Search found 1063 matches

by Alan Carruth
Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:32 am
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: american chestnut
Replies: 5
Views: 166

Re: american chestnut

Chestnut is soft, and somewhat open grained. I've seen it, but never worked with it. I would worry about it crushing on the inside of a tight bend, such as the waist of a guitar. I've had that problem with butternut, which is similar in density and grain structure. Dulcimers don't usually have such ...
by Alan Carruth
Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:46 am
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: 5 string acoustic bass bass guitar
Replies: 11
Views: 426

Re: 5 string acoustic bass bass guitar

With the deep sides a Smith/Manzer wedge makes a lot of sense. If you haven't done one before it's actually easier than it looks: all of the change is in the back, so the top and neck geometry is unaffected. Even a difference of an inch from treble to bass side is a big help, and the treble side onl...
by Alan Carruth
Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:40 am
Forum: Bowed Stringed Instruments and Bows
Topic: Electric Viola - Done! (Almost)
Replies: 16
Views: 1234

Re: Electric Viola - Done! (Almost)

Wow!

Best of luck on a speedy recovery.
by Alan Carruth
Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:38 am
Forum: Bowed Stringed Instruments and Bows
Topic: Electric Viola - Done! (Almost)
Replies: 16
Views: 1234

Re: Electric Viola - Done! (Almost)

Shielding. The pickups themselves are normally shielded, Check the ground.
by Alan Carruth
Wed Mar 24, 2021 4:32 pm
Forum: Bowed Stringed Instruments and Bows
Topic: Electric Viola - Done! (Almost)
Replies: 16
Views: 1234

Re: Electric Viola - Done! (Almost)

It will help a lot if you use a normal bridge, or, at least make some cutouts that follow similar practice. The flexibility of the bridge acts as a filter for sound in different ranges, and can make a real impact on the tone coming from the pickup. In a normal violin it's the sound from the bass foo...
by Alan Carruth
Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:32 pm
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: The 000 butternut twins
Replies: 3
Views: 397

Re: The 000 butternut twins

Butternut tends to crush badly on the inside of a tight bend: I'm not sure you'll get away with that waist. One of my students made a butternut Flamenco, and we had to find a pattern with a very gentle waist. The last time I made a 'matched pair' I did everything I could think of to see that they we...
by Alan Carruth
Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:05 pm
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: Bolt on issues
Replies: 24
Views: 8957

Re: Bolt on issues

Don't be scared: it's possible to screw up anything. As Bismark said: "Any fool can learn from his mistakes; a wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
by Alan Carruth
Sat Mar 20, 2021 5:26 pm
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: Bolt on issues
Replies: 24
Views: 8957

Re: Bolt on issues

Hand tapping the hole is easy, and IMO cuts down usefully on the stress. OTOH, if you have not had any problems it might not matter.
by Alan Carruth
Sat Mar 20, 2021 10:30 am
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: Bolt on issues
Replies: 24
Views: 8957

Re: Bolt on issues

Hardware in wood is always a stress riser. Tightening the bolt on a cross dowel nut produces a splitting force in the neck as the round nut bears somewhat sideways on the wood. This can be minimized by making the hole small enough that the cross dowel is a tight fit.The FAA mandates that bolts in wo...
by Alan Carruth
Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:01 pm
Forum: Bowed Stringed Instruments and Bows
Topic: A 'Harlequin' fiddle
Replies: 16
Views: 1344

Re: A 'Harlequin' fiddle

That was the plan, with maple diamonds and walnut half-diamonds for the dark sides, and the opposite on the light sides. The diamonds would have been small, so it would take a lot of them, and it was just too much time. Some years back I made a 'show' guitar with little side grain maple leaves inlai...
by Alan Carruth
Sun Mar 07, 2021 11:19 am
Forum: Bowed Stringed Instruments and Bows
Topic: A 'Harlequin' fiddle
Replies: 16
Views: 1344

