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Bridge cutting


FiddleMkr

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10 hours ago, Dennis J said:

Keep in mind that the ability of people to believe in fables is almost infinite. It is a bit like the proposition that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere somehow regulate the earth's temperature.

The ability for people to have a politically convenient ignorance is what is infinite; especially in light of today’s technology and all the information you have at your fingertips. If you believe that carbon dioxide doesn’t keep the earth warm you are fooling yourself. The fact is, if there was no carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the earth would be frozen solid. 

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2 hours ago, FiddleMkr said:

The ability for people to have a politically convenient ignorance is what is infinite; especially in light of today’s technology and all the information you have at your fingertips. If you believe that carbon dioxide doesn’t keep the earth warm you are fooling yourself. The fact is, if there was no carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the earth would be frozen solid. 

All too often on Maestronet, I see some poor grandchild or widow asking innocently about the violin left to them by their beloved relation or friend only to have their hopes and fond memories cruelly dashed by the "kindling" pronouncement!

Rather than adding to the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere perhaps these pyromaniac violin judges should change their  customary cry to "compost!"?

I wonder if there could be a business opportunity here - offering violin burial services complete with biodegradable coffin case to the owners of these 'heirloom' instruments, this way the owners will be able honour the memory of their loved one and do the right thing for the planet.

Burying a viola will be subsidised as it stores more carbon! (Sorry!)

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54 minutes ago, Andrew tkinson said:

All too often on Maestronet, I see some poor grandchild or widow asking innocently about the violin left to them by their beloved relation or friend only to have their hopes and fond memories cruelly dashed by the "kindling" pronouncement!

Rather than adding to the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere perhaps these pyromaniac violin judges should change their  customary cry to "compost!"?

I wonder if there could be a business opportunity here - offering violin burial services complete with biodegradable coffin case to the owners of these 'heirloom' instruments, this way the owners will be able honour the memory of their loved one and do the right thing for the planet.

Burying a viola will be subsidised as it stores more carbon! (Sorry!)

We already have a company locally that offers an appropriate solution.

https://violastorage.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/IMG_2602.png

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On 7/28/2023 at 12:06 PM, jacobsaunders said:

Over the years, there has been a preponderance of threads from handymen who suspect that carving the bridge blank is superfluous, and is only a subterfuge that violin makers can write a stiff invoice. One could observe that arguing has invariably proved futile

 

On 7/28/2023 at 1:46 PM, The Violin Beautiful said:

This is a frustratingly persistent issue on Fiddle Hangout and Violinist.com as well.

The OP will post a thread asking whether parts of the process are important or not despite having already decided that they aren’t, and will then proceed to discount all the responses from luthiers that say that there are no superfluous parts of the process. There will often be some kind of claim that the OP just “wants to ask questions to understand the reasoning,” but it’s clear that the only information that they want to hear is anything that validates their own opinions. From there things tend to devolve as everyone gets annoyed. 

I agree with the above, but with an open forum it's something to expect I'm afraid.

I've kept quiet on this thread for just that reason...

At this point, to avoid debating the earth's carbon footprint or the answer to the question of "life, the universe and everything" I'll simply state the following:

Michael is correct. We only know what we know... and I'd add there is usually plenty more to discover.

Many of us here have had decades of experience refining our own procedures for the cutting of bridges. Some of us go to the effort of designing custom blanks and having them produced from hand selected wood... or sorting through hundreds of commercially available blanks for those with the density, respective hardness, design and grain orientation that works well for our approach. This is then enhanced by years of experience and experimentation.  All this is critically dependent on those who have gone before us (I'm absolutely sure that a vast majority of restorers have a collection of bridges thought worthy of saving, or photographs & measurements of those that seem to have stood the test of time on a good instrument.. (and the specifics in terms of model and construction of the instrument it's on).

Understanding what "works" for our clients is a culmination of all the previous factors... and probably some factors I've neglected to mention.  I welcome research on the subject... and though I don't expected a breakthrough to occur because of it, it can tend to confirm if we're going in the "right" direction, provide better understanding what we are perceiving or warn us we have strayed off the playing field.

