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H.R.Fisher

plate tuning specs ?

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Also, given the stories of how difficult it is to open original Cremona seams, I wonder if they were as quick and willing to remove a plate as we are today.

I rather doubt their work processes involved removing tops unless truly unavoidable.

 

(I'm confused.  Why don't people think that tool wasn't simply used in thicknessing before the instrument is closed? The extra clearance would be handy to check a back that's already attached to the sides, but before the top is closed.  )

 

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4 hours ago, David Beard said:

(I'm confused.  Why don't people think that tool wasn't simply used in thicknessing before the instrument is closed? The extra clearance would be handy to check a back that's already attached to the sides, but before the top is closed.  )

 

Perhaps it was, but I'd think that a simple scissor caliper would have been a lot easier and less expensive to make,  and to use on an unclosed instrument.

31+LP+bI05L._SY300_.jpg

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13 hours ago, David Beard said:

(I'm confused.  Why don't people think that tool wasn't simply used in thicknessing before the instrument is closed? The extra clearance would be handy to check a back that's already attached to the sides, but before the top is closed.  )

For me it,s the idea that final outlines, purfling and channeling were all done with the box closed , As per Rodgers theory of method, makes sense to me that any tool that’ll help achieve the goal of a measure in that bottom channel would be the cats pajamas given thedimentions in that area. I spent some time dressing the tool down this morning, rounding the shaft smoothing things up, just a bit, now the swing is better , still a monster, but less damaging to the ff's edges. Also playing with hand holds and measuring maneuvers. I do realize I am operating under several biases, I believe Rodgers theory’s of method , did make the tool, been goofing with it on and off for several years, still can,t find a better tool for the job or any other real job for it. Curiously enough now with the down shaft polished up a bit , It now measures clear down to the bottom block, and almost to the upper. 

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56 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

Mike, how well can you take back measurements?

....no. Not really just one spot in the cc,s and a bad reach at that, lucky for me I like antiquing, the ffs are looking nice and ....authentic.    As far as process goes though the back would be pretty much a non issue as any work needed could be done without the top glued on. Does lead me into a few questions though , of the modern makers are there any out there who do not reach for a caliper or some sort of assist when cutting the channel..? If one Is building per the old method outlined b Hargrave,do you just cut by feel and eye ? Also what of tonal consequences of to thick vs to thin in the general channel area?I suspect to thin offers wolf notes ,to thick and response might suffer. 

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4 hours ago, James M. Jones said:

For me it,s the idea that final outlines, purfling and channeling were all done with the box closed , As per Rodgers theory of method, makes sense to me that any tool that’ll help achieve the goal of a measure in that bottom channel would be the cats pajamas given thedimentions in that area. I spent some time dressing the tool down this morning, rounding the shaft smoothing things up, just a bit, now the swing is better , still a monster, but less damaging to the ff's edges. Also playing with hand holds and measuring maneuvers. I do realize I am operating under several biases, I believe Rodgers theory’s of method , did make the tool, been goofing with it on and off for several years, still can,t find a better tool for the job or any other real job for it. Curiously enough now with the down shaft polished up a bit , It now measures clear down to the bottom block, and almost to the upper. 

Hi James,

There is an easy solution. Just set the channel width, bottom, and inner shape (from bottom toward center line) before closing the instrument.

To essentially work Hargrave's way, only the edgework, and the shaping from the channel bottom toward the edge need be safed until the instrument is closed.

This approach preserves Roger's main idea. And there's no flying blind on thickness.

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Having always sunk the edge after the box is closed, I really don't think that you need to measure the thicknesses there at all. If you cut around with a gouge, and make the cut of a uniform width, it'll automatically be of a uniform debth. So I wonder why Strad or any others would have gone to the bother of checking around with this cumbersome tool.

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14 hours ago, Conor Russell said:

Having always sunk the edge after the box is closed, I really don't think that you need to measure the thicknesses there at all. If you cut around with a gouge, and make the cut of a uniform width, it'll automatically be of a uniform debth. So I wonder why Strad or any others would have gone to the bother of checking around with this cumbersome tool.

