact that it has very little wiggle room through the F holes makes it very limiting in what can be measured. Whatever it was made for measuring, the distance from the shank to the measuring jaws may have been an important consideration in it's design.

It would probably serve more useful as a rough soundpost length gauge, after subtracting the thichkness of the top and back, used externally, of course.

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4 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Perhaps the tool was used to get an idea of the thicknesses on existing more-successful violins, including those of other makers.

Perhaps, but the areas that could be measured would be very limited. I have to think also if they wanted to check out a successful instrument, they would thoroughly measure it up when the eventuality came about for repairs.

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20 minutes ago, Bill Yacey said:

Perhaps, but the areas that could be measured would be very limited. I have to think also if they wanted to check out a successful instrument, they would thoroughly measure it up when the eventuality came about for repairs.

Sometimes, instruments come into the shop very briefly, and you never see them again. Or you have only a short time with an instrument you run into when you're out and about somewhere. I'd think that the measurements one could get with that tool would be better than nothing. Or there may have been more than one tool like that, in different sizes.

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7 hours ago, David Burgess said:

 Or there may have been more than one tool like that, in different sizes.

This scenario would make much more sense.

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15 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Perhaps the tool was used to get an idea of the thicknesses on existing more-successful violins, including those of other makers.

That seems so much more reasonable.

:)

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