Recommended Posts

I’m just polishing up the last Strad model.  The varnish ended up being lighter than expected so I had to add some cochineal lake to the last few layers. I believe I was getting better results with dark colophony. 

DE610B23-0CE1-4F4C-BC91-DA5FF4C2E6E9.thumb.jpeg.da2e281c65d96fe6533463819aba9219.jpegF8396020-2130-46D8-A9A2-57F821A43BFF.thumb.jpeg.8aa56193eb2b9365304a1dad8b95759f.jpegBA6D3C8A-0305-4ACC-B4E7-04F02EE16849.thumb.jpeg.89f6dbcf24e50709b9bf4858fb5ff48c.jpeg

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 283
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I've been making some progress on a Cannone model that's going to have full thickness plates and tall ribs.  I'm trying to decide now whether it's going to be another baroque style instrument or not.  The original neck appears to have had a length from plate edge to nut of 125mm which is a shorter scale than the current 130mm standard.  According to Roger H. Stradivari made two different sized necks, the longer being around 130.  The Lady Blunt neck looks to be about the same length of the Cannone's. 
Anyways, I'm thinking of trying out the shorter scale to see how that feels.  It's not the easiest thing to shift while supporting the violin with your hand or wrist and I want to see if shortening that distance helps.  At the very least it should make chords more comfortable to finger. 
  The one thing that I just can't get over about the Cannone is it's honker of a head.  It's a bit of an eyesore.  I've seen a couple copies where the head is pulled off nicely but I couldn't bring myself to attempt it.  Instead I decided to go with something in the style of the Sauret del Gesu from the same year.
 Rather than scraping the surfaces smooth I've left the gouged surface and just rubbed it down a bit.  I may wear it down more but I'm happy with the result so far. 

SauretScroll.thumb.jpg.1e61ab88e67e50ae83aade1b61f4cb83.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the kind words! 

I’m making some progress with the del Gesu model.  It’s got a 125mm neck and I decided to tilt the neck back one or two degrees from the last one I did so the fingerboard wedge doesn’t need to be as high.

I left the back thick on this one as an experiment, a bit thicker than the Cannone actually. It can always be thinned down later.  I’m trying out some cheap fiber purfling this time round that I ordered online. Normally I would just head over to International Violin and pick some up.. Anyways, I had problems with the fiber purfling delaminating any time I would bend it.  As you can imagine, this adds an extra degree of challenge to corner mitering. 

It worked out ok for a dG but I don’t think I could have pulled off Strad stings with the stuff.

my second attempt laminating a baroque tailpiece was much improved. No cracks this time :) 

80688426-1B18-49B2-8B83-25D8FB666195.thumb.jpeg.fd5fb1909ea531eb9b6279b0f9ca769e.jpeg

I’m really enjoying the process of building with the neck and rib structure first. I feel like there’s more of the completed picture right from the start and that can influence the stylistic decisions as the plates are shaped. 

B0305D15-31DD-49D3-BB9E-68F1CB10D018.thumb.jpeg.cb9de2c7056f5d70d8701098c62d1502.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Nick Allen said:

Nice. What is the fret material? Ebony? 

That's right.  There is at least one Strad guitar with ebony frets and it seems to have been fairly common among romantic guitars as well.
The frets are leveled and the last thing I have to do is dress them which I've been holding off on till I get a proper file for the job.
They feel pretty good under the fingers though.  Honestly it was more of an aesthetic decision than anything else.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, scordatura said:

Wow, this is a very nice effort.

