Ken_N

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About Ken_N

  • Rank
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  • Birthday 06/20/1955

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Goodrich, Michigan
  • Interests
    Violin making. Art (just got some oil paints, been doing water color). Driving the back roads. Music, especially orchestral and Christian rock.

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  1. I glued a Christian Bayon style bass bar in my violin the other day. I had two closepin type homemade clamps (the other 3 were too big to clamp, I don't usually go as low as 14 mm, and the bar was not as tall) and two big spring clamps. Left them on for about an hour. Took them off, and clamped the belly on to the ribs with spring clamps do see how stiff it felt. Worked fine. Even with the almost 2 mm drop to the neck block that I hadn't planed on. Apparently the top of the block wasn't that square to the side. I used a piece of Spanish Cedar from a guitar neck I'm making for the bass bar on on the Alaskan Yellow Cedar top. You don't have to worry about kosher Mike!
  2. I'm only 9 months into my "life of leisure." It is a FAR different thing to be retired, than to be laid off! I've done that many times, probably 2-3 years or so. I sympathize with anyone in that situation, but seasons change. We just don't like being in them. I don't get nearly as much done as I thought I would! I still spend the mornings on my blog. But with the lockdown, now I have thought more about growing food. When we moved out to a larger lot, we wanted to do that, but working 55 hours a week or so makes that impossible. Now I wish we got the large silver maple in the back yard cut down in the winter. That thing ALREADY flowered last week, and the flowers are all over the deck from the rain last night. It is THE harbinger of spring. The kids chat with us on google hangouts, or whatever it is called. We see them more now than we did before. One brought groceries over, because they don't want us going out at all. The oldest is a Neo natal intensive care nurse, and she lays down the law! Here in Michigan the winter has not been bad at all, but the only thing planted in the garden that is doing well are the peas. In the city, we used to plant on Mother's Day. Here we used Memorial Day. But the first year we were here, we had frost on June 21 and 22 back to back. Amazingly, everything grew back. Today, the lettuce, beets, broccoli, bok choi, chard and carrots, are just sitting there. Don can have his rats. We have deer and woodchucks; that is more than enough. We bought the stuff to make a 4 X 8 raised bed, with a tall row cover over the top. If it works, maybe the tree can go down, and we can make more. Funny, I had several dreams a few years ago about being in concrete bunkers with only a few people. We could look though windows and see what was going on behind the scenes. Stay safe, and have fun.
  3. Those f holes give it attitude. I had no doubts about the sycamore working. The scroll is quite nice too. One of these days I'll pull one off. My sycamore Old Bull back looks a lot like that, but the horizontal rays in the middle are thinner and more numerous. Haven't figured out how to make them really pop.
  4. Easily done by the way you cut the blocks. A tight curve or a larger one.
  5. Very cool! Mine are usually based.on something in my head. They get lost in translation. That one sure isn't. Love the color and texture.
  6. I worked on the f holes yesterday. They are different on each side. The back is two toned, the sides are brown and yellow, and the arches are offset to the treble side. Why wouldn't they be different? It is 66 grams now. The top two tap tones stayed the same, but the low one dropped from F# to low E. I"ll get the linings cut back, and the neck set next. I think I'll make a yummy fingerboard to set the elevation.
  7. I use 3 fingernail gouges I made out of 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 chisels I found at garage sales. I use the flex cut to cut about the eye; it's a little big, but it works. I use them as scrapers too. This is pretty much my entire arsenal besides planes.
  8. I worked on the belly some yesterday. It has a flatter arch, so it didn't need much on the inside as far as recurve. The outside didn't even need as much. I don't cut the f holes in until I have it basically evened out. It will, like the back, get final tuning after it is glued together, and the purfling is in. It started at 86 g. and the tap tones were, G, g, and high g on the guitar. This happens a lot on bellies. Do you find that? Thinning it down, it is 74 g. and F#, f#, and high f#. The ring tone on the back is f, so they are about the same. I don't work to any numbers, frequency or weight, I just use them as a rough gauge that they are in the ball park. If the back or belly was way above the other, it might need some arch changing; or a new piece of wood; not just thinning. I cut the f holes in, and checked it again, F#, f#, and high d#. So slashing the top drops the ring mode down a minor third; at least on this one. Both back and belly need more thinning; the original Gofriller is VERY thin. The back is thin around the edge too, but the belly is just thin in the bouts, and the edges are thicker. I don't have anything lower than 2.5 or so yet. I'd feel more comfortable about 1.6 thicknesses if I didn't know that they were there. Really, I would. Wouldn't you? Once it is glued together, I don't know what thicknesses I end up with. Well I just checked them. The back has spots in the bouts at 1.8mm. the edges are about 2.5mm. The thick point, just above the lower corner is about 5mm. The belly is about 3.5 around the edges, 2-2.5 at the top, and 3 in the lower, and 3+ in the middle. The wings are crazy thick still. Now I have to do the final modeling, and rough tuning before gluing it up. Yes, I will need to add a little wood on the treble side c bout. I roughed it in wider than the ribs are there. It ended up about 200mm, 160mm, and 100mm for the bouts. Nice ratios, so that part is cool. The cedar has a band about 15 mm wide with 10 grain lines. The rest is probably double that. Trees cut down around it?
