Mike Spencer

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About Mike Spencer

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    Central Vermont

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  1. Joe Robson's Balsam Ground 3

    I think the wood prep# 1 dissolves in alcohol not turps. Same for #2.
  2. Starting salary for violin shop tech

    In a very general sense making things with our hands doesn't pay that well especially to begin with. Lots of trade offs like not telling says. I'm sure there are good violin shop owners out there if you look around. Like Jim posted, some shops post openings with VSA and if you're a member those ads come up on email. The one Jim posted was obviously one of the higher paying positions that I've seen come up. Good luck!
  3. Starting salary for violin shop tech

    I don't have an answer to your big question but certainly part of the consideration has to do with where the shop is located, without that info I would think there would be quite a bit of variation.
  4. plate tuning specs ?

    I recently read the papers written by Nigel Harris on arching. Seems somewhat appropriate to introduce into this discussion. Or at least make others aware of them. there's a series of several papers. http://www.oberlinacoustics.net/articles/art9_On arching shape and violin tone. Part1.pdf
  5. Craig Tucker...Are you still with us?

    I think I saw him post on the other forum recently.
  6. plate tuning specs ?

    H.R. What does your gut tell you? And then is it the same as you usually end up with or different and what's different? I'm in the camp of arching, if it's good and you do a reasonably good job on the rest of the details you end up with a decent fiddle. As the younger folks say... send it!
  7. The Bress Bench

    When you mentioned you bent your ribs at first I was thinking you injured them too!lol I hope you heal quickly! But maybe this affords me the opportunity to catch up a little. I'm working on setting a neck on one of my fiddles, almost there 1.5mm to go. I have done nothing on the viola build but research and have my back, neck and rib wood. I have a couple of repairs I have to do before I can get into the viola.
  8. Frank Nichols Bench

    You get the most control of keeping things aligned on the outside using that technique. Good luck!
  9. Got rosewood pegs? You may want to stay home.

    I just cant get to plastic/composite pegs for my fiddles yet. For those of us in the US or Europe or other places what native woods could work as a suitable substitute that aren't to obscure? What characteristics in wood properties make for good use in pegs? Diffuse porous cell structure, higher density and hardness?
  10. !8th century working methods

    Interesting topic Berl. In our modern age I think it's hard for most of us to wrap our brains around doing everything the old/historic way and many of us do end up in both camps. Just culture I guess. I am truely thankful for those who do pursue these historic methods as it is a huge contribution to understanding our crafts. Interesting that you chose Norm Abram to mention and I see the relevance but I think there are a bunch of other craftsman/artisans/makers that actually do have the chops and credentials and in particular make period furniture everyday. One that comes to mind is a guy named Alan Breed. These furniture makers are the equivalent of the the top makers in the the violin world. Nothing against Norm Abram but I think his contribution is something other than being a top maker.
  11. First Time Violin Repair

    I suggested this technique in consideration of your experience level. You could do what Brad suggested first and if the crack pulls together nicely with out much pressure then only loosen half and be sure to remove the saddle before attempting to reglue. If it doesn't pull together then loosen the other side. There is another clamping set up that might be helpful in addition to the crack clamp(s) that you will need but would work better with the plate completely off. See the pic.
  12. Laser Burning Bridge Name

    Looks like fun Don.
  13. First Time Violin Repair

    I don't think I would remove the top completely. I would loosen the top from the lower block up thru the lower corners to see if that gives enough flexibility to pull the crack back together with a couple of over the arch clamps. If it comes together well then I would just glue it. If not then take the top off.
  14. One Very Loud Note (A5)

    What about moving the post east or west a bit to try and calm this A string down?
  15. Christian Bayon´s bench

    Great picture. Is that the belly or the back? It looks like you can see pores in the dark lines, what wood is that?