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First violin maker to use guitar linings?


Andreas Preuss
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15 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Who was the first violin maker to make the linings over the corner block?

The earliest I know from the top of my head was Celani in mid 19th century. Does anyone know a maker in the 18th century using this technique?

How is linings over the corner block considered guitar linings? To my knowledge, guitar linings are little pieces of wood that are triangular in cross section, glued individually, or in a kind of strip.

Or are we talking baroque guitar?

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1 hour ago, Nick Allen said:

How is linings over the corner block considered guitar linings? To my knowledge, guitar linings are little pieces of wood that are triangular in cross section, glued individually, or in a kind of strip.

Or are we talking baroque guitar?

Sorry that my description was not precise. With 'guitar linings' I meant linings running over the blocks but not the type of original guitar linings (triangular, with cut ins etc.)

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There are different kinds of 'liners' in old guitars. 

There are Kerfed liners, or Kerfing- it's a gerund, both a verb and a noun.  You can do a kerfing job, and also call the liner 'kerfing' as a noun. 

Kerfed liners are kerfed with little cuts stopped at a certain depth to render the strip of wood flexible. Old kerfed liners are usually Spruce or Cuban cedar or what ever worked. 

There are three usual kind of liner in old guitars- Kerfed, Crimped and Flat. The triangular blocks are called 'tentalones' 'teeth' - Those are used for a top down construction process where the blocks are pressed to the top and sides with glue and the back is put on last. The tenalones are almost always found only on the top, but a few weird instances of backs with glue blocks are known. 

Crimped and kerfed liners are similar, but crimped liners were made with a tool like pliers that crushed a slotted depression in the liner at short intervals in order to make it flexible. I've seen trade celli and a few basses with crimped liners. The Iberian makers in Portugal and Spain would often use crimped liners. But more often tentalones on the top and flat liners on the back. Crimped liners not popular today except for a few old school Portugese factories..alas ..

Flat liners are almost exactly like cello liners, but not as tall. Maybe 1/2" to 5/8" and 2. 5 to 3.5 mm thick. Usually Spruce, Beech, Cuban Cedar or any trash wood  light and not prone to cracking. The flat liners can also be found on a lot instruments before the mid 19th century in Iberia, but in Germany, France, and any northern area where guitars where made the liners were often crimped, flat or kerfed on both top and back. Triangular glue blocks seems to have been mostly an Iberian thing. Romantic guitars in Russia and non Iberian places were usually not made with tentalones. 

Lots of early guitars did not even have liners, paper, of  parchment tabs might have been used to connect tops and sides and no liners on the back. 

Flat liners used one way or another are probably overall most common to all building styles regions and time periods. 

Everything you ever wanted to know or not  know about liners....
 

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11 hours ago, Stephen Faulk said:

There are different kinds of 'liners' in old guitars. 

There are Kerfed liners, or Kerfing- it's a gerund, both a verb and a noun.  You can do a kerfing job, and also call the liner 'kerfing' as a noun. 

Kerfed liners are kerfed with little cuts stopped at a certain depth to render the strip of wood flexible. Old kerfed liners are usually Spruce or Cuban cedar or what ever worked. 

There are three usual kind of liner in old guitars- Kerfed, Crimped and Flat. The triangular blocks are called 'tentalones' 'teeth' - Those are used for a top down construction process where the blocks are pressed to the top and sides with glue and the back is put on last. The tenalones are almost always found only on the top, but a few weird instances of backs with glue blocks are known. 

Crimped and kerfed liners are similar, but crimped liners were made with a tool like pliers that crushed a slotted depression in the liner at short intervals in order to make it flexible. I've seen trade celli and a few basses with crimped liners. The Iberian makers in Portugal and Spain would often use crimped liners. But more often tentalones on the top and flat liners on the back. Crimped liners not popular today except for a few old school Portugese factories..alas ..

