Mike Spencer

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About Mike Spencer

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    ...Central Vermont

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  1. Mike Spencer

    re sawing ribs

    I usually try to keep the long grain running in sequence from upper bouts to lower bout with an end match at the center of the lower bout. How you achieve this depends on what length wood you have. If you have not bent ribs before you should allow for some extra material incase you break some. I would plan on adding 1/2" to 3/4" on each end of each bout length. Too much extra length can get in the way when bending the tight curves. I pretty much process them the same way Bill does. To finish plane the saw cut side I use a bit of double stick tape on the very end stuck to my bench top which is nice and flat. I plane with a Lie Neilson low angle block plane, straight blade. Use a hair dryer to release the tape from the bench. Be sure and add a little extra length to cut off cause the thickness of the tape will make the rib thin where it is taped down to the bench.
  2. Mike Spencer

    Angle or height of bridge?

    For me I don't worry so much about string angle. On a new build I will go with 27 - 27.5 mm on bridge height expecting some settling. When I fit a new bridge to a used instrument I will go with 26.5mm. Saddles I usually make 6.5 to 7.5 tall. Once the bridge height is established I work the bridge to get the action that the player wants. Hope this is helpful.
  3. Mike Spencer

    Angle or height of bridge?

    What is the action height of the strings at the end of the fingerboard?
  4. Mike Spencer

    Mike Molnar's Bench

    The architecture there is wonderful. Have a gelato for me on the square and enjoy your trip!
  5. Mike Spencer

    recommendations for the last coat of oil varnish

    I use Joe's Greek pitch varnish for color with his pine resin sandarc mastic varnish over the top.
  6. Mike Spencer

    Shining the fingerboard

    I use India ink followed by mineral oil. Do all the sanding through the grits first then buff with 0000 steel wool. Then the ink, let dry a day and oil. When applying the ink you have to be careful to not make it streaky. I have had good luck with no finger blackening yet.
  7. Mike Spencer

    Wood with two visible grains?

    Are you referring to the repair on the button?
  8. Mike Spencer

    V-Drum Sander anyone?

    Planers work just fine when combined with jointers. First step is to joint one face of the board, this will flatten the face. The jointed face then becomes the reference face. Next step would be to run the board through the planer with the jointed face towards the bed. Following this procedure should produce a flat and true surface.
  9. Mike Spencer

    End pin not centered.

    Typically in a new build the pin is located a mm or 2 below the center between the top and bottom.
  10. Mike Spencer

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Oded, its nice to see you posting here again!
  11. Mike Spencer

    Mike Spencer's bench

    Jim, The maple is about 20 years old. It's not the most glamorous figure but it is very unique and has a bunch of interesting figure that doesn't a show in the photo. Also when I resawed the piece some subtle blue stain was reviled but I think this will disappear when the finish goes on. I'm sure the Thrift workshop will be fantastic!
  12. Mike Spencer

    Mike Spencer's bench

    Hi Jim I hope you are healing well! Thanks for posting the video clip, I hadn't seen that one yet. Nice sounding. If mine comes out half that good I'll consider myself fortunate. Progress on instruments is always slow for me but I'm underway. C bouts are bent and glued and the blocks are shaped so I can start bending the upper and lower bouts next. Back is glued up and is a two piece slab back. I've made two other violins from the same maple only they were single piece slab backs and those both sounded good. I also decided to build another violin as it seems like things progress more quickly when building two at a time.
  13. Mike Spencer

    Broken Strings Cause

    Exit and entry radiuses on the bridge is good. I usually burnish the groove a bit too and then graphite.
  14. Mike Spencer

    Christian Bayon´s bench

    Christian your work is always fantastic! Wood is great too and you always use great looking stuff. The wood photos you posted in the "wood porn" thread are just unbelievably beautiful.
  15. Mike Spencer

    Top center joint gluing suction gap...

    I use Bessy K body clamps for clamping the glue joint and find no need for any clamps to hold the plate flat.