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J.DiLisio's Bench


J.DiLisio
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, that’s after a couple weeks tanning, a thin casein coat, and a bit of chemical oxidation in that order.  The casein keeps the stain from getting splotchy.

Here’s an update on the Baroque violin..

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The fingerboard was a fun challenge to figure out. I made a spruce core and attached maple sides and an ebony veneer with a 45mm radius so it’s a bit flatter than a modern one. Thin ebony likes to crack without warning so there’s some superglue in a few spots. Something I learned from guitar forums is that once you sand down superglue it becomes invisible on ebony.  

 The saddle is even with the edge with no rise. The tailgut should take care of elevating the tailpiece. I was considering something like what’s on the Chardon del Gesu with the hanging bib shape but opted for the more standard style. 

 The bridge is a scaled down version of the original Strad bridge found on the Medeci tenor viola. I just used flamed maple. It supposedly takes some of the harshness out of the gut strings. 

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My aim at this stage is to get the wood as dark as possible without any burning in.   The colophony ground should take care of the yellow/gold spectrum and I'm hoping that by starting with this amount of color, subsequent varnish layers will shift more towards red without having to build up too thick or add pigments. 
 This is the first instrument that I've used this system on so it's a bit of an experiment inspired by the Stradivari Varnish book.  I'm finding it helpful to think of the layers as being more complex than just ground and varnish.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

It’s been a blast playing in the baroque violin with gut strings but a little troublesome with the setup.  I started with a medium gut set from Gamut with a pistoy G but the tension was much too loose. The G string felt like a rubber band and would go sharp when bowed with even moderate pressure. The rest of the strings sounded weak and untensioned.  I tried a taller bridge and tuning up to 440hz and it woke up in terms of response and volume but this made it difficult to finger and intonate with the extreme string height.  Conveniently, I had an old wound gut Tricolore G and found that to yield a better overall tension at 415hz with the lower bridge height. It’s still pretty loose but the gut sounds great and feel smooth under the fingers.   It definitely needs an overall heavier set. 

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Here’s how the guitar bridge turned out..

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10 minutes ago, Nick Allen said:

Nice. I take I you were using a proper baroque bow? The modern bow can be a bit much for the gut strings sometimes, in my opinion. 

I've got one on order from the UK.  It certainly requires a light touch with the modern bow. 

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The last few weeks I’ve been using the lockdown as an opportunity to experiment with varnish recipes.  

 This is what I’m having the best results with so far..

75g Burgundy Pitch uncooked

45g Linseed Oil

Cook the Pitch around 5hrs at 240c until thick and dark.  Stir in the oil a little at a time. Cook for another 5hrs or so stirring occasionally until the consistency transforms from thin and oily to thick and sticky.  It pulls a long thread between the fingers. 

The result is a dark yet highly transparent varnish that needs thinning to be brush-able.  A coat thinned with turps dries in 3-4hrs.

 

Edit: I should add that my aim here was to come up with a varnish that's as simple to make as possible hence the two ingredients and one temperature for the whole cook.  I started with Roger Hargrave's recipe and in the process of experimenting with different ingredients and proportions I found myself taking an increasing number of short cuts with the process.  This is what it eventually evolved into.

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8 minutes ago, Nick Allen said:

I think the baroque bow would be the answer. They are significantly lighter, and when held higher up, make the light bowing much easier too. 

Thanks, I'm pretty excited to receive it.  Unfortunately, the pandemic has put things on hold for the time being.   Do you know what gauge/brand gut strings you use off hand?

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5 hours ago, DoorMouse said:

Thanks, I'm pretty excited to receive it.  Unfortunately, the pandemic has put things on hold for the time being.   Do you know what gauge/brand gut strings you use off hand?

Ah I must admit that I'm not a baroque player. I've messed around and done some setup, so I have a half-baked first-hand experience! But gut is just much more sensitive to nuance, so a heavy bow is gonna crush 'em easily. 

Try that new bow. I think you'll get a more pleasing result. 

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I've been working on a Cannone mould design.  The instrument is so much larger than the 'fits most' del Gesu mould I've been using that there would have to be considerable gaps so I decided a new one was in order.  Due to the asymmetry I ended up flipping my tracing, superimposing it and taking an average of the two.  
Here's the pdf if anyone is interested.. 
Cannone.pdf

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Thanks,  I  don't have a large 11 x 17 printer although I could have printed it out on 8.5 x 14 (legal) and it would just about fit.   Usually I go to Staples and use  their large copiers / printers and scale it to size.  Very few programs have a real ruler to measure the true size of the image before printout.  On another topic it was the full size window of Strad's Arranyi 1667 violin that opened in that special scrolling window.

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23 hours ago, Ernest Martel said:

Thanks for sharing the .pdf!!

No problem, I hope you find it useful. Keep in mind the corners may need some adjustment (shortening probably) to keep in style with DG's long corner overhangs.  See Roger H's articles on the subject. 

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