James M. Jones

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About James M. Jones

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  • Birthday 06/12/1966

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    Mason Wiconsin U S A
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    I have been working as artist craftsman since 1983. In 92 I began a three year apprenticeship for blacksmithing /doing fine architectural work in the high style. and have been working in the field since .In2007 I was able to attend a semester of violin school. My goal is tho create works that honor the work of the masters . I am happy to have MN to continue my learning

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  1. Define better.... on one hand it must be secure and accurate, on the other it needs to be repairable. There is no standard angle because plate height and overstand varies a bit maker to maker, any sort of a shoulder or through neck type joint will be rather set, in it,s angles making minor adjustments of center to center, overstand, projection to bridge difficult to impossible , the current low angle , shoulderless dovetail, fits all the requirements . Secure, accurate, and repairable.
  2. Well well, happy birthday, wish you many more,health wealth and friends by the score, Thanks for sharing.....I think.
  3. Condolences to his family, fun and intelligent, will be missed for sure. Love the life he shared.
  4. Beg to differ, those sharp inside corners can’t be easy or quick to produce. Seems more an artistic choice, to my way of seeing that is.
  5. If I were going down that road, I,d consider Inlaying a hex nut to the inside , could be brass, a bit of glue to secure.
  6. If I am not mistaken, that was Connor Russel
  7. For folks interested in anti inflammatory naturals , there is a mushroom called Chaga, and another called Reshi, both contain stuff.... been doing the Chaga for years with no bad side effects, seems to knock a few years off. Haven’t done theReshi much but seems folks are having success with it as well. There is some scientific literature on both indicating usefull chemicals and benefits to both. Always encourage people to Do your own research on these topics. For gluten free, high protein paleo folks , wild rice is gluten free has lots of protein per serving , better than eggs, and also other antioxidants, colored flour corn also I believe fits into the same sort of nutrition category, both are grass seeds. And last but not least good old maple syrup is not just empty calories, has antioxidants minerals and other goodies mixed in. Now to get a varnish the color of a special wood fired dark maple syrup.... that wood be hot...
  8. In the shop we have a thing about using a heavy tool with a light touch, death gripping things seldom works out well. One thing I have found useful is to practice multiples flatten several sets of plates and while doing so certain things become apparent, if adjustments and improvements are made to the working methods a best practice may be discovered. Doing several rib sets I discovered my wrist was sore from the constant twisting of the clamp that held the rib, for removal to facilitate measurements.after building a quick cam clamp I can now thin ribs pretty much all day with no pain. Also use a cam clamp on my rotary carving cradle. Set it and forget it. Last thing I use is the stewmack purfling router with a 1/4 in flat bottom bit to cut a level edge around the plate edge, doesn’t,t save much gouge time but gives a place to work off , a good platform to dive off .
  9. To be honest...I don’t know how the grain structure might be different. Haven’t realy done enough with knives to tell. I can say that different methods yield different results, heat plays a big role as does the way deformation occurs. I can also say that the power hammer cuts the time by a lot, and saves the body and fuel. Much like any tool...Cnc bandsaw whatever only as good as the hands and mind behind it. I do think that there is a tendency though to be led by the tool as well, hand hewn beams for instance tend to follow the grain more than sawn beams, no matter how much texture gets applied after . Thanks, I have a hard time claiming the artist title though, being surrounded by so many truly great artists, a guy can feel small.
  10. Depends who what where why, the key is the story, in Japan a fully hand forged sword executed by a master will realize much more than it,s identical sister made by the same smith under a power hammer, as it would be special made. I expect this to be true in other fields , not everyone,s cup of tea, lots of people only connect with the cost end of the story .
  11. Interesting discussion as usual, something we confront in the design blacksmith shop on a regular basis. Constantly asking ,”what,s the goal? What impression do we want to convey, probably less important is the actual goal it’s self , more important is a sense of definition of it. Smooth and shiny, or deep with texture? Masculine or feminine? Historically informed or forward looking? Set apart or blending in? Collaboration or solo? Now when making violins I go through the same sort of processes. Never perfect, I wish it was so easy,but having the goal defined somehow guides the direction. In my opinion, the choice we make in tooling seems to revolve around the makers goal, if for instance the maker goal is to convey the idea of historical Cremona, then it might very well be wise to utilize methods they used,or at least closely related, allowing for certain inaccuracies and inconsistencies, as well as tool marks, ect .these I believe could be legitimate artistic statements,....artistically executed, but only if the goal is in line. If on the other hand the goal is to repeatedly create visually, the most mathematicaly perfect violin,perfect symmetry , perfect arch, perfect edge ,perfect scroll, ect with no inconsistency...a cnc might very well be a good starting point, but only if the programmer/artist craftsmanship is fluent in the tool and materials language, if that,s the goal. Big question is does the tail wag the dog? Does the dog wag the tail? Perhaps a bit of both. Some current unrelated work on my bench.
  12. The logwood trap die worked well to my eye. Of course I live in a area with trappers so it was easy to find locally.
  13. laughing .....so true ....Dwight , so very happy for you , must have been scary, and cool after wards....out of curiosity, any word on success failure rate? I’d sign up in a New York minute if it was 100% , as it sits the near vision needs help, congratulations.and thanks for putting it out there.
  14. If I were trying to , in respect to neck alignment thru center , I,d take my rib ,neck assembly nailed up, with glue and with a center line scribed to the neck, lay the assembly on the back plate and utilize a taught fine thread affixed on the center line of the neck in the the nut fingerboard joint area with a small nail, run the other end down to the tail block, and with a bit of judgement a few clamps to swing, could be done well fast..
  15. Some years ago The Strad ran an article about a maker in Maine,I forget his name , he used an ingenious method of measuring volume with glass sandblasting beads, a measured box and graduated cylinders. After placing the piece to be measured in side the box ,he would fill it with the beads , because the beads are round they pack up tight , he is then able to figure out the displaced volume , more or less. By tapping f holes shut and filling he also measured the internal volume by filling though the end pin. Haven,t tried it myself , but see no reason it would not work. Beer goes in the face hole...