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Rib Taper hypothesis #43,759


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20 hours ago, Bruce Carlson said:

Hello François,

From the cutaway on the original part of the neck that was filled in, where the heel of the neck goes around and rests up against the edge, the distance to the actual upper nut is 124-125 mm. The little notch or cut you speak about (which you can see on both sides of the neck) is approximately 1 to 1,5 mm below the actual position of the upper nut. Close to +/- 1mm on the treble and +/- 1,5mm on the bass side. I don't think there is any way of determining that this is an original mark by 'del Gesù' or not. I think not, because the gluing surface of the fingerboard has been reworked on a number of occasions. When I put the new fingerboard back on I put it in the same place as the other board which is a little above that mark but allows some extra neck length, about a millimeter.

I presume you're talking about this little mark on the neck, underneath the fingerboard near the upper nut????

1525044417_Uppernuttrebleside.jpg.583a4623f6b2a0201c82fc5d0d323efb.jpg                 1500021221_Uppernutbassside.jpg.00ee168d063b63a98e5013355aa57ce9.jpg

Exactly I was speaking of that marks-

What about the idea that the baroque neck length could apply from the rib ? 

Like there are good argues for the both possibilities, that makes any analysis of a ratio  more complicated :( 

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3 minutes ago, francoisdenis said:

Exactly I was speaking of that marks-

What about the idea that the baroque neck length could apply from the rib ? 

Like there are good argues for the both possibilities, that makes any analysis of a ratio  more complicated :( 

I believe that the neck was adapted to the rib while the ribs were still on the form for easy alignment to the centerline of the instrument. Then, once fitted, the ribs were removed from the form and the neck was glued and nailed to the upper rib.

If they were working this way, the belly was not yet in place.

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4 minutes ago, David Beard said:

Well that is interesting!!

The 'Harrison' Stradivari in the National Music Museum and I belive another Amati violin have also been lengthened in the same manner but enough wood was added to make a modern mortise into the body. You can still see the relief (rebate, rabbet) in the original necks.

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On 11/8/2020 at 10:10 PM, Bruce Carlson said:

The Lady Blunt has a bridge stop of 195mm and an original fingerboard gluing surface of 120mm. We're missing more or less a centimeter somewhere.....

That comes in closer to a golden section.......

having baroque exemples of the use of  the ratio 1-2 ; 2-3 ,-3-5 ...It could be a ratio of the Fibonacci serie  (195/13*8=120mm ) ....difficult to confirm anyway

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9 minutes ago, Bruce Carlson said:

I believe that the neck was adapted to the rib while the ribs were still on the form for easy alignment to the centerline of the instrument. Then, once fitted, the ribs were removed from the form and the neck was glued and nailed to the upper rib.

If they were working this way, the belly was not yet in place.

So at that stage the reference could remain the ribs but..

we still have to make the notch on the neck which could serve to the same purpose   :(

 

PS:It is a detail but you think  that the neck is first adjusted to the rib on the form then fixed on the ribs (without the form)

Do we have evidence of that (except the long time rejected hypothesis of R Hargrave)

Because brief  history of the making process suggest that another process could have been followed.

 

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33 minutes ago, francoisdenis said:

Do we have evidence of that (except the long time rejected hypothesis of R Hargrave)

Because brief  history of the making process suggest that another process could have been followed.

 

It seems to me that Hargrave's hypothesis is plausible, who rejected it and on what basis?

What is the alternative you propose?

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58 minutes ago, francoisdenis said:

PS:It is a detail but you think  that the neck is first adjusted to the rib on the form then fixed on the ribs (without the form)

Do we have evidence of that (except the long time rejected hypothesis of R Hargrave)

Because brief  history of the making process suggest that another process could have been followed.

 

How could the nails be inserted with the ribs still on the form? The form would be in the way.

I wasn't aware of Hargrave's hypothesis being rejected in a meaningful way. It does a nice job of explaining the asymmetry we see. Do you have an alternate explanation for the asymmetry?

