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  1. Michael.N.

    UK equivalent to Everclear..?

    Meths doesn't contain any meths and hasn't for a good few years (at least not in the EU). There are other additives in it though and of course it still has the purple colour. You can use Isopropyl alcohol (the strong stuff) which I use for French polishing. It's water clear and relatively cheap. Another alternative is Fiddes finishing spirit but it does contain shellac, although the shellac content is low.
  2. Michael.N.

    Gut strings? What are those?

    Bowbrand. They only do the plain strings, no wounds. They are largely aimed at harp players but I've used them on both violins and guitars, perfectly good gut strings and I've tried just about every commercially available gut string going. They are sold in long lengths. Your wallet will thank you.
  3. Michael.N.

    Longman Broderip

    I have one of their baroque citterns, almost certainly made by the Preston workshop. Internal work is on the rough side but the inked purfling is very neatly done.
  4. Well if the truck rolled up with the latest masterpieces presumably these violins are selling, which suggests that they are good enough, in terms of sound and how they play, for the people who are buying them - otherwise that truck would stop rolling up. How much do you trust your ears? OK so perhaps these makers are passing off all the work as being their own (if indeed they are doing that). It's disingenuous, deceitful. Not much new in the violin world then.
  5. Michael.N.

    Violin shop bankruptcy in Chicago

    I'll be over for my cup of tea soon Jacob. Can I pay for it in installments?
  6. Michael.N.

    Danish oil

    It's the resin to oil ratio that largely defines it I guess. The resin content might be fairly high, just that it's thinned with solvent. The copious amounts of solvent are just for ease of application when using a rag. You could try the Watco, just wipe on coat after coat after coat. If it has a fair resin content it will build and buff to a very glossy finish. I've done it with Danish oil this side of the pond. If the Danish oil has no resin content, well you might be wasting your time.
  7. Michael.N.

    Danish oil

    Danish oil can mean oil (oils) or just a very dilute oil varnish - almost certainly a polyurethane in which case it certainly will build into a finish if you apply enough coats of the stuff.
  8. Michael.N.

    how to remove(probably) synthetic glue

    CA/Superglue? I had a baroque cittern that was from around 1780, someone had decided that all the little issues had to be dealt with by using superglue - and lots of it. If it is superglue acetone will remove it but it might take some time. I think high solvent adhesives usually respond to mineral turps.
  9. Michael.N.

    Stradivari's secret was a concept?

    I've used a fair amount of bog oak, mostly for guitar fretboards as a replacement for ebony. The stuff I get is black. Fill the open grain and it very much looks like ebony from a very short distance. Anyway it looks like wood, feels like wood and works very much like it. It's supposedly a little harder although I barely notice it. Most of the bog oak I've bought has been carbon dated to 5,000 + years.
  10. Michael.N.

    Craig Tucker, in rememberence.

    Sad news indeed.
  11. Michael.N.

    miniature milling machine

    Forget the milling machine. Use the scraper or a rough abrasive wrapped around a small wooden block. I've done many planes and not had much luck with rubbing the sole on abrasive stuck to thick plate glass. That's when I turned to using abrasive on a wooden block. I deliberately relieved the areas just in front of and behind the blade - same manner that Japanese wooden planes are relieved.
  12. Michael.N.

    Does a violin improve with age?

    You know I've done many side by side comparisons with guitars. I worry if there's a gap of a few seconds (between playing each guitar). I'd be a quivering wreck if that gap was being measured in years! You are relying on an impression. Maybe it's you yourself that's changed? (much more likely), perhaps your playing is a little different?
  13. Michael.N.

    Renaissance Workshop Company....Plans and Drawings

    RWC started off as an off shoot of the Early Music shop. It was sold off many years ago and is now run and operates in Spain. They were very much a kit based enterprise specialising in early instrument kits. I haven't seen their viol plan but I have seen the plan for a lute (when they were based in the UK). I wouldn't be paying those kind of prices for their lute plan. If you think you are going to get something rather special then feel free! The plans don't make the instrument for you, you just need enough detail and the know how. No plan is ever going to give you the latter.
  14. Michael.N.

    Renaissance Workshop Company....Plans and Drawings

    http://www.luth.org/plans/instrument_plans.html Somewhat cheaper. RWC plans are ridiculously expensive and always have been. http://homepages.ed.ac.uk/am/iwd.html#Viols Plans in the collection of museum around the world.