Re: A 'Harlequin' fiddle

I have made very few bows, and making a 'Harlequin' one would be a challenge, especially if you wanted to restrict it to domestic woods. I think I'll pass for the moment....;)
by Alan Carruth
Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:08 pm
Forum: Bowed Stringed Instruments and Bows
Topic: A 'Harlequin' fiddle
Replies: 16
Views: 1344

Re: A 'Harlequin' fiddle

There are lots of string instruments of all sorts adorned with carvings. Some of them get pretty salacious. I've seen a number of fiddles with heads said to depict various people, lion's heads, and so on. The viola d'amore tends to have a blindfold Venus head, for example. The real departure in this...
by Alan Carruth
Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:30 pm
Forum: Wood and Materials Q&A
Topic: Vintage tuning pins
Replies: 18
Views: 1896

Re: Vintage tuning pins

The grain direction on small piano soundboards is often at an angle to the strings. Whoever made this instrument was probably coming in from the piano end of things, rather than guitar practice, so it would not be unusual. Small zithers in various configurations were pretty common in Eastern Europe ...
by Alan Carruth
Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:12 pm
Forum: Wood and Materials Q&A
Topic: Vintage tuning pins
Replies: 18
Views: 1896

Re: Vintage tuning pins

I don't think those are harp pins, which are tapered and basically work like violin friction pegs. Harp pins are made of metal, not wood, of course, and instead of heads have squared ends. I have seen old piano pins that looked as though they were forged; the top is roughly rectangular in section, w...
by Alan Carruth
Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:19 am
Forum: Bowed Stringed Instruments and Bows
Topic: A 'Harlequin' fiddle
Replies: 16
Views: 1344

A 'Harlequin' fiddle

With things pretty quiet last year I took the opportunity to work on a project I'd been meaning to make for years, a 'Harlequin' fiddle made of different colored woods. I have found over time that Black Walnut is reasonably similar to soft maple, and Western red cedar can substitute for spruce. By m...
by Alan Carruth
Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:17 pm
Forum: Wood and Materials Q&A
Topic: Curly sitka spruce
Replies: 2
Views: 639

Re: Curly sitka spruce

Curl is recurrent run out. It reduces the long-grain Young's modulus because of the angle the fibers make to the axis of the piece. You probably should make the top a little thicker than usual, but it's hard to say how much unless you get a reading on the actual Young's modulus of the piece. There a...
by Alan Carruth
Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:55 pm
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: Rookie Bending Questions
Replies: 12
Views: 1997

Re: Rookie Bending Questions

For some time I had problems using the bending blanket and form wit sides the broke in the upper bout. I'd bend the waist and the lower bout, and by that time the water was all gone off the upper bout, so I'd give it another spritz. The logic of doing it in that order was to give the usually tighter...
by Alan Carruth
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:47 am
Forum: Wood and Materials Q&A
Topic: Bone direct from India?
Replies: 11
Views: 1620

Re: Bone direct from India?

All the pet store stuff I've seen has been fat free, except for the ones that are filled with cheese or peanut butter, of course..... It's always a drag when I stop in at the pet store for some saddle stock and all they have is the filled bones.
by Alan Carruth
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:45 am
Forum: Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars
Topic: Rookie Bending Questions
Replies: 12
Views: 1997

Re: Rookie Bending Questions

One other thing: I usually start with the hardest (tightest) bend first. That way, if it breaks, you have not spent a lot of time on it. Usually that's the waist, or a cutaway; some Dreads have a sharper shoulder than the waist.
by Alan Carruth
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:23 am
Forum: Wood and Materials Q&A
Topic: Bone direct from India?
Replies: 11
Views: 1620

Re: Bone direct from India?

Fat in the bone will leach out into the wood and break it down over time. Dog bones from the pet store are typically steamed. I've processed bone at home, and it's generally harder than the pet store stuff. It's particularly handy if you heat with a wood stove. Assuming you've got a fresh bone from ...