Flat liners are almost exactly like cello liners, but not as tall. Maybe 1/2" to 5/8" and 2. 5 to 3.5 mm thick. Usually Spruce, Beech, Cuban Cedar or any trash wood  light and not prone to cracking. The flat liners can also be found on a lot instruments before the mid 19th century in Iberia, but in Germany, France, and any northern area where guitars where made the liners were often crimped, flat or kerfed on both top and back. Triangular glue blocks seems to have been mostly an Iberian thing. Romantic guitars in Russia and non Iberian places were usually not made with tentalones. 

Lots of early guitars did not even have liners, paper, of  parchment tabs might have been used to connect tops and sides and no liners on the back. 

Flat liners used one way or another are probably overall most common to all building styles regions and time periods. 

Everything you ever wanted to know or not  know about liners....
 

Didnt answer my question, but was very interesting to read.

One question out of curiousity: Is there any difference in the sound between those types of linings? Or is it rather, what I would suspect, a matter of how quick the job is done? Anyway I remember that during my apprentice days I got hold of a book explaining the technique(s) of guitar making. And if I remember correctly the distance between the crimpings or kerfings are important to the sound of a guitar?

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I think it is just  a question of which you suits you best.  I have done it both ways and in the end I rather enjoyed sticking on the tentellones.  The spacing of the kerfs or the gaps between the tentellones is just what you need to get the curve. I don't think there is any difference in sound between the methods, but I could be wrong.

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21 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Didnt answer my question, but was very interesting to read.

One question out of curiousity: Is there any difference in the sound between those types of linings? Or is it rather, what I would suspect, a matter of how quick the job is done? Anyway I remember that during my apprentice days I got hold of a book explaining the technique(s) of guitar making. And if I remember correctly the distance between the crimpings or kerfings are important to the sound of a guitar?

 The sound of different liners is one of those things that gets into anecdotal territory- There are reasons for using different styles that have o do with a few main factors - inside or outside mold? Neck glued to the top? Build body with top and back glued on before neck attachment - and so on depending on which type of guitar is being build. 

The liner may effect sound, but guitars like violins are super complex and isolating the liner as a component of sound is really difficult to maybe impossible. The debate or conversation around liners usually has to with stiffness of the rim of the body and ribs an dhow that effects the top and back. So liners factor into that, but it's a difficult thing to argue that one way of doing makes better sound. 

We know some general things like stiffer rib assemblies tend to be a platform that does not 'absorb' energy from the top  and keeps the top working more independently. That effects the top modes in a general way  that we can hear if we are working the other factors of construction to accentuate that stuff. Not stiffening the rim as much and using flexible ribs, makes for another kind of transference of energy to the ribs. Some sound is coming off the ribs and generally more flexible ribs have a characteristic drift to the sound. 

I was just explaining the different liners types because wanted to mention flat and crimped. I have not seen a violin with liners over the corner blocks, but I have seen celli and basses with crimped liners, but I can't honestly remember over the block liners, but it seems to  stick in mind.  Lot's of makers offer anecdotal reviews of stiff laminated liners that make the rim stiffer, but it's difficult to say if it's better.or even stiffer. 

I did an experiment where I set up a sample rib of the same material and thickness and glued tentalones to one rib and a beefy laminated liner to the other. Naturally the laminated liner rib was stiffer, and the rib with closely spaced blocks had a bit of flex. Then I glued a section of top wood over each rib, and the glue block rib stiffened up so it was as non-bendable as the laminated liner. Once the rib is locked into place with the top at 90 degrees to the rib, the top becomes a sheer panel and the assembly becomes stronger. 

Now all these other questions arise about whether corners should be stiff and heavy or stiff and light?  Then other things come into play like where do you cut the line for the rim binding and purfling, and how much liner and block do you leave as the place where the top attaches to the ribs? If you make this stiff laminated rim and then cut into it, thus encroaching on how much wood the top 'hinges' on, what have you done to the sound? One thing that happens is the main top mode drops  and so does the main air mode. When the purfling and binding are glued into the channel cut around the rim to accept them, the modes go back up. I say listen to the modes after the binding is on and see where they are and if they are radically off your calculations or where your design usually ends up you might be able to move them around with by some wood reductive means. 

