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Everything posted by Michael.N.

  1. I have both those Lute resources. I think the Van Edwards is better for a step by step instruction and it includes a set of plans.
  2. Make sure you use a thick sturdy cardboard box. I line the two larger flat sides (that correspond to the soundboard and the back) with thin 3.5 mm plywood sheet. Plenty of bubble wrap goes between that and the violin case. Put at least two address labels on the box and place another shipping label inside. Use plenty of parcel tape.
  3. Tru Oil is one of the finishes that I'm testing. How do you know it's an alkyd resin?
  4. I have a Cittern that dates from around 1770, English made. I'm not sure if it's oil or spirit but the varnish on that seems remarkable tough/hard. I've had near boiling water on it and it didn't touch it. I tried to scrape off some superglue that someone had used on cracks (it was on the varnish surface) and it seemed remarkably resilient, yet it also seems a very thin coating. It has an end pin and when I removed it I could clearly see how much red was in the original varnish and how much that red had faded. It must have been a pretty vibrant red to begin with.
  5. Hardness. How do you test it? Apart from the fairly obvious soft/very hard I think it's not at all easy to tell. From what little testing I've done I quickly realised that trying to scratch it with a thumb nail wasn't really good enough, sometimes I was just compressing the wood underneath the finish. I've started to put some samples on to ebony and try the pencil hardness test. Perhaps it's a bit crude but it might give some idea as to how hard (or soft) these things get.
  6. Ben Conover. You need to read my post again. I've already conceded that it may not continue to harden (I don't know). I've already conceded that it doesn't continue to harden indefinitely. I'm referring to the period from 3 months to perhaps a year or so. Have you done any hardness tests over that period,? You seem to be absolutely certain that it doesn't harden any further.
  7. No, I'm not supplanting the two terms. I may be assuming that oil varnish continues to harden after it's initial drying phase though. If it does continue to harden I'm not suggesting that it's indefinite or that it's a huge difference. I'm pretty sure shellac hardens over a period of 6 months or so. I don't know anyone who waits that long before polishing it. Of course shellac is not an oil varnish and oil varnish may not harden after the initial drying period, let's call that 2 or 3 months after the final coat. If it doesn't harden any further after this period then I guess my question is irrelevant.
  8. UV speeds up the drying of oil varnish. Does it speed up the more long term hardening process though? I'm thinking of the stage after rubbing out, so dry by anyone's standards.
  9. Oh that's a Japanese turbo cut blade. That one really does slice through wood. Not so good at going around corners though!
  10. No idea if one is harder and more brittle than the other. I can't really say that I noticed and it's probably difficult to tell unless it's a fairly obvious difference.
  11. Carter do a special guide for very narrow blades. It replaces the normal top guides. The bottom guides are not necessary. Those narrow 3 mm bandsaw blades are for scroll type cutting. I'm quite sure I've seen people using them with the guides set off. I think I've come across that 3 wheel Startrite before. Not sure there's a lot of them about. Maybe it was intended for cutting thin sheet metal too. It's obviously going to be a lot better that the little 3 wheel Burgess type. Even they aren't bad for thin stuff. Not sure I risk a neck on one, it's probably capable of doing it with the right blade and slow feed though.
  12. Seedlac has a natural wax content. Leave it in, it also makes brushing slightly easier in my experience. The varnish will boil and you will lose a lot of volume of alcohol. You will need to top it up again after the boiling stage. I'm not quite sure why the need to heat the resins (other than speed). I've done both, heated and also just allowed the ingredients to dissolve cold in alcohol over a week or so. Don't ask me what the difference is. I don't know.
  13. I don't think 3 mm blades are supposed to be used with guides? Tuff saws does good blades.
  14. I've been suffering from numbness in both hands for a few months now, primarily the left hand. I think it seems to be linked to back issues, either through bad posture playing and/or at the workbench. I stopped playing months ago but long days at the bench makes matters much worse. If I do absolutely nothing for 4 or 5 days it's like I'm back to normal.
  15. Where did you buy it? Seems like it needs a touch taking off the length.
  16. You could splash out on the Knew concepts coping saw. You'll find it much easier than an ordinary coping saw, which has difficulty getting enough tension in the blade. Mighty expensive though. Have a look at the blade type too, some seem to work better than others. Build your own bow saw: https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/item/GT-BOWS.XX/Gramercy_Tools_Bow_Saw_Kits_and_Parts The narrow blades that they use for these bow saws are good. Alternately look for a good used bow saw on the auction site, then buy one of the Gramercy blades. I've even seen small versions made to take ordinary coping saw blades.
  17. Never cleaned one. If I put a coat on I just place the brush in a large zip lock bag with a few drops of alcohol. That keeps it sweet for the next day or inbetween coats. After that I just allow the brush to go hard.
  18. Michael.N.


