Mike Spencer

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About Mike Spencer

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    ...Central Vermont

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  1. Mike Spencer

    Toothed blades

    For thicknessing ribs I use a low angle Lie Neilson block plane and don't find any need for a toothed blade. I also don't use toothed blades in my thumb planes. Just pay attention to wood grain direction.
  2. Mike Spencer

    Del Gesu Kreisler: neck length

    Neck length is measured from the fingerboard side of the nut to the edge of the belly.
  3. Mike Spencer

    The Bress Bench

    Hey Jim! your viola is looking real good! I finally got back to work in the shop and the garland is done on the viola. I have a couple of questions I'd like to PM you about.
  4. Mike Spencer

    locating pin position on back

    I see that makers put them all over the place. Strad placed them so that half the pin is cut away by the purfling groove, but he did the purfling with the box closed. Fwiw I place my pins inside of the purfling groove by a couple of mm.
  5. Mike Spencer

    Mike Molnar's Bench

    Looking very good Mike! I'm glad you posted the pictures as a Cnc is a tool like any other, it must be mastered to produce really good work. There is art and knowledge here too. I don't use Cnc but have a long history of working in a custom furniture shop with them. Can't argue with hand made either, what ever that means.
  6. Mike Spencer

    Mike Molnar's Bench

    Congrats Mike! Spiral head machines do an awesome job on figured wood and you get the benefit of carbide knives! How is the grizzly for adjustability?
  7. Mike Spencer

    black willow supplier

    I've found that many times tone wood suppliers will have some in stock and will gladly include it with orders for backs and bellies.
  8. Mike Spencer

    Plane for plate joining

    I use a record 4 1/2. Technic and how the blade is sharpened are very important. I sharpen to a dead flat edge (no crowning).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Mike Spencer

    Angle or height of bridge?

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

    Mike Molnar's Bench

    The architecture there is wonderful. Have a gelato for me on the square and enjoy your trip!
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Mike Spencer

    Wood with two visible grains?

    Are you referring to the repair on the button?