Mike Spencer

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About Mike Spencer

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    ...Central Vermont

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  1. I usually start by clamping length wise between a bench dog and end vise with the angled side up. Plane a flat at the high point maybe an inch wide. I typically glue a couple of soft wood strips to the angled side along the outside edges for support. Once those are set plane them flat to the flat at the center. Now you can flip the panel over and plane what will be the surface the ribs get glued too.
  2. If you want to buy thin veneers and make your own purfling both Berkshire Veneers and Certainly Woods in the US will sell single leaves.
  3. Go for a good clean joint. If it doesn't turn out then you could add an inlay. Once the joint is fitting tightly I use masking tape to pull it together. Two strips long enough to span your clamp block and don't overlap the long edges of the tape. Apply the tape to one of the pieces and then put some tension on the tape when you pull the tape and apply to the other rib. I use a lower tack blue painters tape. After the rib is glued to the block and cured be careful removing the tape so it does not tear/lift the grain of the wood on the rib surface. I assume you can prepare the joint it self so I won't add info about that.
  4. I've been using the Goldbrokat as a standard for a while. On both fiddle and classical set ups. I like them a lot and think that they enhance the whole string set.
  5. Maybe there is a more stock answer but for me I would want to know what the string heights are currently at and how flat or curved the top of the bridge is?
  6. Melvin it's always amazing to see your work! Thank you for sharing.
  7. After length is important. 54mm is in the standard range of working but also depends on the body length. If you wish to experiment try lengthening it and shortening it and take note of how the instrument sounds and responds. Then decide where to set it.
  8. What is the after string length? This is the distance from the top of the bridge to the tailpiece stop.
  9. On the occasions that I have had to visit physical therapists they have always used the term "motion is lotion", another words just keep moving. To add to this change up what you are doing through out your day, i.e. don't spend a whole day carving plates. I to have had to deal with auto immune disease (polymialgia rhuematica) which fortunately for me subsided but the Docs all suggested to alter your diet and at least stay away from night shade family of vegetables also cut back on salt and sugars. Of course the Docs say that it may or may not help. When it comes to machines, I think it's okay to use them for the hard strenuous work if you want to.
  10. Thanks Thomas. I like the results of the rub too. I just wish it would stay that way. Amazingly the rub has turned back to high gloss by itself. This seems to happen with the current varnish I'm using. I got a new used plane coming from across the pond.
  11. Back in the shop again. I just finished reducing the edge thickness on my viola plates and a violin I'm building in parallel. Hopefully I'll get started on finalizing the outline shortly. The viola is the one with the darker maple. I did order a used Stanley 04 1/2 on eBay that should be a good replacement after I tune it up!
  12. Ouch! My Record 04 1/2 fell off my bench when I was reducing the edge thickness on the plates for the viola I'm making. Devastated to say the least! But I thought I would post as a caution to others to keep in mind. The plane was sitting on the corner of my bench and the subtle shaking of the bench with each stroke of the gouge moved it closer the edge until it fell just as a turned to see it hit the floor. I bought this plane new 39 years ago and it had generations of use left in it. Hard lesson Learned...
  13. Its coming along but I'm working a violin at the same time. Working on finalizing the outlines of both instrument. If I get few hours a week that would be alot!
  14. Evan you are clearly a man of many talents! Thanks for sharing your work.