Urban Luthier

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Posts posted by Urban Luthier

  1. wondering how many of you use what some woodworkers call the 'ruler trick' when sharpening plane blades?

    i.e. honing the face of the blade by placing a thin ruler at the opposite end of the stone so only the very edge of the blade is honed. 

  2. 6 hours ago, Don Noon said:

    I guess I feel good about getting the PMV11 blade when I ordered my Veritas plane.  I have it now... but haven't honed the blade down for use yet.

    The one disadvantage of the PMV11, is that one really needs to monitor the edge while you work. The PMV-11 stays sharper loner than anything I've tried. I frequently use the tools with these blades longer than I should - even to the point when the edge starts to fail. At this point it is back to the grind stone.

  3. all of the home-made honing jigs above look really cool.

    The best investment I've made (and the most painful one) is to learn how to sharpen everything freehand. With a bit of effort i'm now able to get results as good as i used when using jigs, the benefit is that I can work much more quickly. Like John and Jim i use the Tormek jigs for grinding. 

  4. Konrad Sauer (A plane maker friend of mine) uses O1 Hock blades. I have a couple of his planes and I can get the blades sharper than anything else I've tried. The A2 blades in my Lie Nielsen's (scrub and 102) seem to be more durable and stay sharper longer than the Lee valley A2 equivalent. I now only use A2 for high angle toothing blades. I use the Veritas PMV-11 in my LV planes now. PMV-11 seems to be the Goldilocks blade - I can get it quite sharp (not as sharp as the hock for some reason) and they stay sharper for longer than anything else i've tried.

  5. When doing this joint i also bevel the ribs very slightly by a half a degree or so. That way the outside face of the two ribs buts together tightly when glued. No matter what one does, in a hundred years joint will separate slightly anyway!

  6. 15 hours ago, sug said:


    For the complete CT scans, you need to order the DVD. They are definitely more than 1mm accurate - for the exact accuracy you may want to ask them directly.


    Yes this is what i was referring to above. The CT data is super accurate! However S&Z were unable to produce an + - .3mm accurate resin based copy from the data (they were using an additive fabrication process with resin not CNC). When I spoke to Andrea, he wasn't 100% satisfied with the results and decided to cancel the 3d print option originally offered with the book.

    It is too bad -- even at these tolerances, I would have been happy. It is near impossible for amateurs to get a hold of plaster casts for study purposes. 

  7. Trouble with 3d printing from CT scans (CT->STL) is the accuracy of the resin print. S&Z ran into issues with this with the Tuscan Strad publication. They simply couldn't get the accuracy they were looking for + - .3mm was considered too great a margin of error. 

  8. 36 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

    You haven't given a description of the way in which you evaluated these planes, but with all the money and time I've spent correcting various planes over the years, my conclusion is that it would have been less expensive in the long run to just drop the bucks on a  Lie Nielsen  or Veritas in the first place. 

    Second this - the cost of the tools needed to fix up an old Stanley + the time to do it can be more than buying a new LV or LN plane. Makers today are very lucky - there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to tool selection and availability 

  9. 3 hours ago, JohnCockburn said:

    For jobs you mention, I'd go for the full-size adjustable mouth Veritas block plane with a PMV11 blade. Some people find this a bit on the large side though, so if you have smallish hands, I'd suggest the Lie Nielsen 60 1/2.

    This is my favourite tool (and I think probably the best block plane Veritas Makes). The ergonomics and machining are first rate. There are two versions: a low and high angle. I like this one better than the fancier one.

  10. 2 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

    Exactly, he. I call or email and the same person answers the phone or replies to email. I believe his daughter works there as well. It’s online, but feels Like I’m dealing with a person. That’s worth a couple bucks for me. 

    +1 I've used violins.ca several times. I live close to downtown Toronto and it isn't as easy as you'd think to get the exact string you are looking for. Try walking in to a shop and asking for Piastro Golds for cello and see what happens. Eudoxa's sometimes - Golds - forget about it.

  11. I spent the bulk of my career working at Alias / Autodesk. I even worked with the fusion team for a bit on the rendering software. Benefit of Fusion is that the CAD and CAM are integrated into a single package and for personal use it is free. For folks in our industry looking at CAM -- you couldn't do any better. If you want to experiment with generative design, it is also worth having a look at Rhino / Grasshopper.

  12. @Baroque temperature aside, your primary issue is that  your quantities way are off.

    There is simply no way to make a useful varnish from 20ml of oil and 100ml of resin. These quantities will give you what you got, a gooey clump of semi-solid tar that wont mix with your turpentine. Some guidance:

    • Read the Bass book by Roger Hargrave - starting at p121
    • Weigh your ingredients and go for 1:1 to start
    • It may be useful to start with larger quantities - keeping a consistent temperature with smaller quantities can be difficult 
    • You should not need to go over 200 C at any point to make a good solvent free varnish. As a point of reference here is a quote from the Bass book that refers to how the varnish ingredients may have been put together:
      • "The method(s) I used for combining these ingredients was based on two or three further snippets of in- formation. The first of these concerned the length of the colophony molecules. These were found not to have been significantly altered. Accordingly, White had concluded that the colophony had not been cooked at a high temperature. He suggested that it had probably been heated just hot enough and long enough to blend it with the oil and mastic. His conclusion about the mastic was that it had probably been added as plasticizer, last of all."
    • The Bass book and Gary Bease varnish making article published in the Strad should be required reading for anyone attempting to make thier own varnish


  13. 2 hours ago, Melvin Goldsmith said:

    Basically by heating the resin and oil together you made some kind of plastic that is insoluble in turpentine. It's a complete myth that resin and oil have to be heated together for hours to form some kind of magical bond. For centuries artists have been combining these mediums cold to make glazes with a view to proven longevity.

    YES Thank you! it is possible that classical varnish wasn't formed (if that is the correct word) - just heated long enough to melt the two ingredients together. (need to look up the reference but i think it was Raymond white who referenced this)


    Also for the fun of it one can try pulverizing dry (cooked colophony) and mull into linseed oil -- surpassingly one can actually make a serviceable varnish this way. Although it takes a long time to actually mull the colophony fine enough to clarify in the oil...

  14. Hello Baroque.

    I'd say your quantities are off. Try weighing your ingredients and shoot for a 1:1 ratio to begin. e.g. 100 g of prepared resin mixed with 100 g of oil.

    As for heat - Look up FredN's comments on temp. When you see the surface foam up, the varnish has formed- as it cools you can add turpentine, or not. Also look up the Bass book by Roger Hargrave - he published a recipe for making a solvent free varnish.

  15. 19 hours ago, David Burgess said:

    "Bergonzi's hand" in Stradivari instruments remains rather controversial, does it not?

    Don't think so. There are a number of well documented cellos (scrolls in particular) that are believed to show Bergonzi's hand. See Bergonzi Reuning p 77. Also have a look at the wonderful b-short form cello played by Robert Max -- Comte de Saveuse.