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Everything posted by steveperry

  1. I have a bunch of the dewaxed shellac. I have a bunch of resins and so on. Any suggestions on additions with the goals of improving build-up, nice feel, brushing characteristics, and what not? I have some violins in the white to do, and I used to have a decent spirit varnish application skill set. No idea whether I still do! But I intend to try it out, anyway. I was thinking a bit of sandarac and mastic, maybe some Venetian turpentine or something like that. Any essential oils be useful? I also have too much polymerized tung oil. Not sure what to use it for. Thanks all.
  2. An observation, at least, suggests building in flexibility. The combination of outline with cross and longitudinal arching makes for more complexity than I can keep in one mental image. Long arch: Neck block and end block have couples rotating towards bridge. Post is pushing down. Stiffest back would be flat sections from post to each end block. Putting in curve gives flexibility. Cross arch: Same thing, if ribs trying to move apart, then S bend gives flexibility. I can draw pictures and arm wave. Probably a great deal more plays into it, but the flexibility of the shell in various directions seems intuitively important.
  3. Worst I've seen was top wood stained metallic green from sweat. I eventually got the crap neutralized and pulled out of the wood, but I'm not sure which of the numerous chemicals really did the job best. Took a long time, and I patched over to match the dark finish because the wood was never going to be quite right. The player apparently went through strings incredibly fast, too!
  4. 1. I am actually attempting to design and build consistent cornerless violins and some DG models. I have a bunch of sets of wood joined, am thicknessing ribs, mulling over design choices based on the Strad cornerless, and am starting to think about mold. I was going to use inside, but am thinking I should make outside mold, pattern for cutting out plates, and generally simplify things. 2. I am making my house better, which is a pain. Currently doing patch and slip work on the drywall, getting ready to be an interior painter. I was really trained at one point, and find the previous work really sucks, having to redo things. 3. On the other hand, I got to delve into one wall. There were ants. We thought a lot. Then I sprayed poison into a little hole in the foil on a foam board, and the sizzling of thousands of ant feet on the foil started. Was like a horror movie. Using two wet vacs at once and could barely keep up. Horrible. Now is almost better, just a final slip coat to do on it. 4. I have also been almost through the bikes. My new Moto Guzzi California 1400 is amazing, and has had its first service. Need to get it to a dealer for a remap - there's an update that is supposed to help the fueling. Currently running bone white lean, which I do not like. The old Suzuki VL800 cruiser is ready to ride or sell, except my speedo magnet replacement was wrong and it reads 110 when doing 55. The VStrom DL1000 got a clutch basket rebuild, tire, new rear pads, and should be ready to go by this weekend. And the VStar 250 got its 600 mile full service, including adjusting its four cute little valves. I hope to get back to the fiddles soon.
  5. Tough stuff, but one can work through it. I have one cataract, which gives a slight yellow cast, contrasted with the other eye. I've seen a bunch of folks through cataract surgery, amazingly fast and effective. They won't do mine yet, not bad enough. What's really unpleasant are stitches in the eye. I had a growth removed and a graft put in, with stitches in cornea and where the graft came from. Vision so much better, but the whole stitching procedure was highly annoying. That and having some pulled without anesthetic or anything!! Regardless, the things that can be done today are amazing. I spend much time outside using my eyes, and believe that helps a bunch.
  6. This one runs solo, although I don't notice a passenger. The dog I hit before is still around, unfortunately, and sometimes in the road. Oh well. This bike has a very high road presence, and with a white helmet people think "police" and avoid me. Really works. Does hold my attention, riding a large powerful thing on two wheels, but so does running a jointer! We have a preliminary design for the thinning unit. Have to get a rolling stand for the jointer finished first, and get a new better stand for the sander picked up and installed. Currently held down with C clamps, which will not do! We have a huge pile of ribs stacked up, so the rig will get run in and tested pretty soon. I'll post it if it works well. I'll also make a final scraping jig. Got a quick release hold down for that already at Harbor Freight! Can't decide whether a rectangular carpenter's scraper or the Stanley model 80 is most effective. Will try both.
