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On 1/13/2021 at 7:59 PM, Nestorvass said:

I was thinking to make a shooting board but my wooden jointer doesnt have square sides to be used on one. The shooting board could also be very useful for squaring the blocks. Its what they where designed to do making end grain square...

If God intended us to use shooting boards and planes to square up blocks, She wouldn't have created disk sanders.

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13 hours ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

If God intended us to use shooting boards and planes to square up blocks, She wouldn't have created disk sanders.

Even better why not use a CNC? You press start and you will have a violin top ready for scraping (or probably sanding in your case) in minutes. That's not the point though is it? Violin making by a luthier (not cheap chinese instruments)  is one of the few crafts that have been left untouched by time and they are built almost exactly  like they where built 300 years ago from the old masters. Its not about speed or precision. Its about taking the time to make something in your hands that is the fun part. Personally I'd be way prouder if i squared a block  with a block plane instead of puting it in a disk sander for 3 seconds. Anyone can do the latter but not the first.

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14 minutes ago, Nestorvass said:

Even better why not use a CNC? You press start and you will have a violin top ready for scraping (or probably sanding in your case) in minutes. That's not the point though is it? Violin making by a luthier (not cheap chinese instruments)  is one of the few crafts that have been left untouched by time and they are built almost exactly  like they where built 300 years ago from the old masters. Its not about speed or precision. Its about taking the time to make something in your hands that is the fun part. Personally I'd be way prouder if i squared a block  with a block plane instead of puting it in a disk sander for 3 seconds. Anyone can do the latter but not the first.

Consider me put in my place.

:D

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3 hours ago, Nestorvass said:

Even better why not use a CNC? .... Its not about speed or precision. Its about taking the time to make something in your hands that is the fun part.

Even the old masters had apprentices to do the drudge work.  My apprentices just happen to be made out of metal and motors, and are very fast and precise, and I don't have to pay them much.  And I don't worry about catching covid19 from them.

Every maker has their own balance enjoyment vs. effort of creation, both mental and physical.  Folks who enjoy using handsaws and cutting purfling grooves by hand don't bother me at all... but it's not for me for several reasons.  My apprentices can plane perfect joints and flatten joined plates in seconds, and I can spend my time refining arching and varnishing, which I think is a more efficient and enjoyable way to get where I want to go in what limited time I have left.  For those who make for a living and have clients waiting, time and efficiency become very important factors.

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I will add my two cents:

I believe great looking and great sounding violins can be made with quite different approaches (or anything in-between):

- They can be made by makers that use all hand tools as well as by those that use the latest power tools/technology (including CNCs). 

- They can be made by those that cook their own varnish and make their own pigments as well as by those that buy commercial varnish and pigments. 

- They can be made by those that read and embrace the latest science as well as those that rely solely on experience and intuition.

In the end, I think it is the result that counts. When I see a great looking instrument (antiqued or pristine) made by a single maker anywhere in the world it is my assumption that it took the given maker years of study, practice, trial and error and lots of hard work to get there. There are no easy buttons. I have great respect for anyone who is able to make such instruments no matter how they do it.  

This is based on my own limited experience as an (amateur) maker who keeps his work well hidden from public view ;-)

Re the original topic: I use a power jointer to flatten backs/tops and establish a square edge. I then use a No.8 jointer on a shooting board to do the fine work before I glue using parallel clamps.

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3 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Even the old masters had apprentices to do the drudge work.  My apprentices just happen to be made out of metal and motors, and are very fast and precise, and I don't have to pay them much.  And I don't worry about catching covid19 from them.

Every maker has their own balance enjoyment vs. effort of creation, both mental and physical.  Folks who enjoy using handsaws and cutting purfling grooves by hand don't bother me at all... but it's not for me for several reasons.  My apprentices can plane perfect joints and flatten joined plates in seconds, and I can spend my time refining arching and varnishing, which I think is a more efficient and enjoyable way to get where I want to go in what limited time I have left.  For those who make for a living and have clients waiting, time and efficiency become very important factors.

I respect that, whatever works for everyone. I am just saying that I respect much more a person who is able to do this by hand than a person who uses machines. I am planning to do this for a living. I study nuclear physics right now in the University of athens. After I receive my degree, I plan to go to the army (its mandatory in greece) learn Italian and go to Cremona to study violin making. Stilli believe that I will continue to use hand tools then, as most of the makers in Cremona who dont use power tools aside from perhaps a bandsaw or a drill maybe. Thats part of the reason why these instruments cost that much. If I was looking for an instrument which was touched by a cnc. Aside from the instrument I am also paying for the skill of the worker, not his computers. 

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2 hours ago, Geigenbauer said:

I will add my two cents:

I believe great looking and great sounding violins can be made with quite different approaches (or anything in-between):

- They can be made by makers that use all hand tools as well as by those that use the latest power tools/technology (including CNCs). 

- They can be made by those that cook their own varnish and make their own pigments as well as by those that buy commercial varnish and pigments. 

- They can be made by those that read and embrace the latest science as well as those that rely solely on experience and intuition.

