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Jeffrey Holmes

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About Jeffrey Holmes

  • Birthday July 23

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    Ann Arbor/Tecumseh
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  1. For what it's worth: While I might not choose to color a newly made instrument with sodium nitrite (though I am aware some use it in this manner), and avoid using it on critical structural parts, I have found sodium nitrate provides a relatively stable color when exposed to UV and then sealed. I've often found it handy toning wood on replacement edges when the results are warranted for example. An advantage is that it does not tend to darken glue lines. I generally use 5% or less on maple, and 3% or less on spruce. Haven't had difficulty with it "burning" the end-grain at those levels. Testing on cutoffs of matching scrap is important so you are aware of "what you'll get" and it can tend to send the reeds on some spruces toward the red spectrum... If it's acute, I use a different method, but a slight reddish tint on the reeds can usually be corrected during touchup.
  2. I still use tape when I need to use metal finger planes for an extended period (first suggested by David)... I also have a couple wood ones I made that don't heat up like the brass ones do, but they are larger in size. Never made friends with gloves or rubber fingers.
  3. The product I use is called Tecstone, From what I can tell from the label you illustrated, I believe the specs are similar. How it handles may be different... no way to tell without actual casting comparison. I've found a 2" form will allow a cast that's plenty thick in the center, even with "moderately" high arch. On flatter arches, I stop the pour slightly early. I've honestly never weighed the cast. It's manageable, however. A slightly thinner cast is easier to get the clamps over though.
  4. For a cello sound post patch, I make a cast across the center area of the top including the four corners, as I do end up using a clamp here and there when the top is in the cast to ensure the plate remains stable and true (especially around the treble f). I use the thinest commercially available latex sheet and 2" insulation board (pretty common for casts these days) for the form with two strips of it cut to the contour of the arch. The stuff is easy to cut on the bandsaw, so the form and contoured strips go very quickly. I've found a dental casting plaster/stone that is quite strong and has a very low expansion rate. This allows me to pour a slightly thinner cast than I could get away with using Hydrocal and other plasters... plus it cures and sheds moisture faster. Below is a photo of a patch supporting a compound soundpost crack in a 'cello. My daughter (who I've been training) did most of the work, as she hadn't done one in a cello before.
  5. AI is everywhere... I've deleted a few posts which I suspected were AI by "new members". The language and information was almost believable, but things were slightly "off". I approved one recently to see what happened with the members next post, if it occurred. The second the post was approved a link for online gambling was inserted (I mean the second!)... so I assume spammers are having a grand time with this technology. I do worry about this becoming harder to detect as AI develops. I am not an AI robot. :-)
  6. For what it's worth, the laminated Japanese knifes (different source) I have are some of my favorites. The larger and medium widths I use perform wonderfully and have proven plenty durable. If I have trouble with any of them it's the smallest width bridge knife I use. I have had minor delamination occur at the point of these smallest ones, but I grind a rather long bevel on them (so I'm aware I'm stressing the steel... leaving the point a little too flexible... but I do it anyway). I've not noted any problems I can blame on the Tormek... and I've been using these blades along side western ones for at least 25 years. I prefer ceramic stones to hone them.
  7. Best to measure yourself when you have the bow in hand.
  8. Yeah... humor is sometimes difficult to discern on forum posts. No worries. It allowed me the chance to enter the debate.
  9. just memory.... maybe the name helps? Yeah... not much drama... but I think I've had enough of that!
  10. Didn't show up in my feed... and can't seem to find it.
  11. I'm personally careful making general or black & white judgements of those who stamp their bridges. I do stamp them. Yes, I'm proud of my work as I put quite a bit of effort into the bridges I cut... even well before carving them (I have blanks made for me from wood I select). Sure there is some ego involved... in the same way that a a maker is prompted to label their instruments. It's also good marketing, leads to connections, leads to discussions with other luthiers (which may well be supportive or might even be critical). If I see a colleague's bridge on a fiddle when it comes in, I will occasionally call them to discuss work they accomplished on it, or in an effort to help give the player what they were pleased with in the past. As the bridge is not a permanent installation on any instrument, stamping it is not as intrusive or invasive as signing or otherwise interiors when restorations are performed. Not a fan of that, though marking and dating alterations or the replacement of a part is occasionally anaccepted practice in some non-instrument conservation fields. I'd say it's probably been longer than that, unless you stamped them for a short period 20 years ago. It's not a stretch to assume the maker on the label installed the bridge on their own instrument, and I recognize your work. Just saw a 1990 'cello with your bridge on it. I assume it's the one you first cut for it and it's doing fine. I believe that was me you contacted? I very much enjoyed that, and was happy to know the fiddle has an appreciative home. Thank you.
  12. I also use a drying oil, for what it's worth. After sanding.
  13. I'm impressed by the participation on this thread especially considering this IS a discussion board, but it feels like we're going in smaller and smaller circles... Felt it best to lock it down. Best to all.
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