Berl Mendenhall

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About Berl Mendenhall

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    McConnelsville,Ohio USA

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  1. Cracks in Bending Ribs

    Happy it worked for you. I'm not the greatest at describing how to do things in print. Sometimes things work for someone and maybe not so great for others. I've probably bent ribs for forty or fifty violins using this method.
  2. Cracks in Bending Ribs

    Here is my tip, I use a canvas cloth wet but rung out so it's not stopping wet, fold it over the rib stock the rib is covered hot iron side and strap side. Bend it with heavy pressure on the strap. Here is where I have to move fast, remove the canvas (the rib won't hold this bend) 're-bend while the rib is still hot and moist. It's rare I crack a rib. This method works well for me.
  3. Joe's Varnish

    My hearing is not the best and it was loud in there. Sorry I didn't get who you actually were Jim. I would have liked for you to have seen the fiddle Tyler was playing. It was my own model experimental ( I talked about it here on MN ). It has turned out to be a fantastic instrument. I am so happy it went where it did. My hope is a good player will buy it from Fred and play the hell out of it. It is already very good and will only get better once a player learns how to handle it. Sorry for going on and on about my own stuff. Still excited about the trip.
  4. Joe's Varnish

    Jim, how did we not get together? I wish you could have come up to our room so I could have shown you some of my stuff and I would have introduced you to my fiddle friends. If you went to the open mike they had, Tyler ( one of the three guys from Nashville) played one of my fiddles. Actually that fiddle went to a dealer in Nashville.
  5. Joe's Varnish

    Jeffery I hope I'm not over stepping my bounds here. Just got back from VSA convention in DC. Joe Robson had, as always, a booth in the venders room. He had a few examples of his oil varnish on display. One was a red oil that I thought was as nice as anything I've seen. I have no connection with Joe, except a casual acquaintance at these conventions. I've never taken one of his workshops, so this is not a plug to sell his varnish. It is a plug to say, it is beautiful stuff. I personally don't use oil right now, but I am going to try this stuff. If you have any questions as to what it is, well those will have to be answered by Joe, I'm just saying, it was as nice as any I've seen.
  6. Violin geometry references

    Good discussion people, enjoyed reading. I seem to be caught in the middle. Did Strad and everyone else use a complex drawing system of design to layout their masterpieces? I usually adhere to the "KISS" system (keep it simple stupid), don't over think things and make them more difficult. These people were craftsmen, everyday workers trying to scratch out a living and feed all those kids. We have precious little to go on by way of evidence, except Strad's "f" hole layout evidence. We, or I, just lay out a paper template on my top and trace it. Strad could have done this just as easy, but he didn't, why? The stem was traced, but the layout of the eyes was done with dividers every time, even when he was making the same model. He could have said, hey Omobono hand me the f hole template for the G model violin. What I'm trying to get at here is, they didn't do things like we do. Strad would have thought laying a template and tracing the entire f hole was the dumbest thing I could do, and maybe it is, who knows. How in depth they got with their geometry I don't know, back to my KISS system, but I'm sure they it. As a side note, meeting Bruce Babbitt here in a few hours and heading for the VSA in DC. Can't wait. A good time will be had, for sure. Anyone who wants to come by and see my work, even if you are just curious, ask at front desk for Rich Dodson's room numbers. We have three rooms in his name.
  7. Purfling cutter Rig

    Something else that helps while using this jig, make yourself a purfling marker that you can put a mechanical pencil in to mark a line around to follow with the cutting bit. Using this tool as well as any tool takes practice. You will ruin plates while learning. My advice is use practice pine from the big box store. You can make a dozen practice edges to purfle for next to nothing. Not trying to discourage using it, just the facts. I thought when I bought mine all my purfling problems were over, nothing but perfect purfling from now on . HA, that was a joke. The problem with this jig is keeping it at a right angle with the edge, just the slightest movement one way or another and your grove is to close to the edge. I'm not sure reducing the radii of the jig will help much. Can be a source of frustration and wasted material.
  8. Purfling cutter Rig

    Carl I was thinking if you glued a small block on each end of the plate it would be easier to turn the plate around your cutter. Just a thought.
  9. Laser Burning Bridge Name

    I don' think you can buy a good branding iron for that little money. I may be wrong, but that's still pretty cheap. Thanks for posting Carl.
  10. Purfling cutter Rig

    Carl this is my purfling set up, (ha, ha). I use to use a dremal tool and jig, I moved the tool around the stationary plate. I lowered my bit into the wood by hand then moved it around each bout, one at a time. Very cool setup you have, hats off. I stopped using mine simply because I love doing things the hard way, not really. I got into this because I wanted to do hand work as much as possible. I thought if I worked at it and practiced, just maybe, I could do decent purfling. No illusions here of being the next David Burgess or Davide Sora. My way ain't for everybody, but it is for me.
  11. "Vuillaume a Paris" Violin ID?

    The fiddle on its own legs has little interest. When you add the story of the two men and their friendship, that changes everything. The fiddle and the story should be preserved. Thanks for sharing.
  12. I am missing a great event in violin making. These are the top makers in the world. I've never been to this event, but I will try to attend next time. Just looking at BassClef's photos has been wonderful. These instruments compete with anything ever made. Thank you BassClef.
  13. Casein glue and ground

    Just hang on don't give up. You may have to make a few batches to get it right. Also a little side note, the Borden company makes Tight Bond glue, the Borden co. Is a darie co.
  14. Casein glue and ground

    I have made casein glue from fat free milk and vinegar, never actually used it on a fiddle though. I always thought the glue and ground were the same. What is quake?
  15. For the Romantics among us. That would be everyone.

    I've never heard of this. Jane loves to make soup in the fall of the year. We usually have a different one every weekend, to have while we watch American football. Several soups start with these same ingredients.