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jzbosco
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Joined: 01 Aug 2015
Posts: 12
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:51 pm    Post subject: Books Reply with quote

Since luthier schools are beyond my budget and my area, I'll be relying on books to learn repairing and making violins. And, of course picking the brains of members of this forum if you don't mind. So my first couple of questions are, do you have any suggested reading; and, concerning the internet, is there any places you have run into where the advice is just bad and should be avoided?

I've bought, "The Art of Violin Making" by Johnson and Courtnall; and checked out from the library, "Violin Restoration: a manual for violin makers" by Weisshaar and Shipman. I've heard good things about both.
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Cliff Green
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Joined: 01 Apr 2007
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Location: Amissville, Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have good books. The Johson and Courtnal is the most recommended construction book at present. A couple of other construction books are Violin Building, Step by Step by Strobel and Violin Making, a Practical Guide vy Juliet Barker. Neither book is as good as J&C but they do offer alternative perspectives which is good.
Strobel's Useful Measuremens is recommended by many and well, useful.
For historical information Antonio Stradivari His Life and Work by the Hill Brothers is a must and though expensive Secrets of Stradivari by Simon Sacconi is highly recommended ( many get it on library loan, it is currently available at ericblot.com for 150). There are a lot of good books that catalogue exhibitions or compile pictures and descriptions of important makers but they are very expensive.
Another good resource are the posters published by Strad magazine

There are no instant experts or gunslingers on this forum plus we have Michael Darnton to keep us straight. On other forums you really have to watch a good while to see who is who to avoid rabbit holes.
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jzbosco
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Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perspectives, that is one thing Weisshaar and Shipman stress in their restoration book; basically, there is more than one way to skin a cat and that they didn't include every possible solution to all problems in their manual.

Like any book, they can only serve as jumping off points. thanks for the suggestions
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Michael Darnton
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a warning: the time to jump off that book is when they recommend removing large amounts of original material to solve small problems. By memory, specifically, raising ribs, cheeks on scrolls, and feathering out varnish over cracks. There may be other places I don't remember.
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jzbosco
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Joined: 01 Aug 2015
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Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warning noted: still, I will surely review a few authors and luthiers before jumping in too quick. It's like writing a term paper, sound study only comes by comparing ideas from more than one source.
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John Cadd
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Joined: 23 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 6:52 am    Post subject: books Reply with quote

The Sacconi book is on ebay for £250 and £400 .If you want to satisfy your curiosity you can buy one and make notes .Then put it back on ebay . Not a difficult process and less arduous than trawling through libraries .
The price went up a bit since 2015 so no chance of losing money on it .Or buy a Ferrari and wrap it in plastic for ten years .
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John Cadd
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Location: Hoylake

PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 9:20 am    Post subject: Books Reply with quote

Books showing superbly illustrated violins will not teach you how to fettle a wooden plane wedge ,if you want to travel down the extreme authentic route to violin making , but there is a question of inspiration to be considered .Violins not only sound wonderful , they look wonderful too.
This brings me to ;The Violin Makers of the Guarneri Family 1626-1762 . Leather bound editions will be found on ebay probably at around £970 .
Luckily the Strad Shop sells them for £20.70p in paperback editions brand new. Not an arm and a leg for some inspiration .You pays your money and you takes your choice .
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Michael Darnton
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The paperback is just an exhibition catalog. Tiny pix, no information, unfortunately.
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Mat Roop
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Joined: 24 Mar 2007
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Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a few great links...
http://www.darntonviolins.com/violinmagazine/
https://trianglestrings.com/techniques/
https://davidesora.altervista.org/videos/making-the-violin-from-start-to-finish-condensed/
Good luck & enjoy! Don't be aftraid to ask questions on the forum... Cheers, Mat
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John Cadd
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Joined: 23 Jul 2009
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Location: Hoylake

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:06 am    Post subject: books Reply with quote

Tiny pics . I thought Strad Shops should let people know before spending money .
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John Cadd
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Joined: 23 Jul 2009
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Location: Hoylake

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:21 am    Post subject: books Reply with quote

I went to the Newark violin making college one day for a competition. Just as I was half way through my first violin . It was some years ago and briefly met a chap who came from Birmingham. He had brought his first violin which was made using a tiny little book about 1/4 inch thick and the size of a notebook. The building method did not use a mould and it was difficult to understand how it could all stay together .Several violins were demonstrated and then the winner was announced . The man from Birmingham ,who worked in the Post Office , was startled to find himself on the way to the stage . I had the first honour of shaking his hand since I was sitting next to him .
I never caught up with him afterwards as I had to get the train back and it was out in the country where all the wood was stored . but would like to know what that book was .
The other part of having a lucky day for the first time winner was holding a Stradivarius violin in his hands . That made his day before he won the competition .
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John Cadd
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Joined: 23 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2023 10:36 am    Post subject: Books Reply with quote

Cliff Green mentioned the Sacconi book and I remember Mr Darnton mentioned learning a lot (something special) and I never pinned down what that was . So my late conclusion may be that the book describes all the physical bits and pieces but the overall feeling was an artist and craftsman (Stradivari ) working out a reliable way to produce violins in a practical time saving way . The made up tool to produce the thicknesses of plates was simply a quick ,practical way to get the job done with no need to overthink it all . So a good violin will be made whatever the variations were . If an exact copy of one particular violin is needed ,then a more detailed copy needs to be worked on . Nothing wrong with that but not ideal if you want a continuous flow of instruments .
Part of me working out what Mr Darnton meant once applied to Guarneri when Mr D said "He knew what he was doing ".But I was not sure what that was . Perhaps a bit late to ask that now . It`s better to ask anyway .
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