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Mark Norfleet

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  1. I have varnished two part stacked plywood dams that I've been using for decades. They aren't fool proof, but they save me a LOT of time over what I used to do.
  2. I cannot think of a situation where I wouldn't use a cast to fit and glue a bass bar if I already had one for the instrument. I find fitting the bar to be significantly faster and the chance of induced distortion is dramatically reduced when using a cast. I also use them when fitting, and clamping/gluing cleats.
  3. And just how does one do that? I have a fair bit of experience and have run across many instruments who's playing/sound qualities cannot be assessed without significant set up work. One of the best examples was a German Stainer model commercial instrument that a young player wanted me to set up. I knew he was a good player but didn't have a lot of money and tried to talk him out of it and encouraged him to instead spend the money he would pay me to put a different instrument in good playing shape. He insisted, in part for sentimental reasons. I set it up and it was a fantastic sounding violin despite it's heritage, or lack thereof. He had a decent solo career with it and a contract with one of the bigger management companies in the US. I'm looking forward to you sharing your insights?
  4. I was about to suggest the rubber band method, and then watched Rodney's great video. This is quite likely what I was doing in the days, if memory serves, I was showing him how to rehair bows. I like to leave the rubber band on longer than he did in the video though and I was also in the habit of taking it off after a few minutes, checking things before they were completely dry and then re-wrapping the rubber band in the opposite direction to minimize the potential for helical imprints. I don't think I've done a "thumb leather" in decades, but did re-glue one a few days ago to save a customer from taking the time to visit whomever she takes her bows to.
  5. Yes, having what you would like to have made is probably your best bet if you can find an amused cooperative machinist or have a friend with the right tools at home. Brass is the easiest and there's no need to find tubes of the right sizes as they can readily be made from solid material. That said, the Berg gouges you recently posted photos of do not have ferrules...
  6. That stuff definitely works quite well to soften and release the epoxy resins I've tried it with, but beware that it is VERY low in viscosity and it will probably be necessary to combine it with laponite or other means to control it in your application to reduce the chance of varnish damage. You'll need to have a pretty long dwell time for it to be effective. My use was in doing lapidary, not while working on violins, though if I had remembered about it there's one I would have used it on a few years ago...
  7. So much depends on the particular situation and whether or not it was truly down to and into the wood. The solvents are long gone by now, so don't be concerned about them! If it's an older instrument that already has lots of "Character", then it might be easiest to regard what has happened as part of the aging process. Anyone who is good at retouching can make it look better, but may not be able to make it disappear if the ink has gotten into the wood. The biggest problem is finding someone who is good at this sort of work as most players have little idea of how to judge such things. Perhaps if you told us where you live someone could point you in the right direction... A photo might help too.
  8. I’ve not used it either. A variety of things will work. I saw someone once unwittingly try to glue a top on with shellac! (That didn’t work and resulted in a memorable WTF moment!). The regular hot hide glue nearly all of us use is cheap, even if you waste a lot while on your learning curve with it.
  9. I’m in complete agreement with Davide and David. I will add that if one can still get a neck in that has been soaked with glue, and then more applied before putting it in the mortise, that it probably didn’t fit well to begin with. Not to mention that we probably shouldn’t be talking about Titebond with respect to gluing in violin necks, except for possibly on inexpensive instruments that don’t warrant proper repair.
  10. I've not met a socket in decades of doing this work that I couldn't make smaller. I agree with you about bushing and usually do that with maple.
  11. I’ve often thought of that for some of the edge repair I do… Thanks for the information!
  12. But those will fit holes which have already been made large through successive endpin installations or whatever. If a socket is larger than I want to use on a given instrument, I simply reduce the size to be what I want.
  13. It probably depends greatly on arm length and muscle fiber type of the individual, not to mention which part of the instrument is held for the effort. What brand of epoxy clear coating resin do you use?
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