In the White

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The Red Fiddle is almost ready for varnish. Here she is all “dressed up,” sans chin rest. The button needs to be shaped and final sanding and scraping attended to, but in the main, she is done. The bridge is still too high and thick, and the nut needs some adjustment, but these are minor details to be finished at the very end of construction.

Being the curious sort, I was eager to hear what she sounds like at this early stage and I was not disappointed. The sound is very BIG, as are the vibrations from the box. The longer she is played, the more she vibrates, especially on the lower strings, which I hope means that the soundpost is in the perfect spot.

The strings are Thomastik Prazision which have a solid steel core, and I quite like them on this fiddle. The pegs have no peg compound or drops, so they are slipping out of tune as I play and I wasn’t able to compensate fast enough, but it is what it is – a Good Enough sample for the purposes of this here blog.

I plan to make recordings at each stage of the finishing – in the white, after the ground coats are on, and after final varnishing just to see how the sound develops. You read about a fiddle in the white being very “open” and “brash” but it really doesn’t mean anything until you hear it for yourself, IMHO.

The Old Kay Cello in Action


Brandon came over for a visit and agreed to let me film a little sample of him playing the 1939 Kay cello that was recently brought back to life. Brandon has played the cello for many years, but admits that he’s rusty. We thought he brought out the best in the old girl and made her sound fantastic –

The cello is beginning to “open up” with playing, the sound becoming richer and fuller each time she’s played and we are thrilled to have saved her from the land fill.

Fiddling Around

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Pookie and her evil twin are concerned about the lack of posts on this here blog.

Rest assured that the Six Foot Fiddle is always near at hand and even gets played every now and again. Video proof to follow soon…