Brad H

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About Brad H

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    So. Oregon

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  1. Brad H

    Method for determining arching height?

    Arching height does include plate thickness. Arching height is normally set before the inside is hollowed, so you just measure the thickness at the highest point. After the plate has been carved....yes, you would measure to the surface that the plate would be sitting on.
  2. Brad H

    Gemini Carbon Fiber Clamps...Beware!!!!

    I don't know anything about their clamps, but, sorry, buying that sound post setter looks like a pure waste of time and money ($75?) to me. Here is part of the sales pitch from the Gemini website: There is even a video on their ad site. Just buy a traditional setter and learn to use it (videos, nearby luthiers, workshops).
  3. Brad H

    Crack Filling and Leveling

    Yesterday I had more consistent success in laying down a bead. Holding the brush tip motionless for 1 second after initial "contact" with the crack seemed to help the varnish grab onto the crack. Then, it felt like I will pulling the varnish along the crack, like an engine pulling a train. There seems to be a fine line between fill varnish that is too thick or too thin. Too thick and it won't leave the brush easily enough. Too thin and it wants to form a valley and not a bead. One trick that someone showed me was to periodically refreshen the bristles in alcohol in order to keep thicker varnish flowing from brush to crack.
  4. Brad H

    Crack Filling and Leveling

    Jeffrey,, Thanks for the tips. I was just reading an old thread in which you suggested using only fresh, high quality alcohol in the filler recipe. Uhoh...the 190 proof grain alcohol I am using is probably 10 years old. I assume that the concern for older alcohol is the propensity to absorb water. I wonder whether this is part of my problem.
  5. Brad H

    Crack Filling and Leveling

    Thanks for the replies. Regarding brush size, I was hoping someone would recommend a brush with more bristles - I find that continually having to reload and then to re-find the "sweet spot" of the brush tip position to apply a bead (and not a valley) is trying. Varying the scraper angle is something I haven't tried but makes sense. Do you typically fill the crack in one pass? What is your source for aluminum hydroxide? What is the preferred type of shellac? How do you sand the scraped fill?
  6. Brad H

    Crack Filling and Leveling

    Arghh! I have had varying levels of success with this but find too much frustration to be a common ingredient in my attempts. I am using a fill varnish of copal with lesser amounts of shellac and sandarac in everclear. The consistency is like thin syrup. The brush I am using to fill the crack is probably lacking in bristles because I am continually having to reload with varnish and the resultant "bead" is kind of choppy. Below is a pic of the brush I have been using. After applying the fill, I wait around 2 days before leveling. It seems like, no matter what I use - scraper, curved knife - I get chatter. Worse yet, sometimes it seems that voids appear where I could swear there had been varnish atop. Questions: 1. I know that consistency/viscosity is hard to verbalize, but your attempt at describing your fill varnish would be appreciated. 2. What type of brush do you use? A pic would be great. 3. How long do you let the fill dry before leveling? 4. Any tips on leveling?
  7. Brad H

    Peg shapers: Alberti v Herdim

    It would be nice to know which Herdim shaper folks are talking about - the 4-hole standard shaper (non adjustable) or the adjustable Herdim shaper that is a bit more spendy (bottom pic). I have purchased the non-stock, sharpenable blades for the standard shaper and, yes, sometimes I go longer than I should without resharpening because of the hassle of realigning the blade.
  8. You might try contacting stringed instrument dealers/stores in your area to see if they have one.
  9. Brad H

    Weird faux flames

    From a historical perspective, how much deception was involved in this practice? Or, how far along the production-to-sales chain did the deception travel? Were U.S. importers relaying orders to these manufacturers to "Quick, send more faux flame violins"? How did the manufacturers market these?
  10. Brad H

    Weird faux flames

    Another layer of deception in this Czech fiddle. No need to inquire about the workmanship on the top interior.
  11. Brad H

    Tips for Removing Cork Residue From Top?

    Right...and then the luthier pulls up Maestronet to search for a better method...
  12. Brad H

    Tips for Removing Cork Residue From Top?

    Thanks for the replies. When I searched the archived posts, I came up with this , which wasn't much help. It just might be a problem with no easy solutions.
  13. Am all ears (or eyes).
  14. Brad H

    Any worse bridge?

    Wood is an amazing material.
  15. Brad H

    Bridge height with low arch, how high is too high?

    At 12 mm high and with pronounced scoop, it doesn't sound like a particularly strong arch. DId you leave the top thicker and/or do anything unusual with the bass bar? I don't know how long it takes to materialize, but I have seen plenty of low arched violins and cellos with sunken arches on the bass side. What are your string clearances?