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Allan Speers

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Everything posted by Allan Speers

  1. Tim, I have that exact plane! Mine came with a perfect blade, also toothed. I love coffin planes in general, the way they fit the hand. I wonder what the technical term for this one is? Maybe a veneering plane? When you say "Forrester," is that the brand, or a type? (mine is not branded)
  2. I have both the Lie Nielsen & the LN. I prefer the LV because you can mount a thinner blade & bow it. This helps in difficult woods where edge marks might be a problem. I keep the thin blade in the LV, and use the thick (and larger) LN for big jobs. Ultimately, of course, it's best to do it free-hand. but that really gets to my fingers. I would think though that a luthier would need that control, no?
  3. ^ Dean, we could argue that all day long! (as they do in the woodworking forums.) I personally prefer laminated in my planes. I think the soft iron helps absorb vibration, so there's less chatter in difficult woods. (hard to prove that, of course, but lots of folks think the same thing) - and they are MUCH faster to sharpen. YMMV, of course. I know you do stunning work. I like A2 for heavy work, like in a #5 or a big jointer, or a scrub plane, but prefer the sharper edge of good carbon steel for fine work & for stuff like figured Maple. Plus, I kind of enjoy sharpening. It's sort of a Zen thing. -But I'm a hobbyist. If I did it for a living, I'd use A2, or that stuff Hock sells, or even Rex CPM, and hire someone else to do the sharpening!
  4. Because they are made from A2 steel. It holds an edge longer, but is harder to sharpen. Some folks prefer this, some prefer good 01 or Japanese white, or whatever. Laminated blades are the best, as there is a lot less hard steel to deal with. (and some folks think the soft iron also acts as a sort of shock absorber.)
  5. Thanks. Not a lot of info on T10, but it looks pretty good. Fairly high carbon, with a little tungsten, and no chrome. It seems to fall somewhere in-between W1 and W2. (still water-quenched) Interesting. I definitely have to try one of these.
  6. Just give it a slight back-bevel. (the "ruler" trick.) So much easier than trying to get the whole back level. Do you know what kind of steel this is? Does it retrofit into a stock Stanley with no mods to the mouth, etc?
  7. I think the bowing would affect which nodes are most strongly activated, but not the strings actual formant structure. Tension does, absolutely. I have a degree in acoustical physics, and though I forget 95% or what I learned (many many MANY years ago) I do remember THAT one! Sadly, Wm Johnston's point is quite valid. My clamp idea might introduce more variables than it eliminates. - but I think a very careful (and difficult) design might be able to work as needed. Not sure it would be worth the trouble, though.
  8. I agree, but it does take a while. Powdered rosin is a lot easier. - Because a lot of player are picky about the type & brand of rosin they use, and don't like the idea of mixing them. I guess the smart thing would be for the bow repairer to keep on-hand many tubs of powdered rosin, of all the popular brands & densities. -Then ask the customer which to use.
  9. - And you're getting really good at it. I'm a serious amateur photog myself, and I know how hard it is! Your lighting is just about perfect, and I love how your varnish looks. Here's a tip I recently discovered: If you want to take a pic on an angle, especially a macro shot, it is REALLY helpful to have a tilt-shift lens. Yes, very expensive (the new Canon ones are amazing) but worth it. They let you keep everything in focus. -an alternative is to get a medium-format lense, like the Mamiya 645 120mm f/4 macro, and put it on a T/S adapter. Zork sells one of the best adapters. For about $8-900, you end up with an amazing setup.
  10. "She's up against stiff competition regarding tool steel characteristics." Maybe not. The great advantage of most tool steels (I assume you meant the modern alloys) is longetivity, (& sometimes corrosion resistance) not ultimate sharpness. The rare compounds that do both (some REX formulas, for instance) are insanely expensive. Luthiers don't do the kind of volume cuts that a cabinet maker or carpenter might do, so using a really fine high-carbon blade is completely feasible. Just get into a good sharpening habit. If a blacksmith were willing to do a fine, hand-hammered & laminated blade, I think there would be a small niche market. I personally love Japanese #1 white steel, and also good old vintage western (crucible) steel. Gimmee a fat ol' English laminated blade from the 1800's any day....
  11. I'm still curious what the bow professionals here think of Mare's hair vs stallion hair. Despite the rating of both Fenwick & his associate, it could be one of those subjective things. Does anyone else prefer, or have clients that prefer, Mare's hair? Fenwick, what was the criteria used in your test? What specifically did you like better about the three "top" brands?
  12. Man, I'd love to hear it! Any soundfiles?
  13. I disagree strongly (though I also understand the points made by Anders & Wm Johnston.) When you change the tuning / tension of a given string, it completely changes the harmonic / nodal pattern, for any given note that you play on it. That's absolute. So, if this were a test of a normal violin, the data would be somewhat tainted. If Anders is testing, as he says, a real-world situation, then fine. - I'm just mentioning some possible snafus in the methodology. (Good science, and all....)
