Australian Luthier and Archetier Congress

Check out this inaugural Violin Making conference in Australia, titled the “Australian Luthier and Archetier Congress 2019” which will be held in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia from July 13th- 20th, 2019.  Bathurst is about a 2-3 hour drive from Sydney.

“Held from July 13th – 20th 2019 at The Scots School in Bathurst, NSW, Australia, this is promising to be a illustrious gathering of some remarkably talented and internationally renowned minds. The congress is the first international Luthier and Archetier gathering in the southern hemisphere. It is hoped that the congress will inspire, inform, connect and maintain the creativity and professionalism of all participants.”

alacongress.com

An Affordable Brass Bridge Stamp

I recently decided to try out a customizable leather punch for sale on ebay.  I’m thrilled with the results.  Wuta Leather offers a customized leather punch at quite an affordable price.  I ordered mine and provided the specifications after they contacted me.  It took about three weeks to arrive.  I added a walnut handle and gave it a test run.  I’m very satisfied with the results.

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A bridge stamp is a great addition for a violin maker, particularly if you take care in the setup of your instruments.  The stamp goes on the side of the bridge facing the fingerboard, on the waist of the bridge.  It’s typically done is an easy to read font, and sized so the text is 1.5mm high.

For best results, hold the stamp in the flame of a tallow candle.  The purpose of the candle is to coat the stamp with soot, not to heat the stamp.  Press with firm against the bridge adjusting the angle slightly without removing to ensure complete contact.  The stamped name will not smudge.  Comment if you’d like to order a stamp through me, or if you’d like more information.

Continuing the Canonne

Work continues on the back of the Guarneri 1743 ‘Il Cannone’ inspired violin.

This tightly famed European maple back and matching neck block will closely approximate the original ‘Il Cannone’.   This beautiful wood should make for a visually stunning instrument.

The downward chevron created where the flames meet at the joint are true to the original.  Guarneri broke with tradition in this aspect of his making – an intentional statement of individuality to set himself apart from the other great Cremonese makers.

The outline is transferred from the mold with a moderate overhang.  The plate outline and overhang will be adjusted with files after this step.  Cutting is done by hand with a #7 blade on the Knew Concepts Jewellers aluminium fret saw.

Precious Instruments, Illustrious Names

If you’re lucky enough to be around Turin, Italy this summer check out this temporary display being put on between The Strad and Edizioni Il Salabue.

Titled “Precious Instruments, Illustrious Names: Lutherie and Music in Europe between the 17th and 20th Centuries”, it will take place from 31 May to 30 September.  “Visitors will see instruments played by some of the most prominent musicians of all time, including violinists Nicolò Paganini, Henri Vieuxtemps, Yehudi Menuhin and Gaetano Pugnani; and guitarists Mauro Giuliani, Ramon Montoya, Andrés Segovia and Ida Presti.”

The exhibition takes place at the Royal Palace of Venaria Reale.

Royal Palace of Venaria Reale, Italy

Check out more here.

Linseed Oil Bleaching

Linseed Oil Bleaching

I’ve been researching linseed oil, and discovered the SRO method by Tad Spurgeon.  I also was surprised to see that linseed oil can be bleached separately from thickening.

The results speak for themselves.  The picture above (with the coffee stirrer) is 18 months of exposure to sunlight in the window.  It was covered during this time.  No appreciable thicking has occurred.  Up to 12 months slight lightening had occurred, but after 12 months the bleaching accelerated rapidly with very clear oil achieved at 18 months.  This oil was in a fairly sheltered window with little direct sunlight and in a northern latitude.

Next, I’ll be testing out the oil to determine the yellowing properties when dried.  Stay tuned.