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Just now, David Burgess said:

How could the nails be inserted with the ribs still on the form? The form would be in the way.

I am not aware of Hargrave's hypothesis being rejected. It does a nice job of explaining the asymmetry we see. Do you have an alternate explanation for the asymmetry?

Hi David, I think the neck was only fitted while on the form for proper initial alignment. Then the ribs were popped off the form and the neck was nailed and glued. What Roger describes about asymmetry is possible when you only have the two locating pins at the neck block and the end block to keep things straight. The scribe line on the inside  of the back and belly marking out the rib outline while the ribs were still on the form does not always correspond exactly to the rib line when it is off the form. I have found this scribe line on some instruments underneath the original varnish, that is to say, away from the actual rib position.

 

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3 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

It seems to me that Hargrave's hypothesis is plausible, who rejected it and on what basis?

What is the alternative you propose?

I will say that the minimum for an hypothesis is to be at least "plausible" . What I say is that Roger's observations which support his hypothesis  has been rejected because 

many have made the experience that the motion of the neck doesn't affect the corners that way. 

So that remains for me an hypothesis among others

I will have  a lot to say on this topic - because the study of the Roger's paper is a good example of how from a good question , a fine observation  you can end to a wrong conclusion. 

 I don't want to go further because I know that a kind of "consensus" among the violin makers  exist about the validity this hypothesis and it is a minor topic for me .

Another way I tried which works well

-glue the garland on the back

-drill the holes in the upper blocks

-glue the heel first in place (then wait few minutes)

- introduce the glue between the neck and the ribs

-nailed

Like that nothing is moving and you keep a perfect control on all the parameters

They would have  also some historical points which worth to be discussed

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17 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

. Do you have an alternate explanation for the asymmetry?

That's the point - If I remember correctly the Roger's paper, the pictures of the article show that he is using an half template hanged by two pins (a way probably learnt at the Newark school)

the result of this making process is the drawing of  a perfectly symmetrical shape

From this point the  question  of Roger  " why the corners are asymmetrical" has to be solved from a process which doesn't follow the original. (I don't know if you follow me:)

I mean his question arrive too late.

If you make a form with a hand saw a rasp and these littles corners from the very beginning, you quickly understand that the question is "how I could be symmetrical" rather than the opposite!

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58 minutes ago, francoisdenis said:

 

-glue the garland on the back

-drill the holes in the upper blocks

-glue the heel first in place (then wait few minutes)

- introduce the glue between the neck and the ribs

-nailed

 

Why attach the back to the ribs, before attaching the neck?  Attaching the neck to the ribs before attaching the back allows simply planing the neck/upper block assembly flush and flat in preparation for attaching the back, rather than the more complicated procedure of fitting and gluing the neck after the back has been attached.

If one of the plates was to be attached before installing the neck, wouldn't a smoother workflow come from attaching the top first?  That too would allow the use of a plane to true the bottom of the neck/upper-block assembly for attachment of the back.

It might even be a weak explanation for the upper block typically having a reduced height, compared to the other blocks.

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39 minutes ago, francoisdenis said:

That's the point - If I remember correctly the Roger's paper, the pictures of the article show that he is using an half template hanged by two pins (a way probably learnt at the Newark school)

the result of this making process is the drawing of  a perfectly symmetrical shape

 

I think that's Roger's point, that precision which may have existed in the  rib assembly goes out the window, once the ribs are removed from the form. And moreso, if and when the neck/rib assembly is tweaked to refine the neck alignment.

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1 hour ago, francoisdenis said:

 

 

43 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Why attach the back to the ribs, before attaching the neck?  Attaching the neck to the ribs before attaching the back allows simply planing the neck/upper block assembly flush and flat in preparation for attaching the back, rather than the more complicated procedure of fitting and gluing the neck after the back has been attached.

I was more questioning the solidity of the evidences of the process .

I tried the both ways and  was more quick and at ease with the one I explained but it is personal. 

