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Loco Luthier

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  1. So, I can't just vacuum seal a top with my foodsaver and bake it?
  2. This may seem silly, but do you install the saddle before or after varnishing?
  3. I've got close to $600 in my first violin and still need varnish and strings. I used one-piece front and back so I didn't need a plane. I made my own form, calipers, bending iron, and purfling cutter. I purchased 2 pfeil gouges, 3 Chinese finger planes, scrapers, various sharpeners, a couple books and wood of course. It would be very difficult to do it much cheaper. That said, buying nicer tools would have made it much easier and faster. A wise man once told me, "Without the right tools, it's just work."
  4. When working with a spirit varnish like 1704, is it better to use straight wax-free shellac instead of seedlac for the first few coats to increase adhesion for later coats? Then switch to seedlac for final coats?
  5. I'm building my first violin. I'm almost ready to cut the back out and was trying to get the most figure out of my board. Is it a mortal since to angle the grain orientation of the back? I have a slab cut big leaf back. Is there any potential problem that this orientation will cause?
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