Lawrence Furse

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About Lawrence Furse

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  • Birthday 01/15/1951

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  1. Non-Drying Fulton Varnish

    I agree with Berl that throwing out old varnish, especially varnish you were given, is the best advice. You never know whats in that stuff and it may not dry. Some people just never throw anything out, even if they know it doesn't really work, intending to experiment with it later on, and then it ends up as part of their estate. The fact that it was never used makes it suspicious. Spirit varnishes are the worst, of course. Only freshly made spirit varnish should be used. Even testing out old spirit varnish on test strips can be misleading, because a couple of coats is not the same as the many coats used to finish an instrument, and what appears to work on a test strip may leave all kinds of case impressions when built up in many coats.
  2. Run over violins - whos fault?

    Things like this happen, probably not that uncommon. I know of an instance many years ago where a symphony member ran over their instrument. They set it down in its case behind their car with the intention of putting it in the trunk, then got talking to someone and forgot about it. When backing up-crunch!. I vaguely recall it was a Gagliano family instrument. Same thing happened with a viola I made, one of my customers forgot to load it and accidently (I hope) backed their car over it- they got a nice insurance payout and a new viola.
  3. Fiddles shmiddles! Look what we made today!

  4. Fiddles shmiddles! Look what we made today!

  5. 5 String small Widhalm viola

    The hardest wood I've used for linings is tulip poplar. This is probably about the same specific gravity as American Sycamore and light European maple. The trick to spruce , which I usually use (probably works for poplar, too), is it needs to be thoroughly soaked in water, an hour or two, or even overnight is better. You can also put it in boiling water for a few minutes and it will speed the process. Spruce that is thoroughly soaked becomes quite flexible, you can almost bend it with your hands with no heat in many cases.
  6. Pros and cons of Dremel Purfling router

    I"ve been using a brass german style double bladed purfling marker I bought in 1973. It does a fair job of marking the edges of the channel, but doesn't really cut the channel, that is all knife work. I mark the channel for the miters with gouges, I have a #3 and # 5 that make the markings perfectly.
  7. 5 String small Widhalm viola

    Fascinating information from Mr. Saunders. I always enjoy and learn from his knowledge of old instruments. I didn't know Stainer used walnut linings. I've often wondered if hardwood linings might make sense but never tried it. As far as Mattias Thier labels being hand written to imitate print: I tried it myself once, and it looked quite nice, but discarded the idea after that as being too much work and perhaps a little dodgy.
  8. Pros and cons of Dremel Purfling router

    I watched your youtube video on how you purfle last night. Very useful, I can see that with your method of channeling out to within 1mm of the edge, and removing .5 mm in the channel, purfling by hand would be a lot easier than the ways I was taught.
  9. Letters from James Hardie to Mr Broadfield

    If that's so, I think you'll enjoy this ad for a James Hardie violin:
  10. Scary music . . .
  11. Pros and cons of Dremel Purfling router

    Routing purfling by machine is a touchy subject but most of the pro makers I have know have tried it at one time or another. Novices are encouraged to start with the traditional methods by hand partly because it also builds their skills in sharpening and using knives, so necessary for cutting bridges, etc. later on.
  12. Pros and cons of Dremel Purfling router

    I think Manfio is making a good point here, possibly unintended. Purfling channels cut by hand can be very sloppy at times, damage and weaken the edge when the knife goes too deep, not to mention all the hammering that goes on to drive down the purfling into the channel when it doesn't fit. Purfling that is too loose can also rattle. I've even seen knife cuts all the way through the plate when removing the top on some old fiddles. So there can be distinct advantages to using power tools for purfling when they work right, and produce a consistent channel in depth and width. I still recommend purfling by hand for your first attempts
  13. Pros and cons of Dremel Purfling router

    I completely agree. Try it by hand first. You can waste a lot of good wood if aren't experienced with power methods, and you will need to do the corners by hand anyway.