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Posts posted by MarkBouquet

  1. Oh, is that right, vda? And prior to placer mining, the Sacramento River was deep water navigable to Sacramento. Now the Federal government spends a couple hundred million $ per year dredging it to keep it marginally open, and to control flooding from the annual spring runoff. And might I point out that your article was last updated 11/12/20, ten whole days ago, and a lot’s been learned about California geology since then. ;) And we were talking about corners on violins until David B. Posted a video about scantily clad young women riding off road vehicles around in mud. How was that related? :) I can’t believe this place. ;) 

  2. 6 hours ago, David Burgess said:

    The event is held on privately-owned land.

    OK. We had a 19th century phenomenon here in the Sierra foothills of California called placer mining. It silted the rivers, Sacramento River delta and San Francisco Bay, essentially for all time. It suppressed the salmon and steelhead runs so they’ve never been the same since. (Millions of years of salmon and steelhead runs were the very reason California had a fertile Central Valley, and coastal forests like nowhere else in the world. The fish were the fertilizer.) The scars in the foothills will remain for thousands of years.

    Some people recognized from the beginning that placer mining was an environmental tragedy, but it took many years of lawsuits to stop it, and by then the damage was done. The argument of the placer miners, through all the years of lawsuits, was that it was their private property, to do with as they wished.

    My original point, and you’re entitled to disagree, I guess, is that awake and aware human beings should care about about this planet. It should hurt to see it torn up for no other reason than to entertain some, and profit others.


  3. 2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

    Guys, that's a promo, uploaded on Feb 5, 2020, featuring footage from pre-pandemic events.

    I knew that, and I was just kidding about the masks. Having said that, there’s something appalling about delighting in tearing up our Mother Earth like that. It’s kind of embarrassing. And I don’t mean to point the finger at you either, Mr. Burgess. I’m guessing that you weren’t there. You were just demonstrating  your talent and aptitude for sarcasm.

  4. Microphone placement is mission critical when recording a violin. Also, the room and your position in it, and a bit of reverb can be very helpful. I have no doubt that your microphone is up to the task, you just have to take care of everything else.

    I would also point out that a violinist really doesn’t know what their violin playing sounds like from a distant listener’s perspective. This is why they should always bring someone else along to play any instrument they’re considering buying, so they can hear that distant sound, which is usually better than the player’s experience. My point is that your dad likely doesn’t really know how he sounds from a distance.

    I recommend studying this page:


  5. I was passing through a farmer’s market this morning, and there was a person operating a mobile sharpening service. I thought some of you might find one of his machines interesting. I asked him if he made it, and he said no, but it was highly modified. It’s two 1”x30” belt sander/grinder machines side by side. 1800 rpm motors with small drive wheels resulting in 800 ft/ min., which he said was “why I like it.” He had other machines but this one caught my eye. And he admitted that he couldn’t sharpen plane blades or chisels, mostly knives, hedge shears, pruning shears, scissors, etc. But the machine is interesting.


  6. 1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

    Mike Danielson, do you know of any similarly inexpensive 110 volt AC single phase (both in and out) induction motor variable frequency speed controllers? I would like speed control on some of my machines (particularly on my band saw, but it would also be handy if I didn't need to switch the belt between different pulleys on my drill press so often).  I would be willing to pay a little more for a unit which works with the motor(s) I already have, as opposed to the hassles and expense of finding, purchasing and mounting a different motor, with the expense of the speed controller on top of that.


    There are these, and maybe others too, that claim to do exactly what you’re asking for. Reasonably priced too. But this company has online videos showing how to modify your motors to work with their devices, including removing the start capacitors from the circuit and changing some other connections. I’m left uneasy about modifying the rather beautiful American industrial quality motors that my machines have. I wonder what the motor manufacturers (Baldor, Leeson, Marathon) might say about this. I’m inclined to let you try it first, and I’ll wait for your report. ;)

  7. Thank you for that advice, Don. My wheel grinder lacks a start capacitor, but my belt grinder, which is just 1/3hp, has one and would undoubtedly be damaged by running at lower speed.

    Another possible issue is cooling. I read years ago that ac motors designed to run on European 50Hz power would be safe  to run on American 60Hz power, they’d just run a little faster. But motors designed for 60Hz American power would run slower on European 50Hz, and therefore might not cool properly. And the centrifugal switch might not open.

