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Everything posted by FenwickG

  1. I have resharpened needle files as well as regular mill and double cut files with good results. I also sharpened a four in hand rasp, but it took three applications to get the coarse teeth sharp. I have been told sulfuric acid works well but haven't tried it or any other acids for that matter other than muratic, which is easy to get at the hardware store. I should have mentioned that sharpening with muratic acid should be done outside. The fumes are nasty and will rust any iron tool that they come in contact with.
  2. I have sharpened files for the past eight years. It works well. I have two 6" mill files that have been resharpened at least twenty times and are still going strong. I made a 1-1/2" pvc tube 14" long with a cap on one end. I cover the files in it over the length of the teeth with undiluted muratic (HCl) acid for two and a half hours, then I rinse them off with cold water to remove any acid that might be still on them, and then dry them with a towel. I used to use warm water, but a rust bloom would form on them before I could dry them. If you don't think this works, keep buying new files, but send the old ones to me.
  3. I sewed a pair of pants ...with two left legs ...once On a violin??
  4. Bill, Michael Vann still sells this item on his website. It is a fine polish, but like most polishes it should be used with some prudence.
  5. I have been searching for some time trying to find larger diameter radius gauges. I came across these ones on eBay. #161189892857 and #151203057943. These cover radius from 52mm to 100mm. For about $10.00 each I now don't have to make more gauges for fractional instruments, cellos and basses.
  6. It should be a concern, but so far I haven't had a problem. Perhaps it is a case of the Lord looking after drunks and fools; and I'm sober.
  7. If you apply the accelerant before the superglue it doesn't turn white for some reason. I have had glue lines turn white with accelerant before I reversed the two.
  8. Bill, we are not so bothered with Maggini violins in the Calgary region, only a plethora of Strads. Yours must be a Northern phenomenon.
  9. Rue, if you need leather to work with, go to a thrift store (Value Village) and find a leather jacket. They are inexpensive and will provide all the leather you will need to practice on and use when you are proficient. You could also use your Gucci handbag that currently doesn't match your wardrobe. I use a straight razor to bevel the leather. Any knife you use though, has to be super sharp.
  10. With bows, the tip material is about balance. Ivory, elephant and mammoth, and composite (plastic) are lighter than silver or other metals. Bone is harder to work with, can be porous and is hard and brittle. These are the main reasons that many bow makers and repairers avoid it.Plastic looks cheap and is not as durable, and the casein tips are hard to work with and seem to be very brittle. With the availability of mammoth ivory there is no need to use elephant ivory, but has been mentioned many times the "authorities" can't tell the difference. As I see it, civilization is being micro managed and litigated out of existence.
  11. FenwickG


    You have to look closely at Pegheds and perfection pegs to see that they aren't regular pegs. The giveaway is the shaft in the pegbox is smaller than a regular peg would be. The buttons on the Pegheds are more refined than Perfection pegs seem to be. Peghed components are made in the US, and I have been told that Perfection components are made offshore. Wittner mechanical pegs are a bit different than the other two. The reduction gears are in the head, giving it a bit bulbous shape rather than in the main body. Wittner pegs are all composition other than the gearing. The other two are composition, aluminium, and in most cases the buttons are wood.
  12. FenwickG


