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Three13

Inlaid saddle question

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On 7/21/2019 at 5:19 AM, Davide Sora said:

...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....

I think that this is correct.  But it applies whether the saddle is inlaid halfway through the top or all the way through.  So why do you think that inlaying halfway through inhibits crack formation?

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In the saddle, the ebony is long grain and therefore has effectively no movement.



Or is the movement of it (forward) pushing the part of the top it is bearing against while the parts at either side are tacked to the ribs, shearing it along the grain (as opposed to against it) ?

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30 minutes ago, Brad Dorsey said:

But it applies whether the saddle is inlaid halfway through the top or all the way through.  So why do you think that inlaying halfway through inhibits crack formation?

My guess is because the saddle is now a smaller wedge, and the spruce underneath it increases lateral force required to push the wood apart, like a spring between two blocks of wood.

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2 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

I think that this is correct.  But it applies whether the saddle is inlaid halfway through the top or all the way through.  So why do you think that inlaying halfway through inhibits crack formation?

 

2 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

My guess is because the saddle is now a smaller wedge, and the spruce underneath it increases lateral force required to push the wood apart, like a spring between two blocks of wood.

What GeorgeH says is a good explanation, but frankly I don't think there are any big risks of cracks in any case for reasons of wood movements due to humidity, unless the saddle is wedged (with pressure) in the spruce. But another risk of cracks is when the top is taken off, inserting the opening knife near the saddle creating a lever action, in this case the continuity of the spruce below the saddle greatly reduces the risk of developing a crack.

But the real main reason why I do it halfway is to increase the bottom gluing surface to avoid the ungluing of the saddle under the tension of the strings through the tailgut.  For me this is the main concern because, as you can see in the photo I posted, I make it rather high.

So I have three good reason, I think it's enough to go that way, unless someone tells me at least four good reasons to change.:)

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On 7/21/2019 at 12:13 AM, Michael Appleman said:

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. 

Interesting! The violin in question was allegedly early 20th-century Milan, and the half-saddle seemed out of place to me.

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47 minutes ago, Michael Appleman said:

Make sure it has a reliable certificate! 

I wasn't thinking of buying it - a few things about it seemed out of place (the saddle being the most unusual).

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That's the Brothers Amati piccolo violin fromm the NMM collection. There's also a Storioni small violin there with a similar saddle. Interestingly, for the Amati the descripton says it may be an early replacement, while for the Storioni it may be the original. 

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On ‎7‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 7:56 AM, Michael Appleman said:

That's the Brothers Amati piccolo violin

Somebody posted on previous page an example, where saddle is let 6...8 mm into lower rib as an ebony curve or semicircle - do you know where does this fashion come from?

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I've always heard that described as the "Hill" saddle. That's how the Hill shop would do it when they got an old Italian with a saddle let into the ribs. It's quite common to find traces of a a cut out into the ribs on certain old Italian violins, sometimes filled with an ebony "moulding" to support the saddle, sometimes just filled in with a piece of maple. Take a look at all the end-pin photos on the NMM site and you can get an idea of some of the variations.

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11 minutes ago, Michael Appleman said:

I've always heard that described as the "Hill" saddle. That's how the Hill shop would do it when they got an old Italian with a saddle let into the ribs. It's quite common to find traces of a a cut out into the ribs on certain old Italian violins, sometimes filled with an ebony "moulding" to support the saddle, sometimes just filled in with a piece of maple. Take a look at all the end-pin photos on the NMM site and you can get an idea of some of the variations.

Thank you!

I have this kind of insert/replacement in one of my violins, but mine is not Rogeri, rather something Bohemian...

 

 

03362_RogeriViolinEndPin_052.jpg

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So for those who have used both the half saddle glued to the top and the more conventional cut through to the block is the half saddle less likely to pull up? Any problems or other info about one versus the other?

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On July 22, 2019 at 6:34 PM, hendrik said:

Hi Mood 2000  

Is this an English violin?

3361AmatiViolinoPiccoloEndButtonLG.jpg

Is that an oval turned end button or is that an optical or photographic illusion?

Does any one have experience taking the top off an instrument with this type of saddle? How is it done?

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Rodolfo Fredi, Rome 1926

fredi.thumb.jpg.d0de737aab26ef71fb84a9afac7b9671.jpg

As you can see, the problem with this otherwise excellent design is that if the saddle comes off and has to be reglued, it tends to pull off some spruce and look a bit raggedy ...

A conventional saddle has far weaker glue joints.

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10 hours ago, martin swan said:

Rodolfo Fredi, Rome 1926

fredi.thumb.jpg.d0de737aab26ef71fb84a9afac7b9671.jpg

As you can see, the problem with this otherwise excellent design is that if the saddle comes off and has to be reglued, it tends to pull off some spruce and look a bit raggedy ...

A conventional saddle has far weaker glue joints.

So do you think this type is less likely to pull loose or just that glued to the block saddles do less damage if they do come loose?

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57 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

So do you think this type is less likely to pull loose or just that glued to the block saddles do less damage if they do come loose?

Both - better gluing surface in that half of it isn't sitting on endgrain, but more tearout if it does come out ...

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Wanted to stir up this discussion again.

In the interest of making saddles which don't pull up under string tension but don't interfere with removing the top when needed I am looking at the Hill style saddles shown in the pictures and wondering if they are one piece or simply a "shield) to cover where the inlaid saddle was removed with the regular saddle fitted on top.  I am looking for ways to increase glue surface on the saddle but don't want subsequent repairers to curse me after I am gone. Other practical options include cutting the saddle in past the inner edge of the purfling but I don't think I see that too often and it looks somehow wrong on violins although OK on cellos.

Picky details but.....

 

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5 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Other practical options include cutting the saddle in past the inner edge of the purfling but I don't think I see that too often and it looks somehow wrong on violins although OK on cellos.

Picky details but.....

Like this?:)

I've never had any problems doing so since there are good functional reasons.

If someone doesn't like it, he'll have to get over it, but I believe that very few people notice these "picky details".

Saddle.jpg.445b6adea531b1ce152f15c4e98e9b8b.jpg

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Lots of the early  violins  made in Dublin  had the saddles let in half the thickness of the edge. Of course  they were straight  across  the top, so the slip of ebony is quite thin. Sometimes, over the years the ebony has bent down in the middle and sunk in to the spruce, and has to be replaced. 

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On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 11:19 PM, nathan slobodkin said:

 

Does any one have experience taking the top off an instrument with this type of saddle? How is it done?

I always try to judiciously remove the saddle, and save it in a jam jar with the other bits, before I start to remove a belly

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