Thanks! It's probably going to remain a singular effort but I found it refreshing to take a break from violins.  Coming back from it, I'm finding myself more open to experimentation which has been a lot of fun so far. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Two very different siblings here.9CBF27DC-4D63-429C-8DD0-63846CE8C588.thumb.jpeg.ee77dea581c31a96a876bbcd5d2f9ada.jpeg

I just got the Strad model strung up and I’m very happy with the sound so far, powerful on bottom and smooth on top.  The setup still needs some tweaking but it’s very similar in tone and loudness to my previous attempt at a Strad.  My results have been wildly varied in the past so I’m considering it progress to be approaching some level of consistency.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided to try out a baroque saddle similar to what’s on the Chardon del Gesu. It’s just glued along the top edge but I realized in the process that this type of saddle must have been installed after varnishing, otherwise there would be an obvious unvarnished area when converting to a modern setup.

2A935787-9E8B-497F-AD77-61917351E0A4.thumb.jpeg.c1dc2d2ee1f4523a7101e9de09b5d58d.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the beginning of my first viola! It’s based off the Girolamo Amati II Estense.  I’m more a fan of the stepped style pegbox so I decided on the Brothers Amati head that Vuillaume grafted onto the Castelbarco Stradivari viola conversion.  It’ll be my way of returning it to the family. :) 

BEA7CBAE-DA5B-475B-9643-CDFB34B13659.thumb.jpeg.094b7a2605d29fe44dd90330d7ffb8ed.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, DoorMouse said:

This is the beginning of my first viola! It’s based off the Girolamo Amati II Estense.  I’m more a fan of the stepped style pegbox so I decided on the Brothers Amati head that Vuillaume grafted onto the Castelbarco Stradivari viola conversion.  It’ll be my way of returning it to the family. :) 

BEA7CBAE-DA5B-475B-9643-CDFB34B13659.thumb.jpeg.094b7a2605d29fe44dd90330d7ffb8ed.jpeg

Cheeked viola pegbox club for life. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your work, is always so clean.  I guess everyones is compared to mine!

I haven't made a shouldered pegbox yet.  I always read people complaining about them.  Who needs that?  I haven't seen a cello without one, so what's the problem?

I like your pegs. I'm going to start on ten today for the little baroque that I'm making.  Your guitar came out great.  I noticed that you made ebony frets.  I was just looking up fret gut.  YIKES.  They can set you back $75-$100!   I don't mind paying that for strings, but frets?  The wooden frets are starting to sound interesting.  I sure can't use metal; the fingerboard is less than 4mm thick!  I have two different pieces of rosewood for the head, and the fingerboard, so I can't get the cool monochrome look that you came up with.  Well done.

 Did you string it with nylon?  DGBE?   4 strings seems like it would be easier to play.  I have a lot of interference with my short FAT fingers.  I have 7.5 mm spacing on my guitar, and it isn't nearly enough. Supposedly, that is wide.  The baroque is planned on 7.8-8.3mm at the nut.  Maybe it will work.  Between the pairs it isn't that wide though.  We'll see.

I can't do full bar chords, the e and b string mute.  4 strings are fine,  maybe 5, but not six.  Even then adding other fingers below that may work, and may not. A 5 string might be the answer, but maybe 4 is even better. 

I've only been playing since Christmas, so I probably just need more practice.

Sorry, I was born before the short phrases of Social Media!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The major disadvantage to fixed frets is that you cannot change the temperament. If a musician is going to stick to equal temperament, as most do in contemporary contexts, that's not a problem of course. But for historical musicians and today's players of early music, tied gut frets offer an important advantage. 

Sorry for the tangent (there's an early music pun there for you keyboardists). Outstanding work on the guitar as well as the fiddles!

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

The major disadvantage to fixed frets is that you cannot change the temperament. If a musician is going to stick to equal temperament, as most do in contemporary contexts, that's not a problem of course. But for historical musicians and today's players of early music, tied gut frets offer an important advantage. 

Sorry for the tangent (there's an early music pun there for you keyboardists). Outstanding work on the guitar as well as the fiddles!

Too right you are. This one looks like it's just for s&g, though. Noodling, even. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ken_N said:

Your work, is always so clean.  I guess everyones is compared to mine!

