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Everything posted by arglebargle

  1. Unfortunately, it goes all the way up.
  2. I just picked up a couple of Buck Bros gouges, and there is some pitting on the inside. In the past I've used a dremmel sanding drum to remove the pitted metal, slowly so not to burn it. It feels a little aggressive and I worry about damaging the steel. What do others do to get rid of this kind of damage? The first two pix are of the pitting, the third after the dremel. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  3. Stick with willow or spruce, unless you have a specific example of different wood being used. Battenkill tonewoods usually has plenty of willow for blocks. I ordered some a few years ago and still have plenty. Good stuff.
  4. aaaaaand, bashed. (including 1/2 hour for lunch ) Only some cleaning left.
  5. Scroll laid out and pegbox ready for bashing/whacking.
  6. Ben, you'll want to use a fisherman's knot. Lots of video examples online. Good luck
  7. Nothing wrong with that. The interesting thing about Melvin's original point is that by doing the pegbox first, it changes the perspective of the rest of the process. The head of a violin as a construct around a negative space, as opposed to a sculpture waiting for a hole. When you save the pegbox for last there is always that pencil outline looking at you, waiting to be removed, as you do your best to create. If you have taken it away at the beginning, there is only creation,or maybe formation, left for you, and maybe that puts you head in a different place. Or maybe it's late and I've had too much bourbon. Good luck however you do it.
  8. So O.K. Now I am curious. I was in no way advocating bashing away like a maniac at the pegbox. At the same time, there are much more important things to do. So to get rid of all that pesky wood stuck in what should be a clean and clear pegbox, what does one do? I say leave as much meat on as possible/reasonable and get on with it, then get to the fun stuff. Now, the way that I do that is with a drill press, a few chisels, and a "hammer".(My hammer is a chunk of maple, filled with ball bearings, that fits easily into the palm of my hand.) The drill press is mostly for the depth, but also for getting rid of wood. In light of the two implied rejections of the "hammer" and chisel method, how else do people go about getting the wood out that's not more aggressive then a chisel? Understand, I'm not talking about finish work, but removing wood. If I carve wood, am I not to bash? If I am to bash, where? If ever a part of a violin begged for bashing, would it not be the pegbox? If you search your hearts, perhaps you will find a pegbox waiting to be bashed. Seriously though, I am curious.
  9. Well, there's WHACKING!!!!! and there's whacking. (There is also wanking. ) My point was by doing it first you have less to worry about damaging and less time invested, and for me, that makes what is essentially bulk wood removal much easier and quicker. I'm sure you could split the throat, but it's never happened to me. There is still time, though.
  10. Looks like what it is. And you?
  11. It strikes me as simply logical. Excavate the peg box first so you have plenty of support and can really whack away with worrying about breaking out the pegbox walls, or messing up the beautiful scroll you just spent so much time on. The scroll is basically the last thing I do on the neck. The neck itself is rough and the heel unfinished, but everything is basically an hour away from being done when I start the actual scroll.
  12. O.K. I just set a cello sound post using this for the first time. Wow. It made the whole process so much easier. Amazingly easier. Let there be light! I can SEE!!!!! If you work on instruments, esp. celli, you owe it to yourself to get one of these. (FidlleDoug, p.m. me for the address to send my endorsement fee. )
  13. In the end, a new top may have been a little easier. Now how quickly can I get it off my bench?
  14. Joe, did you mull the mica, or just add it straight. It looks very fine, (finer then pigments?). I'll keep you posted. Thanks.
  15. Hi all, I was wondering if anyone has any experience using powdered mica in varnish. Not as a component in production, but rather as a "colorant" or visual enhancer. I recently came across a jar, mixed a bit in varnish, and was intrigued with the effect. I wonder how it would translate onto the violin. Thanks!
  16. Saul Cornell lives in Altamonte Springs. I don't have any contact info, but he's been in the business for a long time and has a good reputation.
  17. Pictures would help. If it looks like what I'm picturing, I wouldn't worry about it.
  18. Let's piss off some folks! The only way to attain a respectable level of expertise concerning violin identification and appraisal is by seeing, holding, studying, smelling, licking absorbing in every possible way thousands of instruments over many, many years. The only way. Four years, as in a college course, would not cut it. To be able to be handed a violin out of the blue and identify it's country of origin, time of construction, and ultimately specific maker requires a level of commitment and study that is not possible through a few years, or without access to a steady stream of instruments of all kinds. As far as an apprentice goes, the best one could do is attach oneself to a shop that has hundreds of instruments coming in and out of it's doors constantly, and make it a point to see every single one. One has to be trained to "see" violins, and after that one simply has to go where the violins and see them. The "experts" on this forum got that way because they worked in shops that had access to 100's if not 1000's of instruments, and they made it a point to see every single one. You will come up short if you do it any other way. Oh, and a photographic memory is really helpful.
  19. This book is worth every penny. Many, many f-holes to scale from many, many makers. Maybe you can find it cheaper?
  20. Just thought I'd throw this out. When I was a "kid" I applied varnish in what I thought was the typical manner. Back first, then top, then ribs, then scroll. I was soon shown to have the whole thing bass-ackwards. "No little argle, you start with the ribs, then scroll, then front, then back!" I've been doing it in that order ever since. The main advantage is that as you are flipping the violin all around to get at the ribs and scroll, you are not swatting at the dust particles, etc. with a big, wet, sticky top and back. I like saving the back for last because it gives the front time to do it's thing around the f-holes (drips, pools, etc.) and after the back I can fix any movement. Maybe common knowledge, maybe common sense, but it's a good method if you don't already use it.
  21. I know they are not the most popular gouges, and I have since moved on to bigger and better things, BUT, when I first started making I found that "swiss made" gouges were more then sufficient. Not the best steel, but they are (relatively) inexpensive and easy to get. (And you'll get a lot of practice sharpening. ) I made my first several violins using only 6 gouges, for everything. #3/8, #5/3, #5/20, #7/10, #8/7 and #7/20 bent. It's nice to have a lot of tools, but more important is just jumping in and making an instrument. And yes, you really should buy the book mentioned above. You will find it more useful at this stage then really nice, expensive gouges.
  22. I've heard from a very reliable source that the I.U.C.N. is planning on adding ebony to the "red list" of threatened species. Recall that they recently did this to pernambuco. The response was the founding of the I.PC.I. (international pernambuco cons. initiative) with the goal of "saving" pernambuco and "saving" bows from confiscation and allow bowmakers to keep their wood stock. Let's hope that the I.U.C.N. will be as receptive to the conservation and use of ebony in instrument making. Spruce doesn't worry me, but I can easily imagine the best species of violin maple being targeted soon. Stock up!