  7. If there's any air left it's in the silly master cylinder. I got clean fluid at both front calipers, and the rear brake bled with no trouble at all. Actually, I think I got it. At least it has a nipple at the master cylinder. Has traction control and three throttle maps. I used the rain throttle map yesterday, which really mellow. I normally use the touring map. Doing a couple of long uphills obviously helped the rings seat a little better. Have to do more of that. I noticed that 45 mph on the level leaves the cylinders barely warm to the touch! As to weight, well, I can ride 850 lb bikes without issue. This one at 740 is a bit higher in the CG than Harleys, but handles wonderfully. A bit of care needed below 20 mph - does not want to go under 20 mph. Sweet spot seems to be 60 to well into reckless driving. Went from 55 to 90 in a few seconds in sixth gear yesterday, started breathing slightly heavily, used maybe 1/3 throttle. Come ride the Dragon. I really have to get the machine looking more like a police bike. Actually, I'm going to get vinyl advertising for my violin business on one side, and my law business on the other side. Subtle and low key, put business cards on it. The bike attracts a crowd. I suspect that I can get biker v. insurance company work simply parking at the Dragon and letting nature take its course. Flatlanders are always riding past their limits on that road. One day on the Dragon will get a year's worth of a Florida rider's corners! On other events more related, I'm sitting here drinking coffee with Charlie. We're going to go try to build a bulk rib sander for my belt sander, along with getting some other stuff set up. I hope to be able to start drawing up and building patterns for a cornerless violin today or tomorrow, too. Need to get my pattern following router up, too. Anyone else, welcome to come ride with us. Great roads, good places to eat, colorful locals, and very good junk shopping.
  8. That dang master cylinder just held onto air like nobody's business! Still not sure I got it all. Banged it with a screwdriver and everything. At least I got the bike sorted now, see below, and may have figured out an Evan inspired attachment for my belt sander. Just have to find enough odd pieces around to make what I sketched! I'll also build a final scraping jig to keep things even thickness. Here's the new bike in close to final setup: Moto Guzzi California Touring, 1400 cc across mounted V twin, air/oil cooled (10w60 synthetic), dry clutch, six-speed gear box, shaft drive. Twin Brembo in the front do a great job. Came stock with windscreen, fog lamps, hard bags, engine guards. I've added a deer whistle, laminar lip at the top of the windscreen, halfpipe lowers, an Air Hawk 2 for the rock hard saddle, and a Kuryakyn Grantour bag with backrest. Also ROX risers and foam grip covers. Amazing bike. No issue going across country. 36.3 mpg today on twisty roads with substantial elevation changes, only 33 mph average speed. Not bad for a 740 lb touring machine. I expect cruise control at 70 would give me mid 40s on flat ground, or maybe a little better. Oh, and it came with Piaggio scooter horns. Laughable. Has a bit better installed now! More pics: http://imgur.com/a/cI4lf
  9. Stability is interesting. I know how to keep that in control and will do so. Dwight, Del Rio is where my daughter was conceived, I remember the motel well! Thanks for the links. I'll be in Chicago in a month and go see the real thing if they'll let me in. I'll be going by car, so I won't be as road stained as with my usual two wheels! I really would like to look over the arching in real time 3D. Thanks all!
  10. I am going to make a cornerless violin. Any reason not to copy the wide-waisted Stradivari? When the waist narrows, I find they look awkward. Perhaps the wide waist and differently spaced F holes would give a somewhat deeper tone that would please many people not looking for a soloist sound. Comments and suggestions extremely welcome.
  11. Evan and all, thanks. I can probably figure out those pictures tomorrow. 2 beers!
  12. The scraper plane is superlative for the final work. Charlie hasn't quite gotten the hang of it and is still a little slow, but he'll get there. Turned out my Guzzi has a tricky master cylinder that traps air. Lots of tapping with a screwdriver handle and I got all the bubbles out. We actually changed fluid on three bikes today, but the Guzzi is the finest. Like a Maserati Ghibli S mated with a 69 Boss 429 Mustang, had a bitchy out of control daughter who whupped up on everyone, but got sent to finishing school. Iron fist in velvet glove. Torques through the twisties like a sport touring bike, no need to go over 5000 rpm, but hit the straight, roll the throttle back, and hang on after 5500 rpm. Can put the beast on cruise control at 85 mph and there's no sign of any real work being done up and down and over anything so far. Love the wrong way V twin - amazing machine. I'm trying to figure out how to use it for advertising - attracts people everywhere I go. Now I need to find block wood somewhere, I'm all out of willow. Spruce will have to do.
  13. That's where we are, more or less. All are sawed already. After trying a variety of thinning methods, we are at 1. No. 80 smooth the face side. 2. Wagner power planer with guide, featherboards etc to 1.5 mm 3. Wagner power planer final cut to 1.25 mm 4. No 80 cabinet scraper to 1.0 - 1.15 range. That seems to work quite well. We may shift to medium drum for the 1.5 to 1.25 step should issues arise. I am wondering how to convert my belt sander into a thickness sander!!!