If this is a "black art", so be it.  I've always simply considered that, when desired results are achieved, it's simply good craftsmanship... and the lengths many of us go through to reach a level we feel that is what we offer can't really effectively communicate the details in a few paragraphs on the internet... what we do know can be transferred to others through training, however, as has become very evident to me working with my daughter in the shop.

Carry on folks!

 

 

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1 hour ago, Andrew tkinson said:

All too often on Maestronet, I see some poor grandchild or widow asking innocently about the violin left to them by their beloved relation or friend only to have their hopes and fond memories cruelly dashed by the "kindling" pronouncement!

Rather than adding to the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere perhaps these pyromaniac violin judges should change their  customary cry to "compost!"?

I wonder if there could be a business opportunity here - offering violin burial services complete with biodegradable coffin case to the owners of these 'heirloom' instruments, this way the owners will be able honour the memory of their loved one and do the right thing for the planet.

Burying a viola will be subsidised as it stores more carbon! (Sorry!)

I hate to rain on your joke but decomposing wood still releases co2 into the atmosphere, just not as fast as burning. The big difference between wood and fossil fuels of course is that the carbon in fossil fuels was pulled out of the atmosphere millions of years ago, instead of a few hundred, and hydrocarbons don’t contain oxygen, so when they burn they also reduce the oxygen level in the air, (as well as add co2). 

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9 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

 

I agree with the above, but with an open forum it's something to expect I'm afraid.

I've kept quiet on this thread for just that reason...

At this point, to avoid debating the earth's carbon footprint or the answer to the question of "life, the universe and everything" I'll simply state the following:

Michael is correct. We only know what we know... and I'd add there is usually plenty more to discover.

Many of us here have had decades of experience refining our own procedures for the cutting of bridges. Some of us go to the effort of designing custom blanks and having them produced from hand selected wood... or sorting through hundreds of commercially available blanks for those with the density, respective hardness, design and grain orientation that works well for our approach. This is then enhanced by years of experience and experimentation.  All this is critically dependent on those who have gone before us (I'm absolutely sure that a vast majority of restorers have a collection of bridges thought worthy of saving, or photographs & measurements of those that seem to have stood the test of time on a good instrument.. and the specifics in terms of model and construction of the instrument it's on).

Understanding what "works" for our clients is a culmination of all the previous factors... and probably some factors I've neglected to mention.  I welcome research on the subject... and though I don't expected a breakthrough to occur because of it, it can tend to confirm if we're going in the "right" direction, provide better understanding what we are perceiving or warn us we have strayed off the playing field.

If this is a "black art", so be it.  I've always simply considered that, when desired results are achieved, it's simply good craftsmanship... and the lengths many of us go through to get reach the level we feel that is what we offer can't really be effectively communicated in a few paragraphs on the internet... what we do know can be transferred to others through training, however, as has become very evident to me working with my daughter in the shop.

Carry on folks!

You nailed it perfectly, thanks for taking the time to write it.;)

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1 hour ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

 

.........

At this point, to avoid debating the earth's carbon footprint or the answer to the question of "life, the universe and everything" I'll simply state the following:

Michael is correct. We only know what we know... and I'd add there is usually plenty more to discover.

....................

 

 

Climate change is an area that I refuse to get dragged into discussions of on MN.  It's not the place for it.

If you have something to contribute to such a discussion, and the chops to back it up, I suggest that you join the American Geophysical Union.  https://www.agu.org/

:)

 

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IMG_0165.thumb.jpeg.5f6ef98e5bf085efeb7ecc0eab68c346.jpegthis is an experiment with the e side (only) kidney enlarged. Of course the feet were fitted and the height reduced. The only other modification to the bridge was thinning the top (to 1.7-2.1mm)- plus fitting the feet and reducing the height.  I have a “control” bridge, where everything is the same, except that both kidneys are the original (smaller) size.

         My observation so far is that enlarging the e side kidney gave a greater clarity to the treble, particularly the e string. This could make sense, but then again it conflicts with earlier observations of some maestros, if I read correctly. I gathered from the links posted here that removing wood from under the e enhanced the g, and visa versa. (Likewise removing wood in the heart under the a, enhanced the d.)