 Could be that simply geometry rules the day, still, hard tellin not knowing ,my only point here is that the tool works wonderfully to collect thickness in an otherwise inaccessible area and that Strad certainly Could have used the tool as shown, whether or not he did is another matter entirely.perhaps he simply believed it gave an advantage, ....or not.not to be a thorn....but I haven,t heard any evidence that he didn’t ,only speculation that he wouldn’t. Hard tellin.

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19 hours ago, Conor Russell said:

Having always sunk the edge after the box is closed, I really don't think that you need to measure the thicknesses there at all.

I don't do it that way, out of the suspicion that a contemporary maker would be better off achieving more consistent outcomes than Stradivari did.

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There are other things which determine the qualify of the tone.

Thickness, damping, impedance, varnish , and of course shape and arch.

Also rib thickness, block weight, neck angle , weight of FB etc etc

I think tap tones are maybe less than 20% responsible for the final tone quality.

KY

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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I don't do it that way, out of the suspicion that a contemporary maker would be better off achieving more consistent outcomes than Stradivari did.

But if player's tastes are scattered all over the place, aren't you better off scattering your outcomes all over place too to make lots of different people happy?

Or are you picking a certain types of player you like to please and then trying to consistently making them happy?

Or are you making a violin type you personally like and then try to consistently  reproduce it and then know some players might like them too?

I was just wondering how successful makers got to be successful.

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2 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Or are you picking a certain types of player you like to please and then trying to consistently making them happy?

That's mostly what I'm trying to do, but what upper-echelon players like also happens to be very close to my own personal taste. Can't say whether or not my personal taste started out that way. The opinions of really good players may have sucked me in.

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8 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I don't do it that way, out of the suspicion that a contemporary maker would be better off achieving more consistent outcomes than Stradivari did.

Do you think it's possible..... Strad was looking for some sort of advancement and advantage as well?  Not about himself, per say but Nicolo ect.? He was in a competitive market.pushing the limits as it were. Seems a common theme. Kick it out efficiently but also maintain and advance where possible.

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I tend to believe that not just Strad, but the whole Cremona making community across generations of makers was reaching to make better instruments. But also that their experimenting was from instrument to instrument, rather than lots of tinkering sitting on one instrument.

That's my guess.

 

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Convince me that tap tones and plate tuning specs aren't delusional nonsense? Someone, anyone. Please?

Because none of what I'm reading makes any sense at all to me. There appear to my sense of logic to be a lot of fairly random variations in plate thicknesses for no good tonal reason that I can deduce. Getting a beautiful sound out of a well made violin is the skill of the player. The luthier's job is to make it structurally sound and look nice. Why pretend otherwise? Do most customers actually want to believe the magic violin mythology and pay extra for it?

 

 

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3 hours ago, sospiri said:

The luthier's job is to make it structurally sound and look nice. Why pretend otherwise?

sospiri, you will probably find makers on this forum who would agree with you.  But besides being a nice piece of well-made art, a great instrument that appeals to discerning players has to sound superb, and that's where the 'magic' lies.   How you get there is the big question, for which there are as many opinions as there are violin makers!  You can ignore plate tuning and tap tones, and simply go by a map of recommended graduations.  You'll get a violin.  Will it sound extraordinary?   You'll have to tell us.  :)    I use tap tones, but not plate tuning to a specific note.  But I've only just started making violins again after a long break...

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4 hours ago, sospiri said:

 There appear to my sense of logic to be a lot of fairly random variations in plate thicknesses for no good tonal reason that I can deduce. 

Try to remember or consider this sospiri.   The piece of wood you have in your hand will already have it's own timber of sound before any cutting, gouging, sawing, chiseling, etc.  Here's one example.  Let's say a plate is carved by a maker to 3.7 mm  thickness throughout.  That piece of wood there will still have it's timbered sound.  It shouldn't sound like anything else in the shop but on the other hand it could.  Maybe I didn't explain that right but you understand.

