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Nick Allen

Nick Allen's Bench.

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14 hours ago, Amature Aaron said:

I've done a fair amount of woodworking and furniture work, but when it comes to violins I'm still an aspiring maker. I built one form I thought was "good enough" and started in. As soon as I bent the ribs I realized the form was crap and so have started over with a Strad poster. I'm hoping to finish the form this weekend and get back to rib bending. I have no illusions that I will ever turn out a fine instrument, but since both of my children play I thought it would be nice for them to have something decent to practice on and remember me by one day.

Hey if you want to bring your work by and show it to us, we'd be more than accommodating. We could share techniques and stuff. 

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7 hours ago, scordatura said:

Had the pleasure of seeing and playing one of Nick's violins recently. A well constructed and fine sounding instrument!

You're too kind good sir!

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That's very kind of you Nick, thanks. I'm not at the point yet where I feel like anything I could show you wouldn't be a complete waste of your time, but once I get there I will probably take you up on it. At the very least I'll eventually stop in with my son and look at some violins. He's been on a full-size violin for almost a year now and I think it is about time to stop renting and buy him a decent practice instrument.

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I'm trying to exercise restraint and do cleaner work. Taking a million little cuts to achieve a perfect surface. Before, I'd just get impatient and swoop my gouge her and yonder and see what happened...

IMG_20200416_230546.jpg

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That’s quite the endeavor!  What kind of timeline are you looking at to completion? What models are you working off of?

cheers,

Jim

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24 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

That’s quite the endeavor!  What kind of timeline are you looking at to completion? What models are you working off of?

cheers,

Jim

It really is a lot of work. We're hoping to have it completed asap really. I'm not sure if it'll be VSA ready, though. But I don't think that that is our aim here. 

We're working off of DG inspired models for the violins. It's a custom model that draws heavily from DG. 

The viola is a total custom job, as is typical for a lot of luthiers. 

The cello is custom as well, but draws from the Strad B form, but with wider C bouts. 

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54 minutes ago, DoorMouse said:

Wow, that's impressive!  When you say 'we' how many are involved in this project?

The boss and I. So just two. I'm doing all of the dirty work, and he's doing the finishing touches. It must be nice to have an assistant to do the hand blistering stuff!

But it's all good stuff for me. Building up those muscles. 

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I like doing the dirty work!  It's the finishing parts I'd rather pawn off.  Get the box all done and glued up with the neck, and start on another.  

I do need a boss to be sure that I cleaned up though.  

The viola looks very wide.  My 5 string looks wide, but it's only 380 long.  Yours doesn't look that long either though.  Looks like fun.

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5 hours ago, Ken_N said:

I like doing the dirty work!  It's the finishing parts I'd rather pawn off.  Get the box all done and glued up with the neck, and start on another.  

I do need a boss to be sure that I cleaned up though.  

The viola looks very wide.  My 5 string looks wide, but it's only 380 long.  Yours doesn't look that long either though.  Looks like fun.

You should move to East Germany then. Get a job in those factories 200 years ago doing nothing but roughing out backs all day. 

But the viola is a custom model and it's very wide. But it's only 16.5 inches long. It's got deeper ribs, so it's got the Tertis thing going on I guess. 

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Using the cycloid arches makes things look a bit bland in my opinion. But I started with them and it still looks somewhat good. I'll have to develop my own set of templates that look really nice and help produce a good result tonally one of these days. 

IMG_20200423_234351.jpg

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Did the fluting tonight. Gonna start the purfling probably this weekend. I'm going with the more Italian-esque purfling that's three strips of identical thickness. 

I tried using the Dremel jig from Stew Mac and I don't really like it. I figure that if I just do it enough by hand then I'll become very proficient at it sooner or later. 

IMG_20200430_220911.jpg

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Looking good! I tried the Dremel and didn't like it either. The Croen tool is in a different class but requires the Foredom hand tool, so it's a little more expensive. 

Are you going to make?.... the "Italian-esque" purfling that's three strips of identical thickness"

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On 5/1/2020 at 5:09 AM, Ernest Martel said:

Looking good! I tried the Dremel and didn't like it either. The Croen tool is in a different class but requires the Foredom hand tool, so it's a little more expensive. 

Are you going to make?.... the "Italian-esque" purfling that's three strips of identical thickness"

I did use the Italian-esque purfling, and I have to say that I really like the look much better than the French style. It's more robust and it also looks better when the blacks are a bit uneven. This purfling is from International Violin, but it's nice purfling. This is the first time that I've used the all wood purfling and I like it much better. You can squish it down to like .9mm with a burnisher, and easily throw it into the channel. Then, the hot water and glue really balloons it back to size, filling all undulations or gaps, if the channel is cut slightly undersize to begin with. The purfling came shipped at 1.4mm, which I thought was ridiculous, but I learned that with squishing it into a 1.2mm channel, any inconsistencies would be filled and it would have the added bonus of looking more interesting. But that's just my take. 

Here's the purfling laid into the back, trimmed down:

The last corner picture, I'm not happy with the way it flows into the corner at all. A bit flat in the C bout and just looks kind of awkward. I especially like the first corner picture, though. 

IMG_20200512_223831.jpg

IMG_20200512_223758.jpg

IMG_20200512_223806.jpg

IMG_20200512_223810.jpg

IMG_20200512_223815.jpg

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I didn't know IV sold different types, (Italian/French style purfling).  I use Karen Rost all wood purfling. Fun watching your progress.

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29 minutes ago, Ernest Martel said:

I didn't know IV sold different types, (Italian/French style purfling).  I use Karen Rost all wood purfling. Fun watching your progress.

It's fun living my progress! My next order is gonna be from Karen. My future fiddles are all gonna have pearwood and poplar purfling. I just like the look of the pearwood inner strip. 

IV seems to have them listed as German having the thin blacks, and French having the thick blacks, with Italian having even strips. From what I've learned, it should be the opposite between French and German, right?

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