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About MikeC

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    Violins, Varnish, forex trading & many other things.

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  1. Initially I make my blades pass the hanging hair test just like my straight razor for shaving. I use my granddad's old aloxite razor hone. But of course when cutting wood they don't stay that sharp so I strop on a leather with the green compound when I feel like it's not cutting as well as it should. So how many times and how often, it varies quite a bit.
  2. I find it hard to believe Strad didn't use a bending iron. So my experience for what its worth, not much maybe, first I made a wood form to bend them on and tried to use an old clothes iron for heat. That didn't work, they kept cracking and breaking. Then I heated an iron pipe with a propane torch and wet the side of the rib that touches the pipe, then they bent easily with no burning or cracking. I tried a copper pipe and that got way too hot and burned the rib. I can only imagine trying to bend a rib with only soaking and no heat. I don't think I would ever be able to do that without breaking them. I thinned them down to about 1mm and left the toothed plane marks on the inside. I would make a video and demonstrate but I don't have any rib blanks left. Almost forgot to mention, I used an old leather belt as a bending strap, it worked great for that.
  3. I'm in the south, I hope to go there someday, not this year though
  4. hah I don't feel so bad now!
  5. Have you reached the age where everything that don't hurt, itches... ? heh
  6. is that 1 part oil and 4 parts rosin? Do you have to add a lot of thinner to get it to a usable consistency?
  7. I tend to get cluttered also but sometimes get a wild hair and clean and organize things... This is the cluttered version...
  8. What is it about the body that makes it look amateurish? It looks pretty good to me.
  9. Homemade saw till. Made from a fence board and other scraps.
  10. You got a lot of color in the varnish, looks good. Is that just the rosin and linseed oil or did you add something to give it more color?
  11. MikeC


    you can also tell by looking inside the F holes. If the flames are real you should be able to seem them on the inside of the plate.
  12. Joe, what optical effects are you referring to?
  13. Finally getting around to joining some plates. I have a Record #6 and spent some time putting a hair shaving razor edge on it. What a huge difference that sharpness makes. It goes through spruce or maple like a hot knife through butter. If I'm reading the mic right that's two thousanths and could easily adjust it to go thinner than that.
  14. I sent you a PM. That's a good picture of the plate by the way. You should do a tutorial on plate carving. I need a beginners lesson on that. I thought ribs would be difficult but that was the easy part!
  15. I'm thinking about it. Actually I would like one in millimeters but you're keeping that one. Everything in violin making is metric so I may hold off and try to find one. I like it because it's mechanical and antique. I assume it works well for violin building since you're keeping one.