H.R.Fisher

High density ?

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1 hour ago, Jim Bress said:

 I also have 0.40 Engleman and 0.46 sitka spruce.  I think there's enough variation in density among spruce and willow spp. that you need to assess the wood individually if the SG is a deciding factor for whether or not it is used. 

I have .30 Engelmann and .54 sitka (not torrefied).  And there are probably wilder variations if you look long enough.

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14 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I have .30 Engelmann and .54 sitka (not torrefied).  And there are probably wilder variations if you look long enough.

Agreed.  I was only listing my heavy weights.  My lightest Engelman is 0.33 SG.

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2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

 

The willow that is used for blocks and linings and that supposedly was used most frequently by Stradivari is the White Willow (Salix Alba). The reddish wood that distinguishes it makes it often confused with the Red Willow, which instead is a shrub that is not good for making blocks.

 

I checked and it seems to be Osier Willow (Salix viminalis) what ive been using. I took some 12-15 cm wide logs, wide enough for neck and tail blocks. havent measured the density yet but i think it's close to spruce at .40-.45. And blimey, there are indeed loads of willow species...the things you need to know as a violin maker :o

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6 hours ago, scordatura said:

Jackson, where do you buy your Paulownia?

World Paulownia Institute, down south. Marty uses it for everything and has another source, so you may wish to ask him as well. 

I like it. I recommend not using it for endblocks, opting for something more resistant to crushing in order to resist the endbutton and neck. 

Paulownia endgrain should be sized very carefully, a little at a time, in several applications, before gluing. If you are impatient, you will fill the block with glue. 

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5 hours ago, JPOWTC said:

Poplar and willow are in same family and there are many species .  The best willow I've had for blocks was White Willow (Salix alba).  SG of this particular log was generally about 0.40, and it works nicely.  The "black" Willow here in Easter NA I've found too heavy generally.  Some poplar species are of really low density - and I know I would likely not be able to determine a 300+ year old block or lining as being either of willow or poplar!

 

2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

 

The willow that is used for blocks and linings and that supposedly was used most frequently by Stradivari is the White Willow (Salix Alba). The reddish wood that distinguishes it makes it often confused with the Red Willow, which instead is a shrub that is not good for making blocks.

Nowadays here in the Po valley it is difficult to find it pure because it is almost always hybridized with poplar, which is cultivated almost everywhere for the paper and plywood industry for many years now, with the result that the wood is different and denser.

The Salix Alba that I use for my blocks and linings has a density of 0.36 g / cm3 and probably comes from Tuscany where there was no hybridization (they do not grow poplars on an industrial scale there).

So,... the reddish wood is White Willow(Salix Alba), not Red Willow.   ( I was one of the confused people. ... got to find out the reddish willow I bought from Bachman Red, or White willow....)

By the way, if not deviate too much from the topic, could I ask, besides its lightness, what makes S.A. so good for lining and blocks?  Easy to bend, stable,  ...etc? 

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54 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

World Paulownia Institute, down south. Marty uses it for everything and has another source, so you may wish to ask him as well. 

I like it. I recommend not using it for endblocks, opting for something more resistant to crushing in order to resist the endbutton and neck. 

Paulownia endgrain should be sized very carefully, a little at a time, in several applications, before gluing. If you are impatient, you will fill the block with glue. 

I've gotten most of my Paulownia from:

Groff & Groff Lumber

858 Scotland Rd.

Quarryville PA 17566

 

groffslumber.com

1-800-342-0001

717-284-0001

 

I've use Paulownia for all my top and back plates,  the upper and corner blocks, and the chin rests.

I have also used it in the past for the ribs but I have recently switched to 0.8mm thick 3 ply birch plywood for the ribs because it is so tough and easy to bend.

I have also used Paulownia in the past for once piece fingerboard/ necks for violas to reduce the instrument's weight as much as possible.   I had to use interior graphite fiber tubes to stiffen it.  Recently I have been thinking that the fingerboard and neck should be heavier so I've been using mahogany instead.  I'll probably go to even more dense wood in the near future for violins for acoustic reasons.

My one piece fingerboard/necks are simply butt joined onto the top surface of the upper bout with a screw coming up through a hole in the back plate.  I can quickly switch fingerboards/necks to do experiments.

IMG_1591 small.jpg

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4 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I've gotten most of my Paulownia from:

Groff & Groff Lumber

858 Scotland Rd.

Quarryville PA 17566

 

groffslumber.com

1-800-342-0001

717-284-0001

 

I've use Paulownia for all my top and back plates,  the upper and corner blocks, and the chin rests.