    Still is used for recorders. I have some quarter sawn pear veneer which has very straight pin stripe grain, no knots, very clean wood. I think it's around 2 ft long x 6" width, so it certainly can be had in pieces large enough for a violin or a cello head. I would have no problem obtaining it in the UK.
  19. Michael.N.


    Pearwood is from the fruit tree. Pyrus communis or pyrus nivalis. A lot seems to come as steamed pear, which turns it a little more darker Brown/Pink. At least I think it does from the few examples that I have.
  20. No, even worse, unless you can resaw it, then you'll get enough for 4 or 5 baroque violin fingerboards. Sawing ebony is not easy but any decent bandsaw will do it. You'll still need to thin it further. Is 50 mm wide enough?
  21. No idea why they are selling 3 mm's ebony for veneering. They are sawn veneers but usually thickness sanded. Don't think it's possible to buy knife cut ebony veneer but I could be wrong. I buy mine from a supplier in the UK who will thickness to my requirements. I use the same technique, spritzing one side with water and tying with string. Some position the other side near a heat source. You can get quite a curve even with ebony, although being brittle it can crack. Slab sawn stuff is easier to work with, your using it's natural tendency to curl. You can wet the string, wrap it around the board, tie it off and apply gentle heat from a hairdrier. That will keep the glue workable yet dry out and tighten the string.
  22. You will need to thin it. You might have a bit of trouble getting 3 mm ebony to curl. 1 mm -1.2 mm's is more like it. Slab sawn tends to curl a bit easier than quartered stuff. In fact makers of lutes who wish to veneer the back of a lute neck often use slab material.
  23. I was referring to makers active now. I don't know of anyone working today who can charge a multiple of $20,000. A Bouchet or Torres might fetch $150,000+. Demand, very limited supply.
  24. I'm referring to classical guitars, of which I've been around for nearly 40 years. Probably the most expensive being in the $20,000 region. Not many makers at that price but there are a few approaching that. That is a reflection of demand. Certain makers can get that kind of money. Actually it doesn't mean a lot to me, in terms of them being better tonally. A lot of other makers charge far less and all I can say is that I struggle to hear any price difference but that's just my opinion. I think you will also find that there are many violin makers with many years of experience who do not charge anything like $30,000. There are a few very well known makers who charge that (perhaps even more).
  25. A $1,000 guitar has been made in a factory. You might find a lot of people who would argue that $1,000 doesn't even get anywhere close to being a professional instrument. It will almost certainly be covered in a thick sprayed on finish, they usually are. It's no different to the violin market except that violins (on average) tend to be in a slightly higher price bracket. I'm sure that it's quite possible to get a perfectly fine sounding violin for less than Dwight has stated. You might have to search very hard to find that instrument though, then again you may get lucky. Then you would have to ask what exactly is 'best'? According to whose criteria? Does everyone like the exact same tone? Personally I think it's an impossible question to answer, other than stating that the best instrument is the one that speaks to you. It might not be one, it could be several.
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