The maker could stop there and call it finished but the question next would be is if this piece of wood is going to have immediate good results, are we gonna have to wait 10 years, 20 years or even 50 years for this certain piece of wood to come around?  I believe it's sort of important to at least think like that at the beginning of plate work. 

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On ‎23‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 4:14 PM, violinsRus said:

sospiri, you will probably find makers on this forum who would agree with you.  But besides being a nice piece of well-made art, a great instrument that appeals to discerning players has to sound superb, and that's where the 'magic' lies.   How you get there is the big question, for which there are as many opinions as there are violin makers!  You can ignore plate tuning and tap tones, and simply go by a map of recommended graduations.  You'll get a violin.  Will it sound extraordinary?   You'll have to tell us.  :)    I use tap tones, but not plate tuning to a specific note.  But I've only just started making violins again after a long break...

I agree up to a point violinsRus. The 'magic', the superb sound, to me is a combination of a well made violin, with good wood in the hands of a superb player, who is in the right mood and concentration zone to play superbly and love the sound. If they can adapt to it instantly, or over time is also relevant. Every player will play and react differently to the same violin, and they all go through a range of emotions.

The amount of subjectivity going on here is to big to comprehend and it all adds to the mystery. How much can the luthier control? I don't believe it is as much as many claim. I believe that in the case of Stradivari, his enormous experience and skill derived from that experience enabled him to reach the highest levels of craftsmanship in much less time than a lesser experienced luthier. I think the sound of his istruments is greatly mythologised because that's what the public want to believe. I believe there is a limit to how good a violin can sound. The magic is a combination of the wood, the construction, the set up. the music, the player and the listener.

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On ‎23‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 4:29 PM, uncle duke said:

Try to remember or consider this sospiri.   The piece of wood you have in your hand will already have it's own timber of sound before any cutting, gouging, sawing, chiseling, etc.  Here's one example.  Let's say a plate is carved by a maker to 3.7 mm  thickness throughout.  That piece of wood there will still have it's timbered sound.  It shouldn't sound like anything else in the shop but on the other hand it could.  Maybe I didn't explain that right but you understand.

The maker could stop there and call it finished but the question next would be is if this piece of wood is going to have immediate good results, are we gonna have to wait 10 years, 20 years or even 50 years for this certain piece of wood to come around?  I believe it's sort of important to at least think like that at the beginning of plate work. 

The timber of sound, or the sound of the timber? You mean the timbre uncle duke? The timbre of the timber? Yes I agree. I am skeptical of big variations in graduation. Surely the inherent sound of the wood doesn't need to be altered by gouging out big scoops of fibres (or even fibers) here and there. I worry when I see measurements of top plate thickness less than 2 mm, is that really necessary?

Does it really get better with age though. And how much plate thinning needs to be done?

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4 hours ago, sospiri said:

1.  The timber of sound, or the sound of the timber? You mean the timbre uncle duke? The timbre of the timber? Yes I agree.

2.  I am skeptical of big variations in graduation. Surely the inherent sound of the wood doesn't need to be altered by gouging out big scoops of fibres (or even fibers) here and there.

3.  I worry when I see measurements of top plate thickness less than 2 mm, is that really necessary?

4.  Does it really get better with age though. And how much plate thinning needs to be done?

1.  I was hoping that would make sense.  Otoh,  I can't say I'd have the same thinking process if my wood were to be a wedge of red cedar to make a violin belly or the real light or real heavy spruces.

2.  To get to some of the following plate tone examples gouging out big scoops just may be the ticket.

Maker -        year               belly                           back

 Nicolo Amati                     d sharp                     F

Nicolo Amati                      F                                 G sharp

Carlo Bergonzi                   E                                D sharp

Gasparo Da Salo                F                                F sharp

Strad       1701                    E                                  E +

Strad        1708                   F                                  E+

Strad          1709                 F sharp +                     G

Strad          1712                 G +                               G

Strad         1726                 E                                    F +

Strad         1720                 F +                                 F +

My opinion is that the above plates reading F+ and higher could be reached just by carving and flexing only assuming good wood and a good starting weight/sg.  The others reading D's and E's I'm thinking some serious wood removal must be done to reach such a low tone.  Weather this was done from the beginning by the maker or by another worker some time later I'd rather not even try to speculate - to bad this source I'm reading from didn't record plate weights.

