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Everything posted by arglebargle

  1. All that to fit a sound post? Obviously not, but the hand cranked disk is another level of tool. I don't know if you have ever used an Alberti sander (or Woodlands awesome knockoff) but they are sublime.
  2. No strop after the sharpening, just whet stones. But when it feels like it lost a bit of it's edge, then strop (tormek leather strop) till it needs another sharpening.
  3. Those look pretty nice. Of course, we all know what I really need is a monsterball vise. Unfortunately, I just don't have the room. Someday.
  4. Just starting a new cello, so I thought I'd share this. Not a self-made tool, but I find this method of holding and positioning the cello mold while fitting ribs very helpful. The mold rotates into any position. Veritas carving vise attached to a two piece mold.
  5. "Come on, we're making violins, not watches." Said in response to me fussing over some minor detail.
  6. Yes! The underside (inside) should be dead flat and the planning surface should be totally square to it all the way along the surface. In addition, the top (outside) should have a flat area also square to the planning surface. I take my plates down to about 5mm of my desired height. I also cut out the excess wood from the upper and lower bouts at the corners of the plate and the c bout before I begin joining them. I clamp the joint using my bench vise and dogs at the c bout cut away, then bar clamps at either end. The plates are upside down on the bench (the top facing down). Great info i
  7. Hi all, This isn't working for me: I would love to hear/see how other manage their clamps, specifically these kinds of clamps. Thanks!
  8. arglebargle


    My two cents: If you are asking yourself "should I pursue a career in violin making" then the answer is no. There is no "should I" in this field. This is something that you will either chase down until you succeed or you will fail. So this has to be something you are absolutely committed to, or don't bother. It's the same as asking "Should I be an artist?" You are an artist because you have to be, and if success follows, so be it. A lot of people come to violin making latter in life, after a fruitful life in another field, and all the monetary comforts that provides. These people are
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 templa
  12. 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.
  13. Do you use the atomizer while curing varnish or just during the tanning process?
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Are you buying a varnish job or a musical instrument?
  18. 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.