  9. The back is ready for gluing on the ribs now. Basically edge work is left to do. I got the inside recurve done by blending the end to the inflection point. After that the outside recurve is roughed by thickness, and the edges are brought close. After the purfling is in, the back will be area tuned. I did some already. Now it is 121 grams, and it rings to the high f, high c, and low B on my guitar. After sprinkling the water on the outside, the outside, and the inside were covered in fuzz. I hadn't done that at all. I spent a little while with a couple of scrapers smoothing it out. What's weird is that when I tapped it, the middle tone sounded lower than it was before. I checked, and now it is high f, middle f#, and low A. Odd.
  10. It seems to me that it might be more like a support for the bridge, and at the same time keeping the length from constricting from the string pressure. And doing it in a way that really frees up the belly. What if the ends were let right into the blocks? It would be pure support for string pressure, and nothing else. Wouldn't it? As it is, it is pretty close to that.
  11. Ahh Christian, I was going to comment on how it seemed that the bow action was amplified. Like power brakes, but power bow. I see you brought that post on the bass bar back up on the Pegbox, and now I remember it. Unfortunately, I wasn't subscribed to the Strad then. I would have that saved. I have a low arched Alaskan Yellow Cedar belly that needs all the help it can get on the high end. The Walnut back should help; but I'll give your bar a go in a couple of days. The texture on your varnish is nice. Many violins I see are still going for the bowling ball smooth guitar finish.
  12. Nice. It wouldn't play yesterday. I think that everyone is online!
  13. I made my Skeleton Mold. It is a great idea that actually works. It is easier to bend the ribs to the line than to an inside mold. Somehow I put the holes for the pattern WAY offcenter. The arching IS off center on purpose, but I went even further than that line. I put new holes in it, and covered the others with tape. Have you ever said this? "I won't do that again." I have the ribcage done; just a couple of chips in the corners to glue back on. The top and back were roughed out, but I flattened the bottom of the back; and I cut the finish profile out after drilling the pin holes. Then I planed the edges of the arch down to around 4mm. At this point, I will go back on the inside, and do the recurve. I'll mark the inflection line, and then another one further in where the recurve will raise the main cross arch up some before the inflection point. On the belly, since it is the lowest arch I've ever done at 14mm, there isn't a whole lot of recurve. I cut the f holes in now, and then do the recurve on the belly. I always put the f holes in early. The back isn't high, (for me) at about 18mm, but you can see that a large amount of stock will come out. The AY cedar smells good. My dad died almost 7 years ago. He would have been 100 on Thursday:
  14. I think that was back in 2009. At least that's what the label inside the one that I made says. I never sent it in. For one thing, it was only about my 6th, and isn't that great. It has an American Sycamore back, sides and neck, with a baroque (sort of) set up, with a fingerboard that was labeled as Surinam, or something like that rosewood. Not exactly what was expected. The other reason was that shipping to Norway? was CRAZY. When the event was held, there was all that confusion with the volcano in Iceland? stopping air traffic. I think that some M'neters made one, but some couldn't make it. It was supposed to be an exhibition showing different interpretations of the original. So I guess mine would still be an interpretation. I think that Don Noon said that he makes the model still. Knowing Don, it is probably tweaked. Don tweaks for science. I tweak because it's fun. I tweaked it some last summer, and it looks presentable now:
  15. I haven't done much of anything anything downstairs lately. I made up my skeleton mold, and have the ribs bent and glued on. Not easy down there when it is 52 degrees. I managed to put the locating holes of my pattern on the wrong centerline. I fixed it now, but it looks a little weird at the corners on the mold. It will be fine. I also need to cut the tip of the corners back some. I'll post pictures later. Today I have things going on. Today is our 43rd Wedding anniversary. This morning when I got up, I read a few old posts on my devotional blog; today or yesterday was my 3,000th post. Amazing. I like reading them because I don't remember some (a LOT) of them. One of them this morning was about a dream that I had forgotten. I always get some kind of confirmation reading them. An answer to something I was thinking about, or reassurement. I guess that's what a devotional is supposed to do, isn't it? This morning the song at the end was one I don't know. I use a lot of songs I don't really know. Three thousand videos are a lot. I started listening, and it really wasn't my style at all. I like a lot of his music, but this one? I not really a "'sappy" song guy. I like Alice Cooper's love songs better. Maybe something like "It's Me" My wife was making fun of me the other day when I was singing out, "No more Mr. Nice guy" That song's a good one. "My dog bit me on the leg today," But I found that the SSC song fit this day perfectly.