Jim Bress

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About Jim Bress

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    Male
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    : Maryland, USA

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  1. Violin Making Schools

    Julian, You said as much to me in person, and others have told me a similar tale. Some part of me still thinks that one should be able to come out of three years of focused study with much more. I guess that's what you mean by realistic expectations. I've never been very good with realistic or even reasonable expectations. -Jim
  2. Mold Material

    Not to minimize formaldehyde exposure, but the greatest health risk is the fine particulate matter less than 2.5 μg/m3 primarily produced with machine use for cutting / shaping wood, but also occurs with hand tool use. Particulate matter of this size remains suspended in the air and is not the dust on the floor, shelves etc. For this reason it is prudent for the wood worker to have either a high air exchange or an air purifier system in their work area. Sorry for kicking a dead horse. People tend to not worry about things that they can't see and do not have short-term health effects. -Jim
  3. TBSmithy knife

    I find it fascinating how different steels work. I either got a good batch of Hocks or you got a bad batch. Mine are tough with long edge retention, but they do not get quite as sharp as I would like. I believe how sharp a blade can get is mainly an attribute of the steel. 1095 is a high carbon steel (95%) so the molecular size of the steel is small compared to some other alloys. I have some custom 1095 blades (not woodworking knives) and know that 1095 can take a very fine edge. I think the other attributes, toughness, hardness, etc. have more to do with the smith within certain limits. I have Japanese blue steel chisels that get very sharp like 1095 but the edge tends to get chippy. I find A2 steel (Lie-Nielsen) to be harder to sharpen and not get as sharp as higher carbon steels. I'll be interested in hearing how this knife holds up over time. Who are your best knives made by, and what steel was used? Thanks, Jim
  4. TBSmithy knife

    How would you compare edge retention, sharpness, and ease of sharpening to other knife brands. All my knives are Hocks. -Jim
  5. Location

    Thanks KYC. That bothered me a bit as well. Colon followed by a space work well also. I think having at least a little OCD is required for violin making. -Jim
  6. Neck Overstand

    I think where your getting confused is that string tension and force pressing down on the top plate from the strings through the bridge are different forces. We always tune the same, so string tension (pulling apart) is a constant. The force going into the top plate increases with bridge height. Archery analogy: with the bow string straight regardless of string tension there is zero potential energy to shoot an arrow (analogous to bridge pressing into belly). As you draw the bow string back, the force required to pull the string farther (taller bridge) increases. The farther you pull (taller bridge), the more force available to shoot the arrow (force going into the plate through the bridge).
  7. Importance of grain direction on maple backs

    It looks like half the inclusion would be cut off. Idea #2, if you know the depth and you have enough wood past the inclusion could you put it right on the center line?
  8. Neck Overstand

    This has been a very educational thread for me. Let me check to see if I'm understanding things correctly. Using the Scarampella viola example, would it be correct to say that the appui is too high for that particular top as indicated by the sound post being looser after being tuned to pitch? Likewise a too low appui risks an arch collapsing? Thanks, Jim
  9. Importance of grain direction on maple backs

    I won't even dip my toe into the should or should not questions. Here's a thought though. Looking at the bottom pic (because I can see the crevasse), what if you slide the outline all the way to the top with the upper and lower bout sides all the way to the right? You would be mostly following the grain line direction and much (or some) of the spalted area will be in the cut-off section of the c-bout area. If the rest is not acceptable after ruffing out the shape you could always make a wing. I might be way off because it's hard to judge with out the outline drawn there. BTW, I do like the back. -Jim
  10. bench vise material

    Kevin, I just used 1 x 4 maple from home depot. They sell the nicer grade stuff by the foot. -Jim
  11. Can you make a fiddle sound mellow??

    My son plays at A 444 because the pianos where he studies are tuned to A 444. He claims that tuning produces a sweeter sound. I'm not in a position to argue. As to the new violin, I think taking it to a shop to look at/adjust the set-up, and then consider strings that better suit the violin may sort things out for you. I see that KYC out typed me. -Jim
  12. Managing our wood stock - how much wood we need?

    That's because my predicted average production rate increases after R because I have no intention of actually retiring. Here I was thinking you would take issue with my life expectancy.
  13. Violin Bow pernambuco

    From conversation with a bow maker, pernambuco is light colored (kind of orange(ish)) when freshly cut and darkens with light exposure. He said he often darkens new bows just by putting them by a sunny window for a day. The one I bought is light colored because there was no time to light treat it (picked up hours after completion), but will darken over time. -Jim
  14. Managing our wood stock - how much wood we need?

    R = retirement age M = 1 (omit from formula) N = (R-Y)(A) + (E-R)(A) 193 = (65 - 52)(1) + (110 - 65)(4) Need more wood!
  15. Sjöbergs workbenches

    When I was preparing to build a nice woodworking bench of similar style and length as LN's large bench (8' long), I priced the materials including purchasing the vises from LN, I think it came out around $1500-$2000. Considering that I would be making it primarily with hand tools, the time vs. cost of buying one was close. I got lucky and found a neglected 8' woodworking bench on Craigslist for $250 that I restored to good working order. Without that find I was undecided which way to go. Of course I could make one much cheaper, but I wasn't planning on skimping on materials for this bench. That said, I still do most of my work on the bench I made with plywood and 2x4s. -Jim