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Member Since 15 Aug 2005
Offline Last Active Today, 02:10 PM

Topics I've Started

Size of top Block ?

16 August 2013 - 01:10 PM

All of the Strad moulds show a quite wide upper block.  Why is this not copied today just like so many other things?   It seems it might better distribute the force and torque from the neck.

Wood working vs varnish

04 July 2013 - 01:21 PM

I ask this because I have made over 200 instruments by hand.  I made all my scrolls and got reasonably good with it.


I now am retired,  age 69.  I feel I have limited time after realizing my mortality.  I made a CNC and programed calculating spreadsheets to carve various arches.  I have other tools and methods to make precise rib garlands and to shape the plates and put in purfling.  In other words,  I can make interchangeable parts.


I want to make violins with grounds and varnishes I have come to by a LOT of experimentation.  In fact, the varnish problem has always seemed to me the most difficult.  All the commentary on the forum suggests that others feel the same way.


So,  if I make a CNC violin and use a well-done Chinese neck and scroll,  is this kosher?  No,  I did not make the scroll.  But I developed a good ground and varnish.  A violin with a Chinese scroll vs a violin with Joe;s varnish...  which one is more legitimate ?

Wood working and varnish

04 July 2013 - 01:20 PM

Sorry, duplication.  Jeff,  please delete if you can.

Michelman and Condax

23 May 2013 - 01:29 PM

Michelman has a later chapter about soaps of linseed oil,  metal soaps.  These are analogous to the rosinates,  which could be called metal soaps of rosin.


Condax was interested in emulsions.  He was a great contributor to the Kodak development of color photography.  Perhaps that was the source of his interest in emulsions.


Michelman more or less gave up on metal soaps as ingrediants for a cold-mix varnish.  And there was a good reason for this. I can elaborate if there is any interest.


Condax tried to make emulsifiers from lime and linseed oil,  and his experimental notes are extensive. I have many of these converted to text files using optical character recognition.  These were given to me by a family friend of Condax who had helped him learn violin making.  Michelman could have given him a better approach with the addition of another way of extracting the materials.


I have been playing with these ideas for a long time.  If there is any interest or questions,  don't hesitate to ask.

Chinese machine-made violins.

28 April 2013 - 01:08 PM

A question concerning Chinese white violins.

I use these for varnish experiments and sell them cheaply to a school teacher.  The archings all look identical and after varnishing one can often see faint router marks.  I would like to know how many think that they have accurately copied some particular Strad.  They certainly are not hand-carved.  But how uniform are samples from the same company?  

Do they differ from a good Strad arch  ?  Any comments?  I can't see the best copiests in all fields not using an actual Strad for measuring all the details of arching.  But I dont' know.  Maybe the entire membership has seen enough real Strads to make comments.  I would really like a vote on this question,  so don't neglect to respond.

Thanks,  John