I have also used it in the past for the ribs but I have recently switched to 0.8mm thick 3 ply birch plywood for the ribs because it is so tough and easy to bend.

I have also used Paulownia in the past for once piece fingerboard/ necks for violas to reduce the instrument's weight as much as possible.   I had to use interior graphite fiber tubes to stiffen it.  Recently I have been thinking that the fingerboard and neck should be heavier so I've been using mahogany instead.  I'll probably go to even more dense wood in the near future for violins for acoustic reasons.

My one piece fingerboard/necks are simply butt joined onto the top surface of the upper bout with a screw coming up through a hole in the back plate.  I can quickly switch fingerboards/necks to do experiments.

IMG_1591 small.jpg

Like most folks [dangerously assuming], I'm hopelessly enamored of the shape, look, finish, etc. of the classical/ traditional violin/viola........

But damn Marty, it is impossible not to appreciate the design and craftsmanship of your fiddles!

Perhaps I've missed them in previous threads but are there any links to sound samples of your instruments...anywhere?

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41 minutes ago, Michael Jennings said:

Like most folks [dangerously assuming], I'm hopelessly enamored of the shape, look, finish, etc. of the classical/ traditional violin/viola........

But damn Marty, it is impossible not to appreciate the design and craftsmanship of your fiddles!

Perhaps I've missed them in previous threads but are there any links to sound samples of your instruments...anywhere?

Thanks for the kind comments.

The only recording in the public domain that I know of is the 2016 recording "Elias Goldstein Demonstrates 17 modern violas at the Oberlin Music Festival" if you do a Yahoo search, or "Modern Viola Demonstration" on YouTube.

A good player (Elias) can make anything sound good.  The important question is: How hard does he have to work at it?

You might notice Elias is a short fellow and that the chin rest was way too high for him (I have a long neck) and  playing was a struggle for him.

 

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5 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I've gotten most of my Paulownia from:

Groff & Groff Lumber

858 Scotland Rd.

Quarryville PA 17566

 

groffslumber.com

1-800-342-0001

717-284-0001

It looks like have some nice wood there, and only a couple hours drive for me. Thanks for the link. 

-Jim 

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3 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Thanks for the kind comments.

The only recording in the public domain that I know of is the 2016 recording "Elias Goldstein Demonstrates 17 modern violas at the Oberlin Music Festival" if you do a Yahoo search, or "Modern Viola Demonstration" on YouTube.

A good player (Elias) can make anything sound good.  The important question is: How hard does he have to work at it?

You might notice Elias is a short fellow and that the chin rest was way too high for him (I have a long neck) and  playing was a struggle for him.

 

Found it.... impressive. I'm a "short fella" as well and....that a lotta viola!

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On 8/14/2019 at 12:34 PM, Don Noon said:

A few confusing tidbits to keep in mind...

1) Trees can be hundreds of years old, so some of cellulose grown in the young years will be a lot older than the rest... but there doesn't seem to be any significant difference in properties between the old rings and new rings, other than the sapwood.

2) Lumber cut in thick beams or even moderately thick billets won't get much exposure to air circulation of the interior wood.

3)  Wood 3 mm thick will have a LOT better exposure to air, oxygen, temperature/humidity variations, and light compared to  either 1) or 2)

4)  Old beams or trees, when cut and thinned, are optically translucent, vs. opaque for wood in old violins... something is different. (based on only 2 samples, but the difference is huge)

So even if we DID have the weight of a wood sample 300 years ago, the environmental conditions of the wood might have more influence on the result than just the age alone.  For sure, the environmental conditions in my torrifying chamber make a major difference.

This is the best insight that I have read on MN in a while. Bravo Don!

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Old beams or trees, when cut and thinned, are optically translucent, vs. opaque for wood in old violins.

Optically translucent = light shines through it ?

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On 8/14/2019 at 9:24 PM, Kae said:

 

So,... the reddish wood is White Willow(Salix Alba), not Red Willow.   ( I was one of the confused people. ... got to find out the reddish willow I bought from Bachman Red, or White willow....)

By the way, if not deviate too much from the topic, could I ask, besides its lightness, what makes S.A. so good for lining and blocks?  Easy to bend, stable,  ...etc? 

Light, stable, easy to work, easy to bend, sufficiently compact and tought for the upper and lower blocks, as light as possible for corner blocks, and don't forget with a nice color:)

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