    ??

         

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7 minutes ago, FiddleMkr said:

IMG_0165.thumb.jpeg.5f6ef98e5bf085efeb7ecc0eab68c346.jpegthis is an experiment with the e side (only) kidney enlarged. Of course the feet were fitted and the height reduced. The only other modification to the bridge was thinning the top (to 1.7-2.1mm)- plus fitting the feet and reducing the height.  I have a “control” bridge, where everything is the same, except that both kidneys are the original (smaller) size.

         My observation so far is that enlarging the e side kidney gave a greater clarity to the treble, particularly the e string. This could make sense, but then again it conflicts with earlier observations of some maestros, if I read correctly. I gathered from the links posted here that removing wood from under the e enhanced the g, and visa versa. (Likewise removing wood in the heart under the a, enhanced the d.)

    ??

         

It doesn't look like you cut the correct 42mm radius curve on the top of the bridge. Without that, you can't possibly have the correct clearance to the fingerboard. And without proper string clearance, how can you really test it? Are you using an appropriate knife to do the trimming? It needs a bit of refinement.

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10 minutes ago, FiddleDoug said:

It doesn't look like you cut the correct 42mm radius curve on the top of the bridge. Without that, you can't possibly have the correct clearance to the fingerboard. And without proper string clearance, how can you really test it? Are you using an appropriate knife to do the trimming? It needs a bit of refinement.

Should make double, triple, and quadruple stops easier at least 

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

Climate change is an area that I refuse to get dragged into discussions of on MN.  It's not the place for it.

If you have something to contribute to such a discussion, and the chops to back it up, I suggest that you join the American Geophysical Union.  https://www.agu.org/

:)

 

Bravo!  

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1 hour ago, FiddleDoug said:

It doesn't look like you cut the correct 42mm radius curve on the top of the bridge. Without that, you can't possibly have the correct clearance to the fingerboard. And without proper string clearance, how can you really test it? Are you using an appropriate knife to do the trimming? It needs a bit of refinement.

Fiddlers like a flat bridge. The string clearance off the fingerboard is within spec. The control bridge is cut the same way. I’ll post a picture of it when I change the setup back 

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16 minutes ago, FiddleMkr said:

Fiddlers like a flat bridge. The string clearance off the fingerboard is within spec. The control bridge is cut the same way. I’ll post a picture of it when I change the setup back 

Not that flat! I usually set up a "flat" fiddle bridge with a 50mm radius. That thing is way flatter than 50mm. What radius gauge did you use?

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43 minutes ago, FiddleDoug said:

Not that flat! I usually set up a "flat" fiddle bridge with a 50mm radius. That thing is way flatter than 50mm. What radius gauge did you use?

I don’t have a gauge. I just get it to where it feels right. I guess I need a gage? (I’ll get one) the clearance is 3/16 and 5/32, g and e, about 1/4 from the end of fingerboard. Here’s the control bridge.  I need to play each one and compare the sound again, but I think the larger kidney under the e made the e more clear, and the bass strings were more “nasal” in comparison, if nasal means you hear the bow dragging instead of a clear note?

IMG_0167.thumb.jpeg.520bcc17432555bcd5587413a692b05a.jpegThe enlarged kidney below IMG_0165.thumb.jpeg.a97e0f5790a49a36181e42f38163d25c.jpeg

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25 minutes ago, FiddleMkr said:

I don’t have a gauge. I just get it to where it feels right. I guess I need a gage? (I’ll get one) the clearance is 3/16 and 5/32, g and e, about 1/4 from the end of fingerboard. Here’s the control bridge.  I need to play each one and compare the sound again, but I think the larger kidney under the e made the e more clear, and the bass strings were more “nasal” in comparison, if nasal means you hear the bow dragging instead of a clear note?