    Update: as I read more about VFD’s, I realize that they’re not really designed for single phase motors at all. There’s the capacitor switch issue, grounding issues that can damage bearings and other parts, and a list of other problems. VFD’s are not a panacea for those among us seeking to slow down our basic workshop machines. And now I realize why I’d never heard of them before.

  8. 3 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

    The disc grinder has always intrigued me, likewise the horizontal wet grinder hitachi(?) makes. Veritas wants way too much for their version for me to seriously consider. I should probably just put a VFD on the belt machine I have and I bet I'd be happy.

    I read this and thought “what’s a VFD?” So I looked it up, and I’ve realized that a variable frequency drive could be extremely useful to me for slowing down my belt grinder, and my wheel grinder too. I’m seeing that there’s a huge range of prices, some very expensive and some pretty cheap. Does anyone have any experience with these to share? And thank you for the tip, Jackson.

  9. My 1” belt sander/grinder has an 1800 rpm motor, but a 4” drive wheel, so the belts run at 1885 ft/min, which is 1/2 of the rim speed on an 8” wheel grinder running at 1800 rpm. I still have to be careful about overheating though. I often wish that I could slow it down more.

    And I added a reversing switch which is great when using a leather strop belt, and for a surprising number of other tasks too. I had an electric motor service shop wire the reversing switch into the machine, and altogether this belt grinder was an expensive investment, but very useful.





  10. Herdim clamps are claimed to be made from polyurethane, while the Chinese knockoffs that state what they’re made from, say they’re made from ABS. Here’s an article from the automotive industry discussing the relative merits of each product, and one factor that stands out is ABS’s natural resistance to UV light, which polyurethane lacks. If I had Herdim clamps, knowing this now, I’d store them in a dark box or drawer.

    And I noticed that some of the Chinese knockoffs seem to have figured out that there needs to be that step difference at the jaw surfaces. Well....., at least their photos seem to suggest that. I guess you don’t really know until you open the box.

  11. If a chisel or a plane blade has been overheated, or “blued,” and then the discoloring has been lapped away, all that you can practically do is grind/hone it and use it, recognizing that it will dull quickly, and then hone it again, and again, until the burned area is ground/honed away. Unless someone was extremely careless and burned it extensively, the burned area probably won’t go too deep into the blade.

    CBN grinding wheels are far safer for avoiding a burned temper.

  12. On 10/5/2020 at 8:03 AM, bluebonnet said:


    I bought from a person in Canada some 10 years ago, but I lost the receipt.

    I'm sorry he was in Canada then.

    No need to apologize. It’s not your fault that the seller was in Canada. ;)

  13. 1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

    IMHO, the absolute best at playing violin outside the box is Máiréad Nesbitt.  To see her do something like the routine below, you'd never know that she's impeccably classically trained, and was a professional orchestral player before she got into Celtic Woman by way of Riverdance.  :)


    Without meaning to take anything away from her performance, and admitting that it’s hard to tell viewing this on my iPhone screen, but I can’t help feeling that she’s doing the violin equivalent of lip syncing here.

  14. Don, you make some good points, and I’m not sure that I have the background to argue with them. I think it would be interesting to tune a new synthetic string to pitch, position it horizontally, hang a weight from it and carefully measure the deflection. Then do the same test after having kept the string at pitch for, say, six months, played on or not. My intuition is that the deflection would be less after the time interval. And we all know that a new string stretches for a while until it reaches pitch “stability.” But does that stretching process ever really end, or does it just slow down to the point where we’re less apt to notice it? That’s what I’m suggesting, that strings stretch and gradually lose their ability to do that.

    I also find that strings on a violin that’s seldom played still seem to lose the “fat” response of new strings over time, so contaminants in the windings aren’t a necessary factor in their deterioration.

    Granted, my thoughts have more intuition than scientific rigor.

  15. Strings lose their elasticity over time. One result of this is that they become harder to play in tune. When we tune a violin it’s important to bow lightly because when we bow with greater pressure we are effectively stretching the string to a greater degree, and therefore raising the pitch. Old, inelastic strings are more prone to this effect, and by the same principle, are more difficult to play in tune under all conditions.

    And I can perceive a diminished tone quality with old, stretched strings. You seem to be implying that we’re all subject to some herd mentality, and imagining the effect, to which I’ll respond that I’m happy to let you go on using your three year old strings. Enjoy!