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Three13

Inlaid saddle question

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I was recently shown a violin with the saddle inlaid half of the depth of the table (as opposed to all the way to the rib). I have seen this on a Czech trade instrument before, but can't recall it on anything else. Has anyone seen this sort of saddle on anything other than a Dutzendarbeit sort of thing?

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Yes, violins by E. H. Roth had this type of saddle, but I don't recall the dates. Early ones and later ones didn't. I know that in the 60's  this type of saddle was used. Other makes of violins also had it as well. It may be a German/Czech sort of thing.

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We were taught it in Salt Laky City, and in reading Brian Derber's book it was taught in Chicago. 

Not an uncommon trait, not something that should be used to identify anything other than a saddle.

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16 hours ago, luthier said:

Yes, violins by E. H. Roth had this type of saddle, but I don't recall the dates. Early ones and later ones didn't. I know that in the 60's  this type of saddle was used. Other makes of violins also had it as well. It may be a German/Czech sort of thing.

It does appear to be a German/Czech sort of thing.

A couple of Bohemian/Czech instruments  I have have such a  saddle, including a 1926 Juzek MA as shown.

IMG_3285.jpg

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22 hours ago, duane88 said:

We were taught it in Salt Laky City, and in reading Brian Derber's book it was taught in Chicago. 

Not an uncommon trait, not something that should be used to identify anything other than a saddle.

It was/is not taught at the Chicago school, unless Antoine Nedelec teaches it now.

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44 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

I wonder if this style of saddle inhibits or promotes saddle cracks over the more conventional saddle placement.

6endpin.jpg

I think it inhibits the formation of cracks.

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4 hours ago, Thomas Coleman said:

It was/is not taught at the Chicago school, unless Antoine Nedelec teaches it now.

Brian Derber states that he was taught it and shows how to do it in his violin making book/text.

I no longer do it. I went to SLC and only have the Derber book as a reference regarding CSVM.

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Another group of makers that seems to have done this fairly consistantly were the early 20thc Boston makers (Bryant, Goss, Baltherson, Ganshirt et al) Sometimes their work could look very "italian" in the Antoniazzi school style, and one of the only ways I could tell them apart was the half saddle, if it hadn't been changed. 

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What promotes saddle cracks (the "railroads cracks" common on old instruments) is that ebony is notably hygroscopic -- expands/contracts to a pronounced degree with changes in humidity. If room isn't left for the saddle's expansion, cracks along the grain lines result.

FWIW.

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1 hour ago, A432 said:

What promotes saddle cracks (the "railroads cracks" common on old instruments) is that ebony is notably hygroscopic -- expands/contracts to a pronounced degree with changes in humidity. If room isn't left for the saddle's expansion, cracks along the grain lines result.

FWIW.

I see it in the opposite direction, even if the consequences are the same.

I think that spruce is more hygroscopic than ebony, moreover the shrinking of the saddle is less because the direction of the saddle grain is at 90 ° with respect to the plate and I do not believe that there is an effective shrinking in the longitudinal direction, so the saddle that presents itself endgrain does not shrink while the plate does.

The same principle can be seen with the nut, where the fingerboard shrinks and the nut does not because it has the grain at 90 ° with respect to the fingerboard, forming that annoying step<_<

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Good point ! I was repeating what I'd been taught without ever examining it.

The tight fit is the problem either way, and breathing room space the solution.

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2 hours ago, A432 said:

What promotes saddle cracks (the "railroads cracks" common on old instruments) is that ebony is notably hygroscopic -- expands/contracts to a pronounced degree with changes in humidity. If room isn't left for the saddle's expansion, cracks along the grain lines result.

FWIW.

No.

The length wise expansion of a short piece of ebony is negligible. The cracks are caused  by the top shrinking crosswise and pushing against the ends of the ebony.

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55 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

The length wise expansion of a short piece of ebony is negligible. The cracks are caused  by the top shrinking crosswise and pushing against the ends of the ebony.

Yes, I have said the same thing but in a more verbose and twisted way, your synthesis skills are certainly more clear and effective than mine:P:)

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So it makes sense then that having the spruce run underneath the saddle is going to reduce the wedge effect of the saddle as the spruce shrinks around it. But, as A432 said "breathing room space the solution."

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