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Everything posted by murrmac

  1. Picasso used to pay for his restaurant bills by dashing off a sketch on a napkin and donating it to the maitre d'. All well and good, but I very much doubt that the same ploy would work with the IRS.
  2. I did check the website ... I see the various annual membership fees depending on location, but nothing else of a fiscal nature.. Clicking on the "competition and convention " button doesn't reveal anything about entry fees.. There is mention of a "members only" page ... perhaps that is where the entry fee info is located ?.
  3. Just out of curiosity, does a maker have to pay an entry fee when submitting an instrument to the competition, or is VSA membership sufficient by itself?
  4. Possibly not the most apposite analogy ... my first wife was (is) a midwife of many years experience, and based on her after work stories, I can assure you that if I were ever in the position (unlikely, I grant you) of having to make a choice between my child being delivered by an ambulance driver who had delivered 1000 babies during his career, or by a fresh faced med school graduate whose practical gynaecological experience paled into insignificance in comparison, I would choose the ambulance driver every time.
  5. Indeed they have, but .. ."medal" ... ??? I have never heard it used as a verb ... can you give an example of how you would employ it as a verb in a sentence ? EDIT : don't bother, I googled "medal verb" and I see that sports journalist use it as a verb ... how cringeworthy is that ? Next thing we know, Leonardo di Caprio will be "oscaring" ...
  6. Ah ...another of my pet bugbears ... murderers get hanged (or used to be) ... pheasants get hung.
  7. Mea culpa. I have spent too many years interacting with guitar makers who invariably referred to themselves as "builders", and to their construction process as "building".
  8. Perusing the "immersion" thread, I was struck by the fact that the word "stringed" was used in a couple of instances where , at least to my ear, it sounded wrong. Call me a pedant if you will, but my instinct is that the word "stringed" can only ever be used correctly in the phrase "stringed instrument". ... it is IMO not correct to use it as the past participle of the verb "to string" in any other context. For example ,.. you would never ask a builder "have you stringed my violin yet" nor would you say "this fiddle was stringed with steel strings". Or maybe you would ... usages change ...
  9. My apologies for putting two and two together and coming up with five ....
  10. If the words within quotation marks refer to an actual quote from the site, I have to say that I cannot see them anywhere.... presumably that quote seeks to impugn the author's grammatical ["stringed"] and spelling ["proffesional"] ability as well as his business ethics ... but, as I say, I see no evidence of these words on the site.
  11. The only "etude" to which I was ever exposed as an apprentice was when I was given a rough sawn piece of timber and instructed to plane it flat, straight, square and parallel on all four sides. Doing this develops your skill and feel for handling a plane. Ervin Somogyi, whom many would regard as today's most eminent maker of steel string guitars, takes it one step further, and requires his apprentices to make a perfectly dimensioned cube using only hand saws and a plane.
  12. I am overcome with awe and amazement that it is possible to play a violin and determine instantly that the soundpost needs to be moved one way or another for a distance of .004" . I am also somewhat depressed by the sure and certain realization that I will never ever achieve this almost mystical level of expertise.
  13. It could take 3 days, 30 days or 300 days ... all depending on how many seconds were devoted each day to the task, and what grade(s) of abrasive you chose to use.. Let me put it this way ... if it were in my shop, it would be in and out of the door, in perfect working order, in 30 minutes. And yes, the initial flattening with 36 grit would only take 5 minutes.
  14. You don't start off with paper glued flat, you start off with cloth ... the same stuff they use to make sanding belts. For 1 mm discrepancy I would use 36 grit alox cloth , which, attached to a surface plate, would bring that sucker flat in 5 minutes max. Then work through the finer grits. Obviously this can only be done if you have a surface plate of sufficient size to start with, of course, and it's hardly worth buying one just to be able to surface a No 7. Besides, as has been observed, Lie -Nielsens are far nicer planes than Stanleys ...
  15. I have surfaced several No7 Jointers for colleagues on my granite surface plate, which admittedly is larger than most ...5' x 3' x 6". The longest time taken on the worst case No. 7 was around 20 minutes IIRC. Smaller planes can be trued in (much) less than half that time. The secret is to use the correct sandpaper to begin with, which is the Klingspor aluminum oxide PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) available (in 2 3/4" wide rolls, 10 m long) from Klingspor Woodworking Shop in Raleigh NC. The other essential is to start off with a really coarse grit ... I use 40 grit initially, and work my way through 80grit, 120 grit and finish off at 150 grit, which gives a more than adequate finished surface on cast iron. I have seen videos by so-called professional woodworkers doing this operation, and they advocate starting off at 180 grit ... I feel like screaming, and have in fact left adverse comments on a few of those. In my wildest nightmares I wouldn't contemplate scraping a block plane, let alone a No. 7 ... just because you can do it doesn't mean you should do it , when exactly (and I mean exactly ) the same functional (not aesthetic) result can be achieved in a fraction of the time by alternate methods.
  16. You could always have a banjo shaped case made, with a sticker on the outside reading "Banjo players do it with three fingers". That should guarantee its safety.
  17. You don't need to do the experiment ... the answer is a YES ... it certainly would keep the violin from getting too hot. The only problem is that thieves might think the styrofoam case (if visible) contained cans of beer, which might make it even more likely to be stolen ...
  18. The four fine tuners kind of give the game away ... also the fact that when you hover the cursor the legend says "stock photo".
  19. Just to clarify, Davide, you do mean the treble E string rather than the bass E , don't you ? I tend to think of it the other way round ... more relief in the bass E rather than less in the treble E.
  20. The only time a glue joint needs to be "roughed up" or cross hatched is when epoxy is the necessary glue of choice, or when applying veneer. ... neither of these circumstances is likely to be encountered in high-end instrument making. When veneering, the substrate needs to be crosshatched with a toothing plane to give the surplus glue somewhere to run to, thereby avoiding bubbles. There is however no mechanical advantage to so doing... it's still a molecular bond.
  21. By "instability" I assume you mean susceptibility to varying RH ambience, which you would indeed encounter if you were touring extensively. Ebony is certainly susceptible to change in humidity ... high RH = low relief, low RH = high relief, but having to tweak a truss rod slightly every once in a while isn't an unbearable imposition IMO. If you were referring to acoustic guitars, I would have thought that the expansion/contraction of the soundboard in widely varying humidity environments would be a far greater problem. Ebony's susceptibility to humidity change can be minimized by treating the board with a conditioner such as Fret Doctor which is essentially the same stuff as the bore oil used in woodwind instruments.
  22. Miss Kendall could come round and rub oil on my instrument any day of the week.
  23. FWIW, the Amazon reviews are all extremely positive.
  24. murrmac


    With respect, both to your good self and also to all the eminent makers on this forum, there is no way that violin making is the Everest of woodworking. Maybe the Kilimanjaro, maybe even the McKinley , but the Everest of woodworking is to be found among the works of the upper echelons of Japanese cabinet makers past and present.
  25. I had never realized that German violin makers were so small ...
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