I haven't made a shouldered pegbox yet.  I always read people complaining about them.  Who needs that?  I haven't seen a cello without one, so what's the problem?

I like your pegs. I'm going to start on ten today for the little baroque that I'm making.  Your guitar came out great.  I noticed that you made ebony frets.  I was just looking up fret gut.  YIKES.  They can set you back $75-$100!   I don't mind paying that for strings, but frets?  The wooden frets are starting to sound interesting.  I sure can't use metal; the fingerboard is less than 4mm thick!  I have two different pieces of rosewood for the head, and the fingerboard, so I can't get the cool monochrome look that you came up with.  Well done.

 Did you string it with nylon?  DGBE?   4 strings seems like it would be easier to play.  I have a lot of interference with my short FAT fingers.  I have 7.5 mm spacing on my guitar, and it isn't nearly enough. Supposedly, that is wide.  The baroque is planned on 7.8-8.3mm at the nut.  Maybe it will work.  Between the pairs it isn't that wide though.  We'll see.

 

I think some viola makers just like to try and make the instrument as light as possible and a violin style head helps in that regard.  Manfio has said he uses violin pegs on his violas for this reason. There's certainly no historic standard.  I like the big chunky heads myself. 
I've got a set of gut strings from Gamut on the guitar right now DGBE.  I made the mistake of going with the baroque guitar gauges rather than sizing up for the shorter scale so the strings feel a bit light but I do really like the way the gut feels under the finger.  It's a brighter/harsher sound than what you get with nylgut uke strings.  
I don't really play any classical or baroque guitar music so it's really just something nice looking for me to play my early jazz/folk noodlings on. 

The ebony frets were really a pain to make.  I don't know that I'd recommend it.  Fret wire is many times easier if you have the right tools for the job. 
I'm looking forward to seeing how yours turns out Ken.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

The major disadvantage to fixed frets is that you cannot change the temperament. If a musician is going to stick to equal temperament, as most do in contemporary contexts, that's not a problem of course. But for historical musicians and today's players of early music, tied gut frets offer an important advantage. 

Sorry for the tangent (there's an early music pun there for you keyboardists). Outstanding work on the guitar as well as the fiddles!

This is not something that I'd considered. Thanks for the insight. 
By the way, I've been enjoying the Jacob Stainers Instrumente album you posted in a thread the other day.  
If you have any other recommended listening let me know.
 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, DoorMouse said:

I think some viola makers just like to try and make the instrument as light as possible and a violin style head helps in that regard.  Manfio has said he uses violin pegs on his violas for this reason. There's certainly no historic standard.  I like the big chunky heads myself. 
I've got a set of gut strings from Gamut on the guitar right now DGBE.  I made the mistake of going with the baroque guitar gauges rather than sizing up for the shorter scale so the strings feel a bit light but I do really like the way the gut feels under the finger.  It's a brighter/harsher sound than what you get with nylgut uke strings.  
I don't really play any classical or baroque guitar music so it's really just something nice looking for me to play my early jazz/folk noodlings on. 

The ebony frets were really a pain to make.  I don't know that I'd recommend it.  Fret wire is many times easier if you have the right tools for the job. 
I'm looking forward to seeing how yours turns out Ken.

I think brass frets woulda looked bitchin on this guy. I don't know how wear resistant it would be. But if it's just gut, probably not bad. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, DoorMouse said:

This is not something that I'd considered. Thanks for the insight. 
By the way, I've been enjoying the Jacob Stainers Instrumente album you posted in a thread the other day.  
If you have any other recommended listening let me know.
 

So glad you're enjoying that album! It's somewhat unique as far as I know in that it features the instruments of a specific luthier more than it seems to showcase the talent (not insignificant) of the performers. Relating to Stainer specifically, Stanley Ritchie's solo Bach records are not to be missed. If you want to know some of my favorite albums of early music, shoot me a pm and I'd be thrilled to talk with you. I don't want to clutter your bench thread more than I already have!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.