Violin models without ebony wood?


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56 minutes ago, Jeff White said:

Christian, do you plane it like ebony? (sides are harder to work....)

Yes, upper and lower surface are like a dense fibreboard, kind of similar to ebony in hardness, the sides a like the sides of very dense fibreboard. Blunts your plane quickly. Then on the other side they are very close to final measurement and don't need too much work. I think timewise there is not much difference to ebony, maybe the corene boards are a little quicker to finish.

Maybe corene can be called a black stained high density fibreboard.

 

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On 1/29/2021 at 6:48 PM, David Burgess said:

The other is that among the few synthetic fingerboards I have tested, "plastic deformation" was an issue.  The fingerboard is a major contributor to the strength of the neck, and if the fingerboard deforms easily, (whether in several days, or several years), "Houston, we have a problem". ;)

Why don't modern makers routinely use carbon fiber rods in necks to strengthen them?

I was told by one luthier that today's ebony is not as strong as the ebony used 100 years ago, and he is seeing more modern neck failures because of this.

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I can't speak for violin makers, but carbon fiber rods inserted in Classical Guitar necks is very common these days. I put some in one of my instruments when I made a 10 string for my studies.

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11 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Why don't modern makers routinely use carbon fiber rods in necks to strengthen them?

Some do, but it's rather nasty to work with, compared to wood. Trashes conventional cutting tools, including saws. Trashed a bandsaw blade cutting through a single half-inch dowel.

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1 minute ago, David Burgess said:

Some do, but it's rather nasty to work with, compared to wood. Trashes conventional cutting tools, including saws. Trashed a bandsaw blade cutting through a single half-inch dowel.

I used square carbon fibre rod for my guitar and had no issues cutting it on the bandsaw, it did spark a bit though......................

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8 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

That is what I would expect if IKEA did violins

I am actually surprised that they haven't started getting into musical instruments.

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27 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

I used square carbon fibre rod for my guitar and had no issues cutting it on the bandsaw, it did spark a bit though......................

While the bandsaw blade would still cut wood, let's just say that it was so dulled by that one cut that I decided to retire it and put on a fresh blade. Same happened with a hand hacksaw blade.

An abrasive cutoff wheel would probably be the way to go.

When I had some protruding to the fingerboard gluing surface on a neck, it would bugger up my plane blade in a single stroke. I had to grind it below the surrounding surface with a small abrasive wheel, and carefully remove all the grinding dust, in order to use a plane.

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19 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

While the bandsaw blade would still cut wood, let's just say that it was so dulled by that one cut that I decided to retire it and put on a fresh blade. Same happened with a hand hacksaw blade.

An abrasive cutoff wheel would probably be the way to go.

When I had some protruding to the fingerboard gluing surface on a neck, it would bugger up my plane blade in a single stroke. I had to grind it below the surrounding surface with a small abrasive wheel, and carefully remove all the grinding dust, in order to use a plane.

Hi David,

Yes I can understand how this could occur. I used a bandsaw blade for cutting metal so I saw no ill effects. I'm sure it would have been a different story with a different blade.

For my guitar I put the rod in a routed channel which allowed the rod to sit a few mm below the top level of the neck. I then glued in a piece of the same neck wood over the top of the carbon rod and planned it flat to the rest of the neck. This worked for me and meant I avoided having to plane the rod itself. I'm not sure if this practical for violin making though.

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41 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

A  tube has a higher stiffness/weight ratio than a solid rod.

 

Right, but I think one would need to be very careful that nothing (glue?) could eventually become loose inside, causing a buzz, should lighter weight be an asset.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

Right, but I think one would need to be very careful that nothing (glue?) could eventually become loose inside, causing a buzz, should lighter weight be an asset.

Thanks for the idea!    Inside a neck tube would be a good place for my rattlesnake tails.

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Thanks for the idea!    Inside a neck tube would be a good place for my rattlesnake tails.

There's the story from many years ago at the Salt Lake School: While one student was away at lunch, some others split the bass bar he was fitting down the center, cut a groove in the middle, put bb's in the groove, and glued it back together, leaving no visible trace of what they had done. :)

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56 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

There's the story from many years ago at the Salt Lake School: While one student was away at lunch, some others split the bass bar he was fitting down the center, cut a groove in the middle, put bb's in the groove, and glued it back together, leaving no visible trace of what they had done. :)

I've heard a variant of that story where someone hollowed and put shot in someone else's cello bass bar. Either way, bad karma for sure.

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I don't have any stories of anyone doing anything to someone elses instrument, but I witnessed people doing some bizarre things to their own during my studies :D. Making and fitting necks / fingerboards the wrong scale length was one that people seemed to like doing.

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On 1/27/2021 at 12:28 PM, sphere101 said:

Hi all.  Are there any manufacturers currently producing good-quality violins that don't use ebony wood for the fretboard or fittings?  (I am striking out in my search.) 

9124_violinocarloixcrop_988913.jpg

 

https://www.thestrad.com/lutherie/from-the-strad-calendar-2018-violin-by-andrea-amati-c1566/7305.article

you can buy it from auction houses or reputable dealers :)  

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On 1/31/2021 at 6:07 PM, gowan said:

Two extremely hard woods are lignum vitae and ipe.  I saw somewhere that Lynn Hannings used ipe as a bow wood.  Of course it is a rain forest wood.  It is widely used to make decks with.

I made a huge deck with it. Was like "marimba" blocks.  Crazy hard , stuff won't even burn (very easily).

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On 1/27/2021 at 9:28 AM, sphere101 said:

Hi all.  Are there any manufacturers currently producing good-quality violins that don't use ebony wood for the fretboard or fittings?  (I am striking out in my search.) 

Ebony is useful because it's such a hard wood and can take the hours of playing a violinist is able to dish out.  Is the non-ebony fingerboard as hard as ebony?  BTW...I've paid up to $300 for a high quality ebony fingerboard that's easily 30 years old.  A lot better than what's being sold on eBay.

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