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.

UNH Violin Craftsmanship Institute Workshops for 2018

Check out theUNH Workshops summer workshops, including three free workshops (at bottom) being offered from the University of New Hampshire’s Violin Craftsmanship Institute for the summer of 2018.  Credit to the Violin Society of America for distributing this to their membership, their email follows:

New Instructors & New Programs – June 18 – July 20, 2018

Click here for complete brochure.

The UNH Violin Craftsmanship Institute carries on the tradition of luthiers, dating back to the 16th century European craft guilds. UNH’s Institute is one of the oldest string instrument repair programs in the U.S. Current internationally renowned instructors are respected masters of their craft.

Repair shop employees, string instrument teachers, musicians, and professionals from any background with a passion for woodworking and music looking for a second career, a source of income, or to study the craft.

All levels of experience will learn the trade from our accessible and knowledgeable instructors. You must be 18 years or older to attend.

Summer Workshops

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Canonne Inspired del-Jesu Update

The Cannone-inspired Guarneri del Gesù is progressing.  After completing the templates, mold and counter-forms, the ribs have been installed.  Linings next, then on to the scroll as I like to have the scroll nearly-complete before beginning the plates.  I’ll be re-creating the original scroll’s dimensions.  Its a large scroll and a departure from the more Strad-style scroll I’ve previously created.

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Canonne Scroll

Il Canonne Scroll