Mike Spencer

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About Mike Spencer

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    ...Central Vermont

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Mike Spencer

    Who do retouch thicknesses from outside ?

    Oded, its nice to see you posting here again!
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Mike Spencer

    The Top 3 Beginner Mistakes

    I'm going to say that corners are tough to get right on the first few fiddles.
  10. Manfio I'm surprised that this is the 1st time building a viola if this size. Curious do recall what size your first viola was? Can't wait to see more progress.
  11. Mike Spencer

    The Bress Bench

    Heal well Jim.
  12. Mike Spencer

    Nick Allen's Bench.

    Me too.
  13. Mike Spencer

    Nick Allen's Bench.

    Nick if you are routing the purf plateform start with a depth setting that allows the corners and button to be thicker. Maybe let that thickness run an inch to either side of the corners and past the center line of the button. Then reset the cutter to decrease the edge thickness for the bouts. Maybe you want the C bouts thicker than upper and lowers too? Then using a flat chisel just blend the thicknesses as you see fit.
  14. Mike Spencer

    Curtate Cycloid Programs

    What I do is decide what shape I want on the long arch by researching several instruments by the maker in that same period. Decide the height and where your high point will be. For the belly decide if it will have a flatish arch or slightly rounded and how you want the overall arch to approach the bouts. For the back decide if you are using a circular theme or other and then how you want the arch to flow into the bouts. Im sure some others here can offer a much more structured approach but this is what I do. What model are you using for your outline? Im just getting started on my first Viola and using Bros. Amati 1615 Stauffer as the model. I've got the mold made and need to get the blocks glued in. Ribs are cut and the back needs to be glued up.
  15. Mike Spencer

    Curtate Cycloid Programs

    It's been awhile since I've developed new arching but I think it helps if you decide the long arch first. Other wise you'll never get things to line up height wise with the cross arches. For me, when making the templates I don't incorporate the scope in the templates. I do that part by eye afterwards. So my templates have a horizontal flat on them that rests on the purf. platform.