Journal

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Falling Projections

The high temperature and humidity of Southeast Asia can result in the distortion of the belly arch and a diminishing of the distance from the end (widest part) of the fingerboard to the belly. After three months here in Hanoi the projection on one of our violins had fallen below the acceptable limit and had to be repaired. In Japan, I am told, string players keep a spacer between the end of the fingerboard and the belly when the instrument is not in use just to help prevent this change. Some people use business cards stacked up to the necessary depth but I like to use wood so I made spacers for all three violins out of balsa. Looks like this:

Saturday, January 30, 2016 Relics

 

Going through snapshots from the shop that have been waiting for some attention I ran across this one. These are the first bassbar clamps that I made back before I acquired some more sophisticated models from Alberti Design. These work pretty well, have adjustability (just add more rubber bands) and good directional pressure, depending on how you shape the gripping surfaces.  

Monday, January 11, 2016 Hanoi

We have landed in Hanoi and spent a week walking, eating and looking. There are apparently only one or two violin makers or restorers in the country, a good place to be a big fish in a little pond.

Sunday, April 26, 2015 How to make god laugh

Make a plan.

With that in mind...

The shop will close its doors for one year starting in January of 2016 so that Beth and I can travel in Southeast Asia. I am threatening to write two books during that year, one about the past in music and one of violin 'recipes' including some varnish techniques and this reverse carving protocol on which I have come to depend.  The studio will reopen in a new location in 2017 and will concentrate solely on making new instruments.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Choosing violin strings

Due to a recent facebook thread I felt this link might be useful for those who have questions about choosing violin strings.

 Changing Strings

 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 Shirts

Newly arrived just in time for the warm weather, violinisto tee shirts.

Friday, September 7, 2012 End of Summer

I watched the neighborhood kids walking to school carrying backpacks nearly as big as the kids themselves, and realized that the summer is gone, at least on the calendar. In the last few days before Labor Day sounded the death knell of the season, Beth and I acquired a little haven on Lopez Island and I'm looking forward to building a little shop and a little cabin and eventually living the Island lifestyle.

The economy continues to be unfriendly to this shop but hope springs eternal and we look forward to finding homes for a few instruments this year.

Work on cellos continue. The picture below is of a bassbar glue up on a Bulgarian cello that turned out, when it was opened up, to be more of a kit that had been tacked together with glue than a finished instrument. All the linings have/had to be removed, reformed or replace and re-glued. It would have been quicker to build one from scratch.

Note the caul/pads added to the Alberti clamps to spread the load and adapt to the curve of the plate.