You can try on your side and discuss after. But....please let me drawn your attention on one point 

the heel is very souple in the baroque setting . At the opposite of the modern setting,  that allowe a great among of variation in the angle 
without any incidence on the final result

so at the end the accuracy of the angle is not anymore a  problem (like it is in our modern way of setting the neck)

Our experience influence our imagination. I constantly struggle with that all the time for myself :)
Our culture, the way we have been trained  is so difficult to surrender...

 

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13 minutes ago, francoisdenis said:

Your  question is a good example of how the starting point of our questioning often lead us to a wrong conclusion...

...Our culture, the way we have been trained  is so difficult to surrender...

On my end, the method I have suggested (and that suggested by Roger) is quite different from the way I was trained. I was trained as a restorer, always fitting a neck to a complete body assembly. I don't have any '"formal" training in making, such as having attended a violin making school.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I think that's Roger's point, that precision which may have existed in the  rib assembly goes out the window, once the ribs are removed from the form. And moreso, if and when the neck/rib assembly is tweaked to refine the neck alignment.

Remove garland from form. Hammer nails through block and ribs into neck most of the way. Re-attach to garland, align neck and set the angle by bending. Brush on glue and hammer neck home. 

The rib taper will also help sight a line along the corner blocks to get the neck set just right.

The neck heel could be a block shape at this point, the better for hammering.

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9 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

On my end, the method I have suggested (and that suggested by Roger) is quite different from the way I was trained. 

I don't see a real contradiction, we have been trained in a certain way and we have to imagine something different. Our imaginations will start by drawing on what is familiar to us.
It's a very natural process that I personally find it hard to escape.
I envy those for whom this is not a problem.
 
 
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2 hours ago, francoisdenis said:

I will say that the minimum for an hypothesis is to be at least "plausible" . What I say is that Roger's observations which support his hypothesis  has been rejected because many have made the experience that the motion of the neck doesn't affect the corners that way. 

So that remains for me an hypothesis among others

I agree on this, every hypothesis will always remain a hypothesis, and must be considered as such. This applies to everyone, it will never be possible to arrive at conclusive and incontrovertible things, and frankly often think of the futility of getting there in any case. If Stradivari hadn't been in touch with Amati's methods, I think he wouldn't have wasted time making assumptions, he would have found his method that worked for him, and I don't rule out that there were different methods among makers at the time too.
 
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Davide is right, of course, but it's still interesting to speculate.  My question is whether the idea that there should be a direct relationship between neck length and bridge location isn't a modern assumption that may not have been true for Amati or Strad. I suspect it may have been more complicated than that.

Also, I've made several baroque violins over the years, using Hargrave's technique, and have found it to work just fine. I find his analysis to be brilliant, including the little hole in the pegbox, etc.  I added a way to keep the c bouts centered on the center line as well, but the method he describes works, and is very fast. I see no reason to question his theory, so far as it goes.

If you take the time to center the neck root carefully then you should get a pretty symmetrical outline no matter which method you use, but if the neck is off center then things get more interesting, and the method shows itself - take the Conte Vitale as an extreme example.

ps. long ago I stopped nailing necks to violins, after I had to "modernize" one of my baroque violins that had a nailed-on neck - what a huge PITA that was. 

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2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

I don't rule out that there were different methods among makers at the time too.

you are probably right...

I remember reading Roger's article with great interest, finding it very stimulating  but;  as soon as  I started making woodenforms by hand and then making corners with the little templates ,I came across troubles managing the symmetry of the shape. So my pb was no longer the asymmetry but the symmetry... Afterwards I realized that the angle adjustment could affected only the top contour in a small amount (and not the corners or only one). Then I  compared many outlines and found that it didn't seem to work as the article said. In short, It ended up  that, following my expérience,  this  hypothesis remains plausible for the setting of the neck but has nor  (or only a minor asymmetrical) effect .

just to say that it's not so obvious to me 
 

 

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