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  1. Hi all, I've posted this on MIMF - but hopefully I can get some answers here as well. I have an 18" #6 fore plane that I bought off Ebay - it was only $14, so it's not a Lie Nielson or anything. Here is the link to the exact same item that I purchased: Very, very, very crappy fore plane After sharpening the blade (it's scary sharp), I reinstalled it, leaving the chip breaker 1/16th of an inch away from the cutting edge and setting the blade to take off the minimum thickness shaving. I began the process of joining my back plates. The first swipe and the minute it hit the wood, I hear a "snap". I look at the blade and it slid up and back, so that it is now behind the chip breaker. I disassembled and retightened the chipbreaker onto the blade - the screw won't turn any more but I can still move the chip breaker around on the blade. Since I can't tighten the screw anymore, I put it in the plane, and hope that the cap lever will hold everything down tight. When I put the cap lever back on, I noticed that it is not actually sitting on the chip breaker, it's actually sitting on the screw that's holding the chip breaker onto the blade. This screw looks to be way too long - in comparison to the pictures I've seen of joining and jack planes. Another thing I've noticed is that the blade is very thin - about as thick as a thick cabinet scraper. My question is... is my blade too thin? Should I order a Hock blade to replace the crappy, thin one? or is the chipbreaker screw too long? Can I just grind a little of the tip off and once I get the cap lever seated right, it'll work? I got so fed up with the fore plane that I attempted to join the plates with my trusty block plane - which works perfectly, just not in joining processes. I really need this fore plane to work? Any suggestions? Thanks
  2. Thanks to all! I'll check around.
  3. Hi, I was just wondering if anybody lives in Montreal and can recommend a good place to get violin lessons. I've just recently started to pick up the violin again and would like to get some private lessons. Also, does anybody know what I could expect to pay? I don't have much money to go towards this, so I was just thinking of bi-weekly or even monthly lessons. TIA~
  4. Well, after putting together my first kit, I'd like to move on to building a violin from scratch. I've ordered my wood already and this weekend I'll be making the moulds. I have a few questions that I haven't been able to find the answer to from the search: 1) Can I use 1/2" MDF for my mould? I won't be reusing the mold since I don't plan on making more than one violin (and if I do, I'll use a different pattern next time around). 2) Is it easier to bend ribs using an outside mould pattern and a clothes iron? I don't want to buy a bending iron just yet. 3) Can I use razor blades as scrapers? I have access to as many razor blades as I want so if I could burnish these and use them, that would save me time (with sharpening) and money. 4) Burnishing - how exactly do you do it. Do you just put the burnisher (I'm using a screwdriver) at a 45 angle to the scraper and run it straight across? Or do you have to move the burnisher up while running it accross? Thanks, that's all for now, but I'm sure I'll have more Q's as my project progress...
  5. I'll try the metal mute... but I'm afraid the only way to get the sound level I'm looking for may be to get a silent violin. I do have a cheap VSO lying around - what can I do to it to turn it into a silent practice violin? Can I just chop out a large hole in the back? Or should I fill it with something? I realize that this question gets asked a lot (after doing numerous searches) but there doesn't ever seem to be a definitive answer. Also, if I were sucessful in silencing my violin then clipped a pickup to the bridge in it can I just plug headphones straight into the pickup without a preamp? (considering a transducer pickup, not a magnetic one)
  6. I just bought a big heavy rubber practice mute (the ultra model) and I put it onto my bridge and it doesn't mute the sound as much as I thought it would. Could I have installed it wrong?!?! It looks pretty straight forward though... I would say that it doesn't even cut the sound by half - I put a tape recorder outside my apartment door and it still recorded my playing clearly - this means that my neighbours would still be able to hear me playing. Help please! I don't want to get evicted!
  7. Thank-you, I just placed my order.
  8. What's a good place to buy them? I don't think I saw any in my local Home Depot.
  9. I have a cheap sharpening stone that I use with oil as a lubricant to sharpen my existing tools. But after doing some reading in preparation to make my first violin, I've found that people advise to use a water stone instead of an oil stone. Can anybody tell me why this is? Does it get the tools sharper? I've never had a problem with tool sharpness, but then again, I've always carved with fairly soft wood.
  10. Did you find any shops that sell violin parts, i.e. tonewoods, fittings, tools, etc.?
  11. I'm jumping the gun a little here, but I thought I'd check out ebay to see if there are any good deals on tonewood. I ran by this and was wondering if the wood would be okay? It has kind of a knot near what would be the neck end of the violin back - does that make this piece of wood unusable? Btw, would this be classified as well flamed or medium flame in comparison to International luthiers supplies? Violin back
  12. If a heat gun works, would a blow dryer? I'm always looking for ways to get the needed tools cheaply. Can you bend the ribs with a clothes iron?
  13. Well, I came home to a nice surprise today! I got my violin kit in the mail! I'm really excited to put it together. There is definitely an excess of wood all over which I will have to scrape down - the top is about 4.1mm thick! I was right about the fingerboard - it's a VERY ugly piece of wood that has been stained black. Well, now all I have to wait for is my copy of Strobel's books and I'm all set! WooHoo!!!
  14. I have another question regarding these kits. Are there any parts that I should throw away and replace? I know I'm not getting the best violin (heck it was only $40) but I'd like it to sound decent. I was told to get a new bass board and sound post and just chuck the kit ones away. Also, I haven't recieved it yet, so I'm not sure, but I will replace the fingerboard with real ebony if it is just stained hardwood (which I think it is). Is there anything else to look out for? Btw, the kit I am talking about is this one: Violin Kit Thanks!
  15. I have already ordered Henry Strobel's books - the Step by Step one and the useful measurements one. I have also ordered a couple posters from The Strad (someone told me that these would be easier to start from then the ones in Henry's books). I am quite comfortable working with wood. I've been a wood working hobbiest since I was 12 or 13 (I'm 22 now). My dad is a contractor/carpenter, so he started me in work working very young. The most elaborate thing I've made is a french easel (for those who are not into art, it's basically an easel, but with a built in art box and the entire thing folds down into the box). Of course these were mainly right angles and straight so my experience with carving arches and such is not great. I do have experience with detail carving, since I've built a number of children's wooden toys. I have many tools for wood working, but not much for violin building. I have a great set of wood carvers - but not a large gouge. Could someone recommend ONE size that may be used for "most" carving applications. I really don't want to spend the money for a set in case this venture is not a success. Also, I have little finger planes - can these be used in place of violin planes? Thanks
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