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Nick Allen

Nick Allen's Bench.

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3 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

The back looks nice.  What Arch height and grads to end up using?

Thanks Jim!

I believe that I ended up using an 18 mm arch, with heavier grads. Like 6.5 mm in the center and 3.2 in the bouts, due to the lighter wood. The top is going to end up being around 16.5 mm.

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Got the purfling fit. Just have to glue it tomorrow. This spruce was super chippy, so the crest at the edge chipped off a lot in some places. I'll have to work some magic when I do the edgework to make it look good I suppose. 

I think that perhaps my beestings may be a tad flamboyant, too. 

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I’ve been told the most important thing is that all the miters look the same.  Good job!  My edge work is done on my current build. It chipped out worse than yours. You’ll be fine. 

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22 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

I’ve been told the most important thing is that all the miters look the same.  Good job!  My edge work is done on my current build. It chipped out worse than yours. You’ll be fine. 

Good to know my man. Thanks. 

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So I went for the less than conventional route and Titebonded the purfling in. And to my surprise is was actually a much more delightful process. The glue has an absurdly long working time and it also seems to kind of lubricate the purfling in really tight spots. 

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My bench is a rat's nest. But that just means that I'm actually working. I started a Strad G inspired model. Using willow blocks for the first time. Mostly because black willow seems to be kinda hard to come by around my parts. The top block's grain isn't oriented quite right but it'll probably be fine. This willow seems to have a lot of calcium deposits in it as well. Lots of chalk white streaks and pockets to dull my tool edges. 

I think both of these guys are gonna be my instruments for the competition. 

I knocked the purfling down on the viola and am now just getting rid of the lil bit of excess glue. 

I also had to double one of the corners due to the fact that a crack had developed because I purfled(?) too far down. The new piece has been glued on but not pared down yet. 

One problem after another...

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1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Nah man, put it on! It's maybe not Strad style, but it's a good looking scroll. Anyway, are you trying to make a Strad, or a Nick Allen? 

Thanks Jackson.

You do make a good point. For this one, I want to make a Strad style violin, but will that really matter in a competition setting? 

My theory was that I could try and make something with as cohesive a style as possible, which would be essentially an all Strad styled violin. 

But perhaps that doesn't matter as long as the workmanship and execution is good. 

I just don't really understand how the judges view things I guess. 

So maybe I will put this one on. 

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I have no idea how the competitions work. As I recall there's an article in The Scroll an issue or two back by a VSA judge that talks about it, maybe that will be useful to you. 

My focus is on largely early instruments, and as far as I know the major competitions don't deal with non-modern setup, so I haven't given it a lot of thought. I'd love to go to the conferences though!

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Got the Cs glued and the ribs in the Cs. I learned that willow GULPS hide glue even from the side. I had to size it like three times just to get the ribs to actually have some glue to work with. 

Also more scroll work. 

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I've got the f holes marked out now. I don't follow the "Cremonese" method of positioning them. I only measure the distance from the upper eyes, the distance of the lower eyes to the nearest edge, the purfling line of the lower corners, and then adjust to taste. My bass bars have been landing in the right spot so far. 

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Also the violin is coming along. Got the ribs all glued up. Just have to trim the corners and level the ribs. Add the upper bout slope, then on to the linings!

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What's the Cremonese Method for positioning soundholes? Must have missed that in Chuck Bergonzi's tell-all memoir... =P looks good, brother. I do the same thing.

But don't give away the secret ground!! Once everyone starts using 3-in-1 oil we lose our competitive edge! 

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29 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

What's the Cremonese Method for positioning soundholes? Must have missed that in Chuck Bergonzi's tell-all memoir... =P looks good, brother. I do the same thing.

But don't give away the secret ground!! Once everyone starts using 3-in-1 oil we lose our competitive edge! 

Thanks Jackson.

That whole Golden Ratio/Fibonacci/Compass and dividers/Turkey on Rye system that I can't seem to get right. Davide Sora has a video on YouTube showcasing this. 

31 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

On a more serious note, what do you mean by upper bout slope? Just curious, not familiar with that.

By that I mean the rib taper from the upper corner to the top block. Usually the rib height goes from around 29-30 to 27-28.5 or something like that. 

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1 minute ago, Nick Allen said:

Thanks Jackson.

That whole Golden Ratio/Fibonacci/Compass and dividers/Turkey on Rye system that I can't seem to get right. Davide Sora has a video on YouTube showcasing this. 

By that I mean the rib taper from the upper corner to the top block. Usually the rib height goes from around 29-30 to 27-28.5 or something like that. 

Time to revisit Davides videos! At least I can learn the current Cremonese approach.

Ok, I understand now what you mean. I suppose I think of rib taper a bit differently.

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Ribs almost done. Just some linings left. 

Started the graduation process for the viola top. Probably one of my favorite parts along with cutting f holes and scrolls. 

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F holes are roughed and the top is at 5.0 all over. Have to flute the ffs and then it's time for what I consider the meat and potatoes of violin making, which would be plate graduation. 

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