IMG_0167.thumb.jpeg.520bcc17432555bcd5587413a692b05a.jpegThe enlarged kidney below IMG_0165.thumb.jpeg.a97e0f5790a49a36181e42f38163d25c.jpeg

If you really want people to take you seriously, you really need to do things in a more or less standardized manner. That means getting a book like "Useful measurements for Violin Makers" and using it as a reference for what you do. Also, virtually all luthiers use mm for measurements, not inches. Using inches means that we have to go to the bother of converting to mm so that we have an idea of what you're talking about.

https://www.amazon.com/Useful-Measurements-Violin-Makers-Reference/dp/0962067326

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29 minutes ago, FiddleMkr said:

I don’t have a gauge. I just get it to where it feels right. I guess I need a gage? (I’ll get one) the clearance is 3/16 and 5/32, g and e, about 1/4 from the end of fingerboard. Here’s the control bridge.  I need to play each one and compare the sound again, but I think the larger kidney under the e made the e more clear, and the bass strings were more “nasal” in comparison, if nasal means you hear the bow dragging instead of a clear note?

IMG_0167.thumb.jpeg.520bcc17432555bcd5587413a692b05a.jpegThe enlarged kidney below IMG_0165.thumb.jpeg.a97e0f5790a49a36181e42f38163d25c.jpeg

I would say you can't draw any significant conclusions from such an attempt. IMO it's better you would search a bridge made by a good pro as a template and try to copy it as precise as you can, all shapes of kidneys, heart, arches, thickness, measurements with a calliper etc.. When you will have mastered it more or less (will take several attempts, meaning a dozen or more) you can start to try modifications. Before you've reached that state better forget about "tuning", it will take you nowhere.

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6 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

Everyone likes to think they're special, but keep in mind that one only knows what one knows. Just because one person doesn't hear something it doesn't mean that there's nothing to be heard.

If a soundpost falls over in the forest ....... Sorry!

I seem to be special, but sadly in all the wrong ways. I seem to be pretty insensitive in many ways so need to resist my tendency to disbelieve the experiences described by more sensitive people. Luckily I am not quite as bad as the person I met who "didn't see the point" in music.

I wonder if the changes in hearing due to increasing age in violin makers results in them seeking different things when they cut a bridge or perform other aspects of setup? Also do players have different demands as their hearing alters as they age?

I have heard that piano tuning can't be learned when over a certain age due to frequency loss in hearing but once the skills had been acquired when young the skill remained into the mature years probably due to some other less explainable things compensating. Maybe as luthiers age they maintain their listening capacity in a similar manner?

As you can see from my recent attempts at jokes, I seem to have tried to learn the skill of comedy when things were already too late for me?

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5 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Climate change is an area that I refuse to get dragged into discussions of on MN.  It's not the place for it.

If you have something to contribute to such a discussion, and the chops to back it up, I suggest that you join the American Geophysical Union.  https://www.agu.org/

I admit that your consistent stand on out-of-scope matters is both attractive and impressive.  Now let's get back to alluminium alloys, uh - I mean, violin bridges.

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2 hours ago, Blank face said:

I would say you can't draw any significant conclusions from such an attempt. IMO it's better you would search a bridge made by a good pro as a template and try to copy it as precise as you can, all shapes of kidneys, heart, arches, thickness, measurements with a calliper etc.. When you will have mastered it more or less (will take several attempts, meaning a dozen or more) you can start to try modifications. Before you've reached that state better forget about "tuning", it will take you nowhere.

Thank you Blank Face.  I started a message with a similar message, but probably not quite as diplomatic... and I was unsure the OP really got anything out of my last post so decided I'd just let it go.  :)

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2 hours ago, FiddleDoug said:

Also, virtually all luthiers use mm for measurements, not inches. Using inches means that we have to go to the bother of converting to mm. 

I could have converted to mm but my scale is calibrated in inches and I felt sure that you could convert it if necessary.  
      I wasn’t trying to get the bridge perfect or even acceptable. I was just hoping to clarify the effect on sound from opening a kidney.

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44 minutes ago, FiddleMkr said:

I could have converted to mm but my scale is calibrated in inches and I felt sure that you could convert it if necessary.  
     

Perhaps you should just get yourself a mm scale. Most us us have found that they have been available most everywhere for decades.

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