  14. I have Mr. Charlie here now, eating oatmeal. We'll go pick a plane and notch the blade, get it toasty sharp, and move onward into bulk thinning. I have much more rib than fiddle, so we'll likely do them all and be set for the next batch, assuming I live long enough! Actually, with help things are moving quite smartly. That will slow down when we get to detailed handtool work. We will try: scrape the smooth side smooth, if there is one. Plane the rough side a bit. Hit it on medium sanding drum in drill press (it is a massive ancient thing, and I never do more than just ghost the stock through). Check and repeat until ready for final scraping in the scraping thickness jig we have yet to make! Thank you all.
  15. Think I'm set now. I'll set up my drill press drum system, make a jig for scraping to uniform thickness, and work through them all. Somehow a jointer or planer should work, but I just can't see how I'd do much but create slivers. I do recall the coarse drum being very aggressive! Fortunately, many of the ribs are jointer smooth on one side from cutting them out. Thanks all. And I'll bang through the whole brake line system tomorrow. If I can get enough brake to engage the ABS, then that will pump some fresh fluid through and probably dislodge whatever might be in there. I actually forgot about the ABS when I started bleeding the thing. This one is just like mine: http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/OB-XD794_moto_E_20130420101803.jpg 1380 cc pushrod V twin, air/oil cooled, six speed, dry clutch, shaft drive. Big bike, handles smoothly, lots of lean angle, dances through the twisties like a sport bike, rock steady on the Interstate at 85 on cruise control. I was getting 47 mpg at 70 mph on cruise control, will do better once fully broken in. Over 50 mpg at 55. 25 mpg riding hard in the twisties. I suppose my partner's VStar getting 75 mpg makes up for some twisties! Anyway. I'll have to level the rib side of all the plates once they settle in from gluing, knock them down to 17 or 18 mm. Then check my molds, see whether I need to refine or make new. I will most likely draw up a nice del Gesu / Amati model (Vary the corners) and get the arching concepts set, then go about making molds, blocks, rib bending guides and so on. I probably need to make a pile of linings, too. Think I'm almost out. Should be fun. Having some help really makes things tick along nicely.
  16. Worth making an interrupted blade plane? I have so many planes that I could simply notch one. I have never had a full size plane done that way. Fortunately, I am assisted by two people generally, one has been doing the bulk work on the plates while I do the final fit. He will have fun thicknessing ribs, I'm sure. I can probably make a simple jig for having the Stanley No. 80 cabinet scraper do the final thicknessing! I finally remembered what that is. If I recall, I can put three pieces of wood together with the middle one 1.1 mm or whatever lower, use the side pieces as a stop for plane and / or scraper. That's probably the thing to do. For the moment, it's back to trying to get the brakes bled on my Moto Guzzi. Has ABS and who knows what to really do with that. I've got a bubble somewhere.
  17. I have decided to eventually build 15 violins. That's the amount of wood I have. I'm well along in joining the plates, with only a few more to do (jointer to level bottoms, thickness to 17 or whatever on the planer so that I can see the glue lines well, jointer for roughing in the gluing surface, shooting board with one of great grandpa's wood planes all trued up and the massive cast steel blade razor edged). The neck blocks are all to size. Now I have a fair number of ribs roughed out and need to thin them all. I have available: Planer Jointer Big drill press, with rib thinning sanding jig Wagner power planer Lots of hand planes A Stanley scraper thing with two handles Lots of scrapers Double stick tape There must be a proven system for most effectively taking a mix of ribs, some rough cut, some finished but thick, and turning them into ready to bend ribs. Description or pointing to proven easy system would be very welcome. I am making fixtures as I go along, so something that takes a fixture isn't necessarily a problem. Thank you all very much.
  18. Fun discussion. The only thing I can add is that wandering calmly into the emergency room holding a blood soaked cloth against whatever and simply stating "Terribly sorry to bother you, but I couldn't stop the bleeding this time" will get you first class treatment, especially if you're dripping.
  19. Might make a plan: 1. Measure the stop & neck. Bad = eBay. OK = go 2. Measure the neck angle & overstand. If overstand or angle low, consider whether worth popping the neck. Unless neck is really thin, then maybe a shim would work. I don't like doing that. 3. Measure the graduations. If way thin in many places, reconsider. 4. If thick, look at arching, decide on graduation pattern 5. Examine ribs & blocks - decide if any work needed. 6. Plan for the pegbox. Ring or inside cheeks or something. Execute. I tend to do all the disassembly at once, and might pull the neck. Patch the pegbox however is planned, Graduate and bar as planned. Test the plates as usual as you go down. Back is pretty tolerant. Might end up needing to select graduation system based on what's left as is. If you're too thin in the back, might put a veneer at the post area - can accomplish something towards putting wood back in! I view all the glue joints carefully and reflow any that make me worried. Pop the top back on, fit and glue the neck (might want to put a board on first), then retouch as required. Set and adjust. There you go. Routine restoration. Have fun!