In the end, I think it is the result that counts. When I see a great looking instrument (antiqued or pristine) made by a single maker anywhere in the world it is my assumption that it took the given maker years of study, practice, trial and error and lots of hard work to get there. There are no easy buttons. I have great respect for anyone who is able to make such instruments no matter how they do it.  

This is based on my own limited experience as an (amateur) maker who keeps his work well hidden from public view ;-)

Re the original topic: I use a power jointer to flatten backs/tops and establish a square edge. I then use a No.8 jointer on a shooting board to do the fine work before I glue using parallel clamps.

I dont think it takes the same amount of skill to upload a cad file to the cnc and carve out a plate as it does when someone makes it with his hands and a gouge. Its common sense. Thank you for the input as to how you make the center joint

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4 minutes ago, Nestorvass said:

I dont think it takes the same amount of skill to upload a cad file to the cnc and carve out a plate as it does when someone makes it with his hands and a gouge.

There's still the need  for scraping and varnishing (not trivial), and assembling the parts, not to mention the knowledge that is needed to generate the cad file to start with.  A good, experienced maker with a CNC IMO would make a better-performing violin than the average maker could by hand.  However, if you value the aesthetics of how the instrument is made, that's something else.

Like Geigenbauer, I have made violins mostly the "normal" way first (for 10 years) before starting with CNC.  The knowledge gained in those first 10 years I think is critical to knowing what a good instrument should be, and I look forward to better tools allowing me to create what I want, rather than be limited by my woodworking skills and non-infinite patience.

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23 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

There's still the need  for scraping and varnishing (not trivial), and assembling the parts, not to mention the knowledge that is needed to generate the cad file to start with.  A good, experienced maker with a CNC IMO would make a better-performing violin than the average maker could by hand.  However, if you value the aesthetics of how the instrument is made, that's something else.

Like Geigenbauer, I have made violins mostly the "normal" way first (for 10 years) before starting with CNC.  The knowledge gained in those first 10 years I think is critical to knowing what a good instrument should be, and I look forward to better tools allowing me to create what I want, rather than be limited by my woodworking skills and non-infinite patience.

I value the aesthetics of how the instruent is made a lot. Perhaps even more than how it looks. Let me explain. I'd be way happier if i had an instrument full of scraper marks than a glossy instrument which had been sanded and buffed with a wheel. I am sure your violins are great. I don't believe that your instruments or anyones who is using machines are worse than somebody elses that uses just hand tools. Both ways will get you there. But I do find an appeal in a handmade violin. If a cnc or jointer has touched an instrument it stops being handmade. When a customer looks for a fine handmade violin he is not just paying for for the final product. He pays for the luthier's skill for his time his patience and most importantly for something which was built almost exactly like it would have been built 300 years ago. It is admirable that this profession, at least in cremona, has not been touched by time. Why destroy it by using machines and cncs and jointers? Violin making in my mind is not just about where you get (final result)  but also how you got there, if that makes sense.

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50 minutes ago, Geigenbauer said:

Although I am apparently lacking common sense then, I will say that I have tried both: carving plates by hand as well as designing plates in a CAD software and cutting them on a CNC. IMHO both ways are not easy...;-)

Maybe you didn't take the time to carve the plates properly then. Either that or yes you may not have common sense. Its ok not all people do :)

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31 minutes ago, Nestorvass said:

Maybe you didn't take the time to carve the plates properly then. Either that or yes you may not have common sense. Its ok not all people do :)

Come on, stop this.

You're on violin one, and are now lecturing others how they should do it, despite having to ask advice on how to glue a back?

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Just now, Wood Butcher said:

Come on, stop this.

You're on violin one, and are now lecturing others how they should do it, despite having to ask advice on how to glue a back?

Agree, I see that so many folks who never worked with CAD or CNC have the strongest opinions. It's not like "Barbie dreamhouse" - you press a button and violins start coming out of the machine you just bought. Don's and Gaigenbauer's words are very valid. They know what they are doing Both with handtools and CNC. The work of best hand makers is truly spectacular and you would be hard pressed to find tool marks and defects of workmanship even inside the box (just see the Davide Sora videos).

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40 minutes ago, Nestorvass said:

I value the aesthetics of how the instruent is made a lot. Perhaps even more than how it looks. Let me explain. I'd be way happier if i had an instrument full of scraper marks than a glossy instrument which had been sanded and buffed with a wheel. I am sure your violins are great. I don't believe that your instruments or anyones who is using machines are worse than somebody elses that uses just hand tools. Both ways will get you there. But I do find an appeal in a handmade violin. If a cnc or jointer has touched an instrument it stops being handmade. When a customer looks for a fine handmade violin he is not just paying for for the final product. He pays for the luthier's skill for his time his patience and most importantly for something which was built almost exactly like it would have been built 300 years ago. It is admirable that this profession, at least in cremona, has not been touched by time. Why destroy it by using machines and cncs and jointers? Violin making in my mind is not just about where you get (final result)  but also how you got there, if that makes sense.

I am with you, and I really appreciate what you point out about the significance of manual work vs machine "aided".

