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About bkwood

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  1. If you're careful you can just use a sharp brad point bit for the hole. That's what I do with a hand power drill. Very low pressure and slow speed with backing so you won't blow out coming through. After that I cut the rest of the f hole with a knife. Never could get the hang of roughing out with a jewler's saw first.
  2. What might apply to mandolins might not apply equally to violins. Because the thicknesses of the plates and ribs are less to begin with there is less to remove. Just how much wood should one leave to allow for tweaking on a violin?
  3. I've also heard it said (regarding mandolins) that it is good to tune the body somewhere between diatonic notes in order to prevent certain notes from dominating. I'm not going to change anything in my viola at this point–it's ready to varnish. I don't take it too seriously, but it's interesting to think about. Did you find your open C had more presence, and how did you know if it did? Would you expect higher C notes to also have more power? Congratulations on the certificate.
  4. As I am nearing completion of a smallish viola I mentioned to a luthier friend, who doesn't build violins but does build mandolins, that it made a satisfying musical sound when I pat the top. He asked if I had tuned it with the ff holes. I hardly even pay attention to tuning the plates as I carve them. I don't know how much one would have to open up ff holes to change the pitch of the completed instrument box. Am I missing something or is this an important thing to do? For what it's worth it thumps a low A.
  5. Thanks for replies. I think I sized the plock properly, but something went wrong so maybe I didn't.
  6. I have opened up the seam on both sides of the neck. That wasn't too hard so it seems the glue in that whole area was too thin or something. The rest of the top seems tight. I ordered a long repair knife from Stewmac since I need extra length to get glue on the whole block from the side. So I think I will be able to make things work out. Advice still welcome if you have any.
  7. At least that's what I think has happened. I've just returned after several months to finishing a viola I've been building. While working on the neck (top back and neck are all joined, fingerboard too) I felt some slight loosness. I find I can flex the neck backward ever so slightly, and while the ribs and back all remain joined it will separate very slightly where the neck butts against the top , as though the block came free of the top. It's upsetting to say the least. I am wondering if it is worth trying to loosen the top a little ways on both sides of the neck, then work in hot glue with a knife to reglue the block. Or is more drastic action necessary? Why the glue failed I don't know (hot hide glue, of course), and I don't want to think the other blocks could come loose. Any advice is welcome. Feeling blue.
  8. Agree. I play an hour or 2 a day and seldom need any more that 4 swipes of rosin a week.
  9. Don't get carried away with your reasoning here. Though sometimes things aren't explained away it does not mean they can't be explained away with more complete information. And it certainly doesn't mean that alternative spooky paranormal explanations are therefore correct. By defination if something exists it is normal. So I say if something is not yet explained you keep studying it. It's not helpful to just claim it is beyond "the reductionalist, dialectical materialism which purports to define -- and even impose boundaries on -- reality itself", whatever that really means.
  10. I have some experience building violins. It has recently occurred to me to build a child size violin, perhaps for eventual donation to the local elementary school, and I have some questions. What size would be a good choice for an average child beginner, assuming I'm not going to be able to make all the sizes? Secondly, is it just a matter scaling everything smaller, or are there particular things to consider?
  11. Hard to tell from the picture but I would be careful getting too close to the arching you want without starting to smooth things out, unless you have lots of thickness left on the edge. Some of those chisel grooves may be harder to disappear than you expect.
  12. Might as well throw my two cents in as an Old Time/Bluegrass player. If you're playing classical music you're not going to want these I'm told. But after using Helicores for a long time I switched to Prims Orchestra (heavy) stainless steel strings. They're relativly inexpensive and have a good response and last forever. Highly recommended on my side of the tracks.
  13. Bandsaw. I think trying to rough out f holes with the scroll saw would be more tedious than it's worth. I use a knife. I cut the sides of the f holes perpendicular to the curving top which would be hard with a scroll saw.
  14. Yes, I know many think that. Certain techniques are kind of a religion among woodworkers and I understand that and for the most part admire it. My joints are very good, even invisible, and let's just agree to disagree if you want to believe otherwise.