    If you haven't tried them, why dismiss them? They are an excellent product. FenwickG - also from the Canadian Prairies, but farther west.
  13. Check out eBay listing number 111358980841. I almost quacked up when I read the translated version of the description.
  14. Make your own as I did. I used drill rod for one and model aircraft piano wire for the other.Both types come in many diameters. After hardening and tempering one holds its edge as well as the other. I filed them to shape by hand and it took about an hour to do one. I turned handles for them, but handles for gravers would work fine.
  15. A four jaw independant chuck can give you a precise setting but will take quite a while to set up. The suggestion of using a dial indicator to centre the stick in the chuck is a good one. The easiest way to find the centre of a new bow stick is to use a centering square and mark the centre of four or more facets. The space between all the marks in the middle will be the average centre for the stick. Of course if you make perfect octagons you will only need to mark two sides. I solved the problem by buying a Bow Badger. It is quicker, safer, and more precise.
  16. I bought the first one that was sold. It makes fitting butt bushings in cracked bows very easy and precise. The way the jaws come together centres the bow for drilling and supports it while drilling is taking place. After drilling a 1/4" hole for the bushing in the bow it left a thickness on the flat of the remaining facet of 1.7 thousandths with no further cracking. It is just as useful for drilling the screw hole on new bows and having them centred perfectly. It is less risky to the bow doing it on the Bow Badger than in a lathe, which I used to use. No more bow whipping around. If you are doing a lot of bow repairs or making new bows I feel it will pay for itself in the long run. There are other ways of doing these jobs which are quite successful, but the Bow Badger simplifies the job by reducing the risks of breakage and doing a very precise repair.
  17. Lee Valley castings for their planes were cast in a foundry in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. I don't know if they still are, but at the time I was told this by a company official, this foundry produced superior investment castings. I use Stanley Bedrock and Sargent VBM planes which are fine for what I do. Veritas and Lie Nielsen are nice though.
  18. I have always been under the impression that a clean shop is the sign of a sick mind. For all that that is worth.
  19. All the best to you in 2014. I hope it hangs around longer than 2013 did.
  20. My supplier in Canada said the Amber E's aren't available in the US and Austria pending a legal patent dispute, but are available in Canada. They were out of stock when I inquired about getting more. I do like them, but like most strings, they don't work on every instrument.
  21. Daryl, I feel that your thinking is a bit muddied. I feel confidant that most, perhaps all North American bow and violin makers would not knowingly use poached ivory. I also know that things are not perfect, if they were CITES would have been responsible for stopping this abhorrent practice. It hasn't, and the poached ivory is going to other countries that are in the bow and instrument trade in a big way, and could care less about elephants. Using Mammoth ivory is a legitimate way to have ivory "trimmings" without resorting to poached ivory. This is my opinion for what it is worth.
  22. I just received this email from David Warther, who works with ivory and supplies bow tips and other mammoth and legal elephant ivory pieces. What the US Government is proposing seems rather draconian, especially in the Land of the Free. Apparently all forms of ivory are included. It will impact the musical instrument trade as well as any other that uses any form of ivory. I imagine even the tooth fairy will be unemployed. This is what he sent me. Hello Everyone! Ivory Ban - The Presidential Advisory Committee that met 12/16/13 does plan to recommend a total ban on ivory sales, within the US, to the task force on Wildlife Trafficking. If you want to oppose that action please email ACWT@FWS.GOV before December 28th when they file their report. I have attached a letter beneath my signature (below) that you can use by cutting and pasting but feel free to change it as may fit your interests and work. This is not a ban on new ivory but rather a ban on the sale of ALL ivory that is in any form. This includes pre-ban and antique ivory in musical instruments, knives, guns, cues, etc. and will make Grandma's piano illegal to sell if it has ivory keys. This sounds ludicrous but it is true. If this passes then it will take the form of a bill that will be set before Congress in 2014. Presently this ban on the sale of ivory is to include fossil mammoth ivory as well as pre-ban and antique elephant ivory. Please forward this information to everyone you think may want to voice their opposition to this type of government control. Sincerely , David Warther 2561 Crestview Dr. NW Dover , Ohio 44622 www.guitarpartsandmore.com ( website ) Letter : Dear Advisory Committee, I stand against a total ban of all ivory sales in the US. As called for in the Presidential Executive Order I ask that the recommendations continue to allow for "legal and legitimate commerce”. The ivory market in the US is stable and /or declining, and the seizure records indicate that a high proportion of the seizures made were personal effects lacking the correct paperwork, not the “blood tusks “ spoken about in the media. The Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) analysis indicated that the amount of ivory (by weight) seized annually has not increased in recent years. WE are not the consumers of the poached ivory. Therefore banning ivory sales within the US will do nothing to save the remaining world population of elephants. CITES MIKE report (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) September 2013 report, page 64 analysis states "Africa's elephant populations are managed sustainably" and that in 2013 the quota for permits for legal elephants was 1350 animals. There is legal trade that can be monitored with DNA testing and permitting. Enforcing and policing a ban would use funds that should be used to support the ban on imports already in effect. I fully support the CITES rules, closing international borders to elephant ivory trade, a law already in effect that should be fully supported and enforced. I stand against a total ban of all ivory commerce within our United States borders, a decision that would be an enforcement nightmare. Like prohibition it will cause a new wave of illicit commerce where a legitimate one now exists. Museums, antique dealers, collectors, artisans and individual citizens have invested in a legal and valuable material. Sanctioned trade in ivory that is legal (culled and pre-ban) and comes from unthreatened sources (mammoth, boar, warthog, antique and recycled products) can pose no possible threat to elephant herds in the wild. I believe our mutual goals are the same and a solution can be reached. Please keep the focus where it belongs. To increase the elephant population the killing must be stopped in Africa and at its borders. Respectfully Submitted,
  23. " Do you play the Violin?" "Yes; for my own amusement and other people's anguish."
  24. If the hair is not too dirty and is mostly located near the frog where the thumb contacts it I use methanol on a cloth to clean it. Alcohol does dry the hair out and should be used as little as possible. I have on occasion used it to clean all the hair, but when all the hair gets dirty enough that it needs cleaning, it is time for a rehair. I avoid using water and soap to clean hair. I am not worried about the frog or tip rotting, but rather swelling with the water and cracking the mortice. Cleaning the stick is simple. Use as many patches as necessary soaked in methanol or other alcohol and dissolve and remove the old rosin build up. In most cases it will remove some or all of the finish on the stick, but a lot of this finish has been worn away by playing. A nice french polish will restore the finish to new. I wouldn't scrape the stick for fear of scratching or scraping away some of the wood. I am sure there are other methods to clean the stick, but so far these have worked well for me.
  25. Trenchworker; scrape a small shaving from the bottom of the mortise and put it in a few drops of water. If the waster turns pink in a few minutes it is probably a pernambuco bow.