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Posts posted by MeyerFittings

  1. The Gibson seizure was not connected tp Brazilian rosewood. It had to do with rosewood and ebony from India, and whether they were legally obtained and imported from plantation grown sources. Brazilian (dalbergia nigra) has been on the CITES 1 list of restriction since 1991 and has not been used by any large guitar factory since then. Indian rosewood is not currently restricted by CITES but needs proper paperwork for export. I have been working with USFW for permits to sell my pernambuco and Brazilian rosewood that was proven to be obtained before their CITES classifications.

    Having some experience with guitar making and bow making I can't see rosewood as a good bow material but I could see pau brazil as a decent guitar body.    

  2. Jim, thank You. Boyd was more than good, he was wonderfull. I live in Oregon also. By the time I learned that he was in Sisters, he was gone. I drove MOW for 15 years in Portland. I know how close you can get.


  3. Boyd Poulsen has passed. He helped many aspiring Luthiers on their professional journey. His life was eventful and inspiring and he was an incredibly good man. A violin maker, a bow maker, and a teacher, he was also a lot of fun to be around. His Jazz past includes a stint playing bass in Elvis's back up band in one of his movies. I loved kidding him about that. He was a docent in the Sequoia National Park and an expert in botany.  It breaks my heart to think he isn't around.


  4. I cut off the extra on 4 tp blanks and dropped them in water. One said England on it and one said France. Another was a piece from Salonika that Bill Watson gave me from the old Hill shop. Only one sunk and it was none of those. So I gather that the tree itself determines the density of the wood. As you surely know, what passes for boxwood these days is sporadic at best. I haven't tried giugulo which Strad used. Perhaps Eric Fouilhe will see this and enlighten us.

  5. The floating question had to do with mesquite. Wood that floats had a density of less than !.00.  Pernambuco density hovers around this floating point. A chinrest, if strong enough structurally doesn't need to be a "sinker" but, to put up with tuning dynamics, I think the pegs should be. Tailpiece? Don't know.

  6. 2 hours ago, David Rosales said:

    Don't mean to hijack this thread, but is there any particular reason the industry has settled on Boxwood, Rosewood, and Ebony as the primary materials for fittings? 


    Why not maple, beech, oak, or some other hardwood?

    Those woods may be hard enough for chinrests but not for pegs. Rosewood is barely hard enough IMHO.

  7. I'll be going to the VSA Convention in Anaheim with 50 sticks to sell. All are pre-CITIES and will have docs. I don't know if the USFW will get them to me in time for the trip but they are coming and I have paid for them. Prices will depend on quality and or Lucci reading.

  8. No one sells them. You have to grind them. I eventually made a jig it took a long time to figure it all out and you break a lot of them doing it. You'd certainly rather break the peg than the cutter. Anything a little off or not on the same plane and you'll be making another one soon.

    After a marvelous tour of Eric Fouille's shop in France, where all his employees came in on a Holliday to meet me, I asked him to show me the first tool he ever made to make the heart cut. He smiled and rummaged around in an old tool chest and found it. I almost fell over laughing. It looked just like the one that I came up with. Great guy- and he looks like Eric Clapton too.

  9. I only use a chisel to hog off wood on the concave "French" style cello pegs. I do this mostly because it's fun. David is right about the router bit, the router being mounted to the underside of a table. I use various means to remove the majority of the wood including the band saw and the dowel mounted in the lathe pictured above.  Everything gets the final treatment with files and paper though. 

  10. Here's a couple pics. I start it all from a rectangle to keep the angles straight. I have a cradle on a designated drill press to drill the hole horizontal and at the right angle. I cut the slot for the saddle with a spline cutter with the blank in a cradle that looks like a roof top. This was not easy to make. It's not worth it to set up all this for one-off tps. So I make a bunch at a time in different lengths. The adjuster recesses are made with a cove bit that I have had specially honed to cut as a shovel shaped hole from the side- like a plunge router. The outer shape is done on a template using a router bit with a wheel to follow the outline.

    Tailpieces, done well are much harder to make than pegs. Most of the work is just saws and files and 180 to 1500 paper. A tailpiece surface is analogous to an inverted boat hull.  Bill Watson used to be given rough tailpieces from the Hill shop to take home and finish at the kitchen table for extra money to go to camp for his vacation. Arthur Bultitude would look at them the nest day and make pencil mark to point out bumps and valleys to be taken back home to correct. This was part of Bill's bowmaking training. . 

    pegmaking 072.jpg

    pegmaking 083.jpg

  11. Several years ago I created a Master List with the US Fish and Wildlife Dept. using notarized photos of my saved stocks of wood that were under danger of being affected by, or already were protected by CITIES.  This process was indeed a PITA to accomplish, finding  old invoices for Rosewood bought in the 1970s or bills of sale from the 80s for pernambuco sticks and boards that I  bought from bow makers.  From that Master I am supposed to get "clones" that allow me to sell portions of this register, with the certification of this wood travelling with it and included in the finish product. I did all of this with the help of some higher-ups in the USFW. 

    Now this may be all for naught, I don't know yet, but will certainly find out.. My understanding though is that since this is all by the book and paid for, the fact that my wood is certified as pre-CITIES designation means that I am OK to sell. All of this was designed for large wood dealers so there had to be some tweaking for small timers like myself looking at their supplies and facing the fact that health and abilities don't last for us all equally or fairly, and the wood needs to be utilized. 

    BTW there is at least one one pernambuco grove of 20 year old trees growing for harvest in Hawaii.  

  12. On 9/27/2022 at 4:07 PM, JacksonMaberry said:


    One of many results if one googles "violin/bow confiscated by customs"

    Actually the article is incorrect. African elephant ivory does indeed have Schreger lines but they can only be seen on the end grain. Also it would be impossible to tell from these the continental origin of the elephant, and the law specifies African elephants ivory. Mammoth ivory also has these lines but they intersect at a different angle than those of elephants. Only a forensic lab could see the difference if the lines were even visible.  If confiscated to be tested the ivory would have to be sent to the National lab, where the testing would be put in a que with all the other cases. 


  13. 3 hours ago, Dwight Brown said:

    My reasoning behind the idea that lignin reactivated is rather an odd source. I have a pellet smoker for making the most holy of Texas BBQ that is the magnificent brisket! The pellets are made from just wood with no added glue by compression. The makers of the pellets say that this is the mechanism.

    All Hail The Great and Merciful Brisket,


    If you think wood pellets are good for smoking meat you should try some chips of mountain mahogany. Don't use your pegs though. That was the only real commercial use for m.m. in the past except for roller skate wheels. I throw some on the coals when cooking steaks or salmon.


  14. I spent a lot of time and effort looking through receipts of purchases of wood that occurred before the listing of various CITIES restrictions to get permissions to export or just sell various pieces of wood. I don't know if this new ruling will effect this. I have put in a call with the Lady from Fish and Wildlife who worked with me to process them. I plan on taking quite a few sticks to the VSA convention to sell since it has become terribly evident that I personally will not be making very many bows in the future. I will keep you all posted when I find out what she says.

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