  14. Anders, I'm somewhat troubled by the fact that you have more than one variable happening in your test. How about this for a variation: String the instrument with light gauge strings, and record it actually being played. Next, rig a special clamp from the pegbox to the end pin (or just across the body) The clamp would have to have a tension meter somehow rigged into it. Then, add just enough tension to simulate that of thicker strings. (still with the light gauge strings installed.) This way, you are only changing tension on the top, not string formants, etc. Record actual playing once again. You could still also record the hammer strikes, if you deem that useful.
  15. Hey, guys. I am not well-versed in the technical issues of this test, so the following may be off-base, but it's worth asking: I assume the test was done using various impact levels, yes? (otherwise, why bother with an accelerometer) HOWEVER, was anything done to take into account how LONG the various modes ring? (like mapping the Rt response of a room.) If you make a graph or an FFT of sharp hits, you will get a certain reading. - But when you bow a note, it is not the same thing. Some frequencies will continue to ring, after initial impulse, longer than others. Thus, the comb-filtering effect of this "sustain" (or whatever you want to call it) will have a profound impact on the actual tone & dynamic timbral-response of the instrument. I don't see how you can map that with a hammer. - Nor with sine waves, for that matter. (have you ever seen a response-graph done on a dead-flat speaker, using a sinewave generator? You get dips & peaks all over the place) Maybe with 1/3 octave flutter tones, done at varying db levels. - and with a bow physically touching the strings, since you also have to figure-in that damping. Well, heck, I dunno anything really. - just raising a possible issue.
  16. Heck, no need to apologize to me! That small idea about the wrist has really helped me out. - So thanks again.
  17. Thanks, Bruce. Very illuminating. It's interesting to note the differing slot ANGLES, especially for the G-string. Hmm, I find that more odd than at the nut, since there's no danger on that end. Well, OK.
  18. Fenwick, do you know if the hair you preferred was from mares or stallions? I'm very curious about Sowden's preference for mare hair, since it seems to go against "common knowledge." I tend to over-rosin, (I like that edgy midrange) so a hair that holds it longer might be beneficial.
  19. Thanks, Will. That actually helps a little, though it feels unnatural at this point. I have to ALSO arch heavily, and yes I have no contact on the treble side of the neck, but this has never bothered me. I still have to go wider, though. For instance: Even from "cello" position, I can't put my 1-3 fingers down on the A-string without touching either the G or the D. It is literally impossible. - That's with a 5.5mm spacing. ---------------------- - You're confusing the two issues. To be clear: I am (mildly) concerned about the "shifted" nut slots because with a 5 string there is already more effort needed to get all the way over to the bass string. I was also curious why some luthiers were doing it but not others.
  20. I have no idea about hair, but gut strings last a year if you're lucky. Definitely toss them. Most people say rosin goes bad, but I have some from the 1920's that still works fine, so who knows... Also you can take old, funky rosin and melt it in a double-boiler, and then it should be close to "as new" again.
  21. Thanks, guys. This really helps. --------------- "if you play an A chord, stopping the G and D string with the first finger, and using the open E, the base of your first finger may already be touching the E, causing it not to sound or whistle. " - David, in this scenario I have more of a problem with the open A string. - But I'm also trying to change my technique, getting my thumb lower so the fingers arch more. That's better anyway, but hard when you don't use a shoulder rest. ---- "I've gone as little as 1.5 mm to the center of a C string on a 5-string, 2mm on the E, and had satisfactory results, but I wouldn't recommend it as everyday practice." Excellent. I think I'll try going to JUST 2.0 mm and see how it works. My FB has almost no flare, and the bridge-end is very wide, so I should be OK. THANKS AGAIN.
  22. I wouldn't waste precious violin varnish on a floor! Viola varnish, on the other hand ...... - Pah -DUM -pum. "Thank you, I'll be here all week." (see, you can make a viola joke out of just about anything.)
  23. I've heard great things about Sowden: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/sear...=clnk&gl=us They hand-remove all of the bad / uneven hairs for you, and charge a little extra. (I'm sure other good suppliers do as well.) One interesting thing: You read on many websites how one should avoid Mare's hair, as the urine ruins it. Yet, Sowden's top-line hair is ALL from Mares. They claim that the urine causes the scales to open up, which holds more rosin. Go figure.
  24. Hey, Eric. Good thoughts. Ah, you're right about the jazz bridge, I should have actually looked at a jazz guitar. There goes THAT theory. Well, likely no one will have an answer to my original question, so I'll probably take the easy way out. PM sent. To clarify: (OT) It's a short body. only ~ 348mm. "154" is the measurement from the back of the bridge to the start of the end pin. (actually more like 152 mm)
  25. ??? How can I feel it until I do it? I don't want to do it if it's already known to be too little. Someone here must know. Have none of you ever "pushed" the spacing, for a player with thick fingers?
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