3.  I had some ratty sitka and some heavier red spruce - I didn't mind going lower than 2mm in some places.  Would I use the same less caution while working with AAAA tonewood or 34 sg. western red cedar?  Probably not.

4.    That's what some of the consensus seems to think.  I have an example for thought.  I had an old turn of the century violin that had not been cleaned up after the initial inside hogging out.  The integral bassbar had been all hacked up during the process.   Somewheres here at Maestronet I mentioned about that certain plate may of had thicknesses of 7 mm or possibly 8mm in some areas - can't remember.

 I carved out the old bar, cleaned up the inside, regraduated the plate and put in a new bar.  After putting everything back together I had a violin that still sounded the same but had easier playability.     The wood retains it timbre in this instance - why?  I guess that's just the way it is.       

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On 12/27/2017 at 12:02 PM, uncle duke said:

1.  I was hoping that would make sense.  Otoh,  I can't say I'd have the same thinking process if my wood were to be a wedge of red cedar to make a violin belly or the real light or real heavy spruces.

2.  To get to some of the following plate tone examples gouging out big scoops just may be the ticket.

Maker -        year               belly                           back

 Nicolo Amati                     d sharp                     F

Nicolo Amati                      F                                 G sharp

Carlo Bergonzi                   E                                D sharp

Gasparo Da Salo                F                                F sharp

Strad       1701                    E                                  E +

Strad        1708                   F                                  E+

Strad          1709                 F sharp +                     G

Strad          1712                 G +                               G

Strad         1726                 E                                    F +

Strad         1720                 F +                                 F +

My opinion is that the above plates reading F+ and higher could be reached just by carving and flexing only assuming good wood and a good starting weight/sg.  The others reading D's and E's I'm thinking some serious wood removal must be done to reach such a low tone.  Weather this was done from the beginning by the maker or by another worker some time later I'd rather not even try to speculate - to bad this source I'm reading from didn't record plate weights.

3.  I had some ratty sitka and some heavier red spruce - I didn't mind going lower than 2mm in some places.  Would I use the same less caution while working with AAAA tonewood or 34 sg. western red cedar?  Probably not.

4.    That's what some of the consensus seems to think.  I have an example for thought.  I had an old turn of the century violin that had not been cleaned up after the initial inside hogging out.  The integral bassbar had been all hacked up during the process.   Somewheres here at Maestronet I mentioned about that certain plate may of had thicknesses of 7 mm or possibly 8mm in some areas - can't remember.

 I carved out the old bar, cleaned up the inside, regraduated the plate and put in a new bar.  After putting everything back together I had a violin that still sounded the same but had easier playability.     The wood retains it timbre in this instance - why?  I guess that's just the way it is.       

Hey, I was just wondering where you sourced this data?  I'm finding that the Red Maple I've been using has yielded relatively lower tap tones with average thickness plates so it's somewhat reassuring that there is such a wide pitch range among the old Cremonese instruments. 

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8 minutes ago, DoorMouse said:

Hey, I was just wondering where you sourced this data?  I'm finding that the Red Maple I've been using has yielded relatively lower tap tones with average thickness plates so it's somewhat reassuring that there is such a wide pitch range among the old Cremonese instruments. 

Mr. Anders Buen.

For present day work best results may, in this order,  to apply a good outer arching scheme to wood first and then aim for 109 gr. weight wise for the back plate and high 50's - low 60's for spruce.  Personally I can't seem to get a piece of belly wood to go that low weight wise. 

    A flat sawn back could possibly be left 10 gr. or so heavier than 109 gr, imo.     

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