  20. The aesthetic question is an interesting one. I can see a production argument for just cloning something you like. Not much to do there except figure the constraints. How close can you cut, what cutter leaves minimum print through to the final surface after cleaning, production type thinking. Gets into size of cutter, amount of force allowed on cutter and so on. The design is left out of it. I'll make up something different. The machine is set to allow mathematical manipulation of everything. The art then becomes the design process, but it's still a bit cold. Another scenario. The machine, whatever it is, blocks out the highest arch and lowest interior of plates. So the channel area is pretty close, with the plate getting thicker and thicker towards the middle. Then the worker starts cutting from outside and maybe inside to match that piece of wood. Another scenario. The designer works with planes and lines and a specific arch this way and that. In response, develops a series of patterns that duplicate what he would do typically. Piece of wood and design concept show up in mind. Looks at low, medium & high arches with short medium & long central runs. Picks pattern that cuts that long arch. This could be done, for example, with twin patterns on each side of the plate and a router used to profile it. Or with similar but upside down on a router table. Or by marking distances and setting up a Wagner power planer. Now that I think of it, patterns could be used to develop a symmetrically faceted arch. Where in that complex array of possibilities is not allowed to be artistic? In my world, the purchase of a "good" instrument and the duplication of it's components by machine without consideration of why and where one is heading has little or no aesthetic value. On the other end, using equipment to set up a standard array of symmetrical points and then working from those seems perfectly acceptable. I have made arches this way, only using a plane and chisels to make the facets and lines that guide the arching. This might be more of a philosophical question. Regardless, it's worth considering the aesthetic.
  21. The problem with the insurance I had was the deductible.
  22. This is a temptation in science, as well, especially in experimental design. In instruments, I find it pretty easy to make some change or other, hear that change, and jump to the conclusion that it is an "improvement." At the moment, one of my many projects is to make an evaluation checklist and then maybe a derived chart of tone and response etc characteristics with sufficient descriptors that I can isolate a range of characteristics to see where things start to clump. An issue is getting enough "n" to show a pattern, something the researchers on MNet are doing better than I ever anticipated, with useful and interesting results. Managing the baseline is difficult, too. I think Simeon Chambers did well to select wood and have Chinese makers repeat the same arching with different graduation using approximately equivalent wood until he got what he liked. It's a bit of a bulk approach, but that's what it takes sometimes. Regardless, the process is as fascinating as anything I've seen in science and provides endless challenge and opportunity.
  23. Lamp oil is kerosene and is what I have been using for years in various paints and varnishes. Works well. I always have good odorless lamp oil because I live at the edge of the power grid. Land actually stops about 20 m from where I'm sitting because water begins. As to "cheap" - a varnish that can be put on a $1200 violin (final sale price) by a relatively unskilled person. I may end up building a drying cabinet down here. Anything very slow and I get dust. My cabinet now is cello sized and I have no room for it. Anyone want it? Filter on the bottom, exhaust on the top, reflective lined, used tanning bulbs in it. Very nice. Huge. An easy ground system I have. Easy sealer and some toning of color in shellac It's getting a "fatter" looking varnish that is very very easy to use that's been interesting to consider. Then considering how to consistently color it in a way that keeps the finish very transparent. I love my mulled in color, but it does cut into the transparency a little. I probably need to mull mull mull then pressure filter or something. Adds time and work, which is OK for my instruments, but not so much for production ones.
  24. Berl, good luck, I feel for you. These issues are a burden, I know all too well. On the general subject: http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/503/hazardous-materials-storage I used to teach OSHA hazardous waste operations training etc and am really horrified at how lax I am here. I have a hazmat cabinet up by my shop, but there's stuff in the shop that should be in it and isn't, I haven't done compatibility assessments, and there's all too much in my house work area. Berl's issue has me planning where to put a materials locker here, and I've already sorted out the hazardous stuff and checked for incompatibilities. I'm going to label things that are for outside use only, things where no skin contact is allowed, and bad poisons. It's odd, I have a gun cabinet and trigger locks, but this stuff that's more likely to cause issues is just sitting here! Good luck all, especially Berl.
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