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About arglebargle

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  1. I've been using them for years, and have yet to find anything better. I tried the Chinese knock-offs a while back and I did not care for them. The Herdims are worth the money.
  2. Not me. As I said, many talented makers use them. I believe M. Darnton is among them, and he is pretty firm about their usefulness. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) It's just not a method I find useful or enjoyable.
  3. My issue with arching templates, and templates in general, is that one tends to work towards the template rather than the piece. This can be a good, even necessary, thing in the process of making. I think a workable mold and rib structure is dependent on an accurate template. I need my scroll templates to set me on the right path, but after a certain point, I don't. Do I need a template for the pegbox? No, but it saves me time not having to lay-out the thing for every instrument. I think arching is of such a fundamental importance to an instrument that I would not trust it to a set of templates. The arching is where the woodworking skill, intuition, and artistry all come together. It is the best/most fun part of violin making. The loosest, most fuck- it part. And as such requires the most skill to execute well. When we make an instrument we are sculptors and wood carvers, not carpenters. We should keep that in mind. That being said, there are a lot of very fine makers that use arching templates, and I say more power to them. It's just not for me.
  4. Any two surfaces not glued has the potential to buzz or really screw up the sound. I could see your un-glued upper block area turning into a buzzing kazoo very easily. So yes, any two wooden surfaces that "interact" need to be glued. Do they need to be glued super hard so that they will never, ever come apart? No, but they do need to be glued.
  5. Do you use the atomizer while curing varnish or just during the tanning process?
  6. It is my understanding that most of the varnish effects on early instruments, Cremonese in particular, occurred in the first couple of decades of their life. This is a reflection of the nature of the varnish (soft at first) and the utility of the instrument (they were sold and played as soon as they were made) and the kinds of cases available back then.
  7. What is a "Japanned" finish?
  8. Here are my roughing gouges. All are socket gouges bought on ebay, cleaned up, and fit and epoxied to the handle, then reinforced with cord and epoxy. The handles are pre-fab railing components from big box hardware, a few bucks each. The one on the left in my go to tool. Got me through several cellos. They are straighter than the pictures make them look. Keep in mind, a sturdy, immovable bench is just as important as the gouge.
  9. Do you want to simulate varnish wear, or just dirt? No shading? For dirt I use various oil paints, straight from the tube, rubbed onto the area, then wiped off with a sheet of paper. (Ordinary printer paper) This allows the color to get into any nooks and crannies and stay there while being removed from the surface. Of course, the surface that you are starting with will determine what you can and can't do. A perfect, smooth, glass-like finish won't take the oil, as there are no nooks to fill, but I don't like that look anyway.
  10. Are you buying a varnish job or a musical instrument?
  11. The neck joint should be strong enough with no mechanical assistance, bolts, screws, dowels and the like. Make sure the mortise is deep enough, and every surface that should touch does, and you should be set. And good fresh hot hide glue.
  12. Too late for you now, but I always carve the pegbox first. With the blocked squared remove the wood on the face of the pegbox, draw your desired design, and go to town. I find that this makes the work go much faster, as you can clamp the block more aggressively and really go at the pegbox without any worry of damaging the beautiful scroll you just spent hours carving. No worry of blowing out the pegbox walls either. Not sure if this would address your concerns, but there you go.
  13. Yes, he's asking us not to re-graduate.