Mike Spencer

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About Mike Spencer

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    ...Central Vermont

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  1. I use India ink. Wipe it on and wipe it off. Then Janito’s suggestion of nose grease is a good one.
  2. Nick that’s a real nice looking scroll! Craftsmanship is great and shape and details excellent. For new looking fiddle, one small nit picky suggestion is about the pegs. When using ebony pegs sometimes (most of the time) the ebony is brownish under the stain that comes on them. Once the shafts are shaved try blacking them with what ever you are using on your finger boards. Well done sir!
  3. Just to be clear I don’t make my own varnish yet and use Joe’s products. I can see why folks that are making there own varnish weigh the components.
  4. I use small one ounce plastic graduated measuring cups. They are marked fractionally in ml, ounces, drams and a few others and are disposable. Also if you have some extra mixed up varnish left over that you will use up in a few days you can put the cup in a zip lock bag and remove the air and it will keep ok.
  5. I also have the same Miller’s Falls drill that is in exceptional condition I picked up at an antique store for $20. I mostly use it for drilling string holes in pegs and think any other drill is awkward and most won’t hold the small diameter bits. I love using it and I’ll never have to replace a dead battery
  6. Hi Jackson, I know you asked about new machines but I think there’s a lot of value in older drill presses. I have a mid 1960’s Delta 11-280 radial drill press which I find suits my woodworking endeavors just fine. The one feature I like most is the ability to lock the quill height. Most of the new machines don’t have this feature, especially on bench top models and the general quality of the vintage machines is superior in my opinion.
  7. I them clean and same as the rest of a new fiddle.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. Melvin it's always amazing to see your work! Thank you for sharing.
  14. 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.