However, to avoid that you will be disappointed when you come here in Cremona and you will find out for yourself after stay for some time in the luthier community, I warn you that not everyone here works as you think, the "machines" have infiltrated the work of some even if almost nobody admits it publicly, which is the worst thing. Here there are too many luthiers to be all "pure makers": even if they remain the majority, in the pile there is everything from best to worst.

I respect everyone's freedom to work as they please, I have no prejudices and I particularly appreciate those who honestly do it without feeling the need to hide their working systems from their potential customers, enabling them to make their informed choices for what they like, be it the added value of manual labor or the efficiency of machine-aided work.

So, although I may disagree, hats off to those on this forum who openly discuss their traditionally "unconventional" working system, it is by no means a foregone "intellectual honesty" here in Cremona and in Italy in general.

 

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36 minutes ago, HoGo said:

Agree, I see that so many folks who never worked with CAD or CNC have the strongest opinions. It's not like "Barbie dreamhouse" - you press a button and violins start coming out of the machine you just bought. Don's and Gaigenbauer's words are very valid. They know what they are doing Both with handtools and CNC. The work of best hand makers is truly spectacular and you would be hard pressed to find tool marks and defects of workmanship even inside the box (just see the Davide Sora videos).

I have seen Mr. Sora's videos. It's what I've been following and on of the reasons that I was intetested in violin making in the first place. I know about cnc I've used one and I especially know cad extremely well. I also made a form in cad and uploaded it in the forum for anyone to make on the cnc. I am not against that. What I am against is taking something as traditional as violin making and using cncs to do it. Sure it's efficient, precise and useful but why destroy a profession which has been so well preserved  all these years just for the sake of making something fast? If we continue like this in a few years the old way of violin making will fade away and will only be in history books. Anyway it's my opinion yours is different we agree to disagree.

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9 minutes ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

The thing is "mate", next time you come asking for free advice from very experienced people, you might get tumbleweeds.

They are more than welcome to not give me their advice then. I never forced anyone to reply to this post. After a certain point I expressed an opinion there was a constructive argument and that's it. Anyone who is offended by that is a bit oversensitive and honestly I don't want advice from such people anyway.

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8 minutes ago, Nestorvass said:

They are more than welcome to not give me their advice then. I never forced anyone to reply to this post. After a certain point I expressed an opinion there was a constructive argument and that's it. Anyone who is offended by that is a bit oversensitive and honestly I don't want advice from such people anyway.

Honestly, man, for myself I couldn't give a hoot. But I can assure you, you'll get more out of folks if you wind it back a bit.

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15 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

I am with you, and I really appreciate what you point out about the significance of manual work vs machine "aided".

However, to avoid that you will be disappointed when you come here in Cremona and you will find out for yourself after stay for some time in the luthier community, I warn you that not everyone here works as you think, the "machines" have infiltrated the work of some even if almost nobody admits it publicly, which is the worst thing. Here there are too many luthiers to be all "pure makers": even if they remain the majority, in the pile there is everything from best to worst.

I respect everyone's freedom to work as they please, I have no prejudices and I particularly appreciate those who honestly do it without feeling the need to hide their working systems from their potential customers, enabling them to make their informed choices for what they like, be it the added value of manual labor or the efficiency of machine-aided work.

So, although I may disagree, hats off to those on this forum who openly discuss their traditionally "unconventional" working system, it is by no means a foregone "intellectual honesty" here in Cremona and in Italy in general.

 

Mr. Sora I respect anyone's will to do as they please. Violin making should be fun. If someone has fun making it with cnc then great. I don't see the appeal, but some people do. And like I said my opinion something which has been kept untouched for so many years, it would be a pitty to ruin it by using modern methods. It's like a live chapter of history. This is unique to a very limited number of professions. Thats why I don't like machines. I don't mind using machines when doing woodworking (though even there I mostly use hand tools) but when it comes to violins, I would rather ruin my violin plates and turn it all into plane shavings, in my pursue to make the center joint properly, than to use my jointer (I have one). As for the luthiers in Cremona who use machines if they admit it it's ok. However they shouldn't charge as much as you do, who is using gouges, purfling markers instead of dremel jigs, scrapers for finish instead of sandpaper. Though the fact that they don't admit it probably means that they charge for a fully handmade instrument and that's unfair because machines are more efficient.

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2 minutes ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

Honestly, man, for myself I couldn't give a hoot. But I can assure you, you'll get more out of folks if you wind it back a bit.

 I didn't force my opinion I simply expressed it. I am allowed to that and I am truly not interested to get anything out of anyone who doesn't respect that. 

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1 minute ago, Nestorvass said:

 I didn't force my opinion I simply expressed it. I am allowed to that and I am truly not interested to get anything out of anyone who doesn't respect that. 

You're allowed to fart in an elevator, but it won't make you very popular.

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4 minutes ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

You're allowed to fart in an elevator, but it won't make you very popular.

Ah ok so because I said that violin making should be done with hand tools it's not going to make me very popular.  What a great analogy you did right there. Congratulations very classy and thoughtful, totally the same thing:lol:

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