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Custom Pernambuco Chinrest?


Spelman
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With Pernambuco  being listed on the CITES endangered species list, the usual fittings makers might be leary to take this on due to the difficulty in getting lumber. I did see a site that sold CITES certified reclaimed Pernambuco, but I they had $2000 minimum order, and a flat $200 shipping fee.

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On 10/26/2022 at 1:15 PM, Spelman said:

I have a fiddle with all pernambuco fittings, except for the chinrest. Can anyone recommend a maker who could make me one?

I'd like a lifted ohrenform/berber model.

Thanks!

Couldn't that stain your chin red?  :huh:  Some other similarly-colored wood might be a better choice.  :)

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27 minutes ago, Zeissica said:

Something to consider is that Pernambuco wood is a somewhat toxic material and may cause a rash, irritation or allergic reaction on your chin, unless fully sealed with varnish. I'd personally recommend using another wood of similar look/color for a chinrest. 

 

20 minutes ago, Brad Dorsey said:

I have seen bow makers’ hands that were stained a brilliant purple from pernambuco.  It’s from a chemical reaction with skin and perspiration, so it doesn’t wash off.  It gradually fades over a few days.

I don't know if a pernambuco chinrest will stain your skin, but surely, once the protective wax layer or similar is lost, it will react with sweat, taking on a very dark and stained color. I have seen a few in these conditions, and they are not very appealing, not to mention the possible reactions with allergic people. I wouldn't feel like recommending them, but if you really want to use them, some kind of protection would be recommended to avoid direct contact with bare wood.

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18 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

I have seen bow makers’ hands that were stained a brilliant purple from pernambuco.  It’s from a chemical reaction with skin and perspiration, so it doesn’t wash off.  It gradually fades over a few days.

Yes, pernumbuco was originally imported in large quantities as a fabric dye. A bowmaker I used to work with said that every time he washed his clothes, it would turn the water purple.

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2 hours ago, David Rosales said:

Don't mean to hijack this thread, but is there any particular reason the industry has settled on Boxwood, Rosewood, and Ebony as the primary materials for fittings? 

 

Why not maple, beech, oak, or some other hardwood?

IMHO, boxwood, rosewood, and ebony are at the intersection of wear resistance, ease of carving to a given shape, and appearance, Other woods have been tried, and failed to satisfy the market.  :)

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2 hours ago, David Rosales said:

Don't mean to hijack this thread, but is there any particular reason the industry has settled on Boxwood, Rosewood, and Ebony as the primary materials for fittings? 

 

Why not maple, beech, oak, or some other hardwood?

Those woods may be hard enough for chinrests but not for pegs. Rosewood is barely hard enough IMHO.

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On 10/28/2022 at 12:02 PM, David Rosales said:

Don't mean to hijack this thread, but is there any particular reason the industry has settled on Boxwood, Rosewood, and Ebony as the primary materials for fittings? 

Here's my take on things:
Boxwood is the aesthetic preference for some people, and it machines cleanly and easily while putting minimal wear on the cutting tools, compared to other woods. I don't know of any other advantages, except that during the time when the Hill shop was manufacturing boxwood pegs, they installed them on many high-level violins, so some people may still associate that with high-level violins.

Rosewood too has its own aesthetic, and has some interesting self-lubricating properties which can minimize the hard line between sticking and slipping, compared to some other woods. Once again, I don't know of any other advantages. One major disadvantage may be that most customs agents will not be able to tell the difference between protected species of rosewood, versus others.

I have used only ebony fittings as original equipment for many years now (aside from the plastic and metal tailpieces I use on cellos), because that is what has seemed to work out best in the long run.

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The floating question had to do with mesquite. Wood that floats had a density of less than !.00.  Pernambuco density hovers around this floating point. A chinrest, if strong enough structurally doesn't need to be a "sinker" but, to put up with tuning dynamics, I think the pegs should be. Tailpiece? Don't know.

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I cut off the extra on 4 tp blanks and dropped them in water. One said England on it and one said France. Another was a piece from Salonika that Bill Watson gave me from the old Hill shop. Only one sunk and it was none of those. So I gather that the tree itself determines the density of the wood. As you surely know, what passes for boxwood these days is sporadic at best. I haven't tried giugulo which Strad used. Perhaps Eric Fouilhe will see this and enlighten us.

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