But guitar making is simple right? HAHA  The thing I grapple around and fumble and get frustrated with most about guitar making are guitarists. 

Speed is a factor, people buy those pre kerfed liners because they bend so nice and fit the bent ribs. Liners and tops also have a sonic relationship, but it's highly anecdotal to offer anything definite because globally the guitar is too complex. 

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Stephen Faulk said:

We know some general things like stiffer rib assemblies tend to be a platform that does not 'absorb' energy from the top  and keeps the top working more independently. That effects the top modes in a general way  that we can hear if we are working the other factors of construction to accentuate that stuff. Not stiffening the rim as much and using flexible ribs, makes for another kind of transference of energy to the ribs. Some sound is coming off the ribs and generally more flexible ribs have a characteristic drift to the sound.

That's actually quite interesting and it might be worth a test to make ultra stiff ribs on a violin

 

14 hours ago, Stephen Faulk said:

 
I have not seen a violin with liners over the corner blocks, but I have seen celli and basses with crimped liners, but I can't honestly remember over the block liners, but it seems to  stick in mind.

On violins you see occasionally the liners running over the blocks. And to my knowledge all those makers made guitars as well:

Constantino Celani in ascoli Piceno and some other makers of that region, as well as Cesare Candi in Genova.

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On 4/23/2018 at 10:27 AM, Andreas Preuss said:

That's actually quite interesting and it might be worth a test to make ultra stiff ribs on a violin

 

On violins you see occasionally the liners running over the blocks. And to my knowledge all those makers made guitars as well:

Constantino Celani in ascoli Piceno and some other makers of that region, as well as Cesare Candi in Genova.

You might want to become acquainted with Alan Carruth the guitarmaker and student of Carleen Hutchins. He's evaluated  testing like that and can talk with great sophistication about the reasons why bowed instrument ribs benefit from being a little flexible vs. how stiffness effects guitar ribs.  I can email him abut it if you like. 

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On 4/21/2018 at 3:23 PM, Andreas Preuss said:

Didnt answer my question, but was very interesting to read.

One question out of curiousity: Is there any difference in the sound between those types of linings? Or is it rather, what I would suspect, a matter of how quick the job is done? Anyway I remember that during my apprentice days I got hold of a book explaining the technique(s) of guitar making. And if I remember correctly the distance between the crimpings or kerfings are important to the sound of a guitar?

Now the modern thing among guitar makers is use of "reverse kerfed" linings. Gluing them with the kerfed face to the ribs (they ar enot triangular in crossection in this case but left flat with slight chamfer or rounding at one side) and the continuous surface away from ribs. This makes the ribs super stiff (compared to traditional way).

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38 minutes ago, HoGo said:

Now the modern thing among guitar makers is use of "reverse kerfed" linings. Gluing them with the kerfed face to the ribs (they ar enot triangular in crossection in this case but left flat with slight chamfer or rounding at one side) and the continuous surface away from ribs. This makes the ribs super stiff (compared to traditional way).

I can't see how that extra stiffness has any significant effect compared with the in-plane stiffness of the back and top.  Do you remember when some makers started putting in carbon-fibre rod bracing to stiffen the box?  That had a trivial effect but made good marketing, I suppose. No-one talked about the resonance of the rods and the effect that might have had on the sound.

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21 hours ago, Stephen Faulk said:

You might want to become acquainted with Alan Carruth the guitarmaker and student of Carleen Hutchins. He's evaluated  testing like that and can talk with great sophistication about the reasons why bowed instrument ribs benefit from being a little flexible vs. how stiffness effects guitar ribs.  I can email him abut it if you like. 

Can I come back on this after the summer vacations? I'd like to learn more about it but am too busy right now with other stuff.

 

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And then there are mandolin makers who made rims out of single piece of thick solid wood (routed to shape rim being in proximity of 1/2" thick) with top and back glued into recesses. Surprisingly they still sound like mandolins. So I guess tiny changes in ribs don't make as much change in tone as we want to believe...

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