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About bengreen

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  1. Bow bushing

    Hi Ed. If you're happy with your large hole placement, you can buy (very pricey) or make a step drill to extend that lineup to the small hole.. It doesn't have to be very fancy to drill such a slight amount of wood. A "D" drill head works fine. You start with a length of drill rod the diameter of the larger hole. Turn the end of it on a lathe to the diameter and length you wish for the smaller hole. File the business end to a round shape. Then file across the length of the narrow portion, using a caliper for measurement, until you're left with a "D" cross section exactly half the thickness of it's starting diameter. The larger diameter serves as a guide to position the smaller drilling head when it's inserted in the large hole you already drilled. It works quite well. No need to harden or even be all that smooth in your filing. Though being centered is no guarantee the frog's going to track perfectly. You still may have to tweak. A length of drill rod with the end filed at an angle to give you a cylindrical chisel is useful (you can give it a bit of a burr to if you like). If you don't have a lathe let me know. It just takes a moment to turn the end. I can send it to you and you can do the filing. If the large hole alignment is the issue because the bow doesn't work with your jig, you can always make a spade bit which you can steer as you're drilling.
  2. Bow porn

    Hi. That’s an interesting garnish on the Josh Henry bow. Can’t quite tell from the photo: is that some kind of ribbon alternating with silver wire? If it’s actually all threads, would you mind showing the underside (hair side) of the wrap?
  3. Power tools for carvin violin back

    Bass builds at Oberlin and ISB used used chain saw head on angle grinder. Not expensive to try. Harbor freight angle grinder $20, circular chain cutting head $30. I brought one along and Nick Lloyd demonstrated, then had us give it a whirl. Scary but surprisingly accurate with a light glancing motion. But yeah, one slip and disaster for both the lumber and your anatomy. Oh, and major mess. The chips fly everywhere.
  4. Lucchi meter

    A word from a nerd.... Before you give up on an old URL, it's always worth running it through the Wayback Machine. They've been crawling public web sites for a bit over 20 years and saving copies of what they find. I have a luthier friend who had previously been an artist. We were able to find her old web site, which she had thought long lost, complete with photos of all her sculptures. It's an incredible resource. And free, though donations are welcome. I ran Froggie's three links above. They all had multiple copy dates available, including the spreadsheet. The only limitation I've found is that the crawler only follows links it encounters to a certain depth. So even if a web page is archived, you can only follow the links so far before they dead end. And some pages are incomplete, though if that happens try clicking on another date. But thank you for refreshing this subject. I'm very happy to have those resources.
  5. Bass finger board dressing

    If you don't have any luck here, this is a topic that comes up a lot at You can search the setup and repair forum. Just be mindful to excercise judgement weedng out the "I've never done it but I think..." clutter from the actual expertise. Joey Naeger wrote an interesting take on the subject in the ISB (International Society of Bassists) magazine a few issues back. It's reproduced on his web site here if you want to give it a read: It includes a link to a pdf of the template he's settled on.
  6. mini lathe recommendation for making buttons

    Sorry I didn't get the long bed too. Would have been handy a bunch of times. I also live near them. Took my mill in to be looked at for backlash I couldn't dial out. They replaced a spacer on my long out of warranty machine for free. In their prep room, they had one of their lathes ready to ship that was set up with a custom six foot bed for a medical manufacturer. Something about making catheters. Ewww......
  7. Bow repair question.

    What worries me is that if the crack was deep enough to extend into the adjuster shaft, gluing may not be enough. When the bow is under tension, the hair will be trying to pivot the frog, and that force will ultimately pull down on the adjuster rod, stressing the crack. A bushing would be the ideal. But a collar is good insurance. If you're not set up do a buried collar, there's actually a cheap and simple alternative. The only trouble is, if the store is trying to hide the damage and sell it as unblemished, this one is visible. It simply involves wrapping the butt end of the stick (behind the frog at its furthest back travel) with polyester thread, exactly as if you were doing a silk winding. Saturate the the thread with thin CA glue and sand to whatever level of gloss appeals to you. If it's black or brown thread, you can make it appear just like leather. And it's very strong.
  8. mini lathe recommendation for making buttons

    If you're just talking buttons, anything down to the tiniest jewelers lathe will do. I know one maker who turns 3 part buttons freehand. I Started with Unimat sl-1000. Gorgeous piece of miniature steam punk. Still have it. Still love the look of it. And it's fine for buttons. But the twin bars in lieu of an actual bed flex too much for anything more demanding. Ended up with Sherline Lathe/Mill. Not a toy. Plenty of torque and rigidity for anything bow related: buttons, milling internal architecture of frogs, tool making (nipple and button mortise cutters, stepped drill bits from 01 steel). Motor/headstock shared by both machines, transfers in seconds. And when you're done with them, small and light enough to easily lift and stash under your workbench, even with my iffy back. Two cons: 1. Limited headstock pass through already mentioned. They have some newer larger ones at 1/2", but pricey and still not large enough for bass. 2. You're more or less limited to Sherline accessories (though selection is pretty extensive). Question: do most of you do your stick drilling on the lathe? I guess I'm kind of nervous about it.
  9. Bow - Cracks in Head

    Yeah, it's been through the wars. Thanks for the comments. I'm not feeling so pessimistic now. A new tip is definitely on the agenda. Plenty of CA and Acetone on hand but I'm intrigued now about the Hxtal. I had read Jerry P's articles on using Optical Epoxy and been curious but didn't realize it was so thin. I'll order some and experiment, then decide which to use. Next up will be the frog. Even worse shape.
  10. Rehair turning stick?

    As long as you're looking at Lynn's site you might want to nab one of these puppies: They're basically repurposed pet flea combs with the handles cut off. I'm not really clear how horn combs came to have such an almost mythic appeal for rehairing, but I have one and never do use it. The teeth on the pet combs are round and rigid, evenly spaced, easily cleaned (alcohol) and durable. There's also a bonus to their design.One method of working is to spread the hair in the comb just slightly wider than the ferrule and then use the comb itself to push the spreader wedge home. The straight rigid back of the pet comb seems tailor made for that technique. BTW the above pic I would call a medium spacing of the teeth. They come finer and coarser. The fine teeth can be useful but you'll probably find the pictured comb the one you reach for most often.. Counting hairs, weighing can. A gauge is quicker and easier. It's just a slot (usually 1 mm wide) cut in a wood or metal stick with calibrations marked along its length.I have one by Herdim I like (though I wish it were a bit more rigid). It has a mm scale next to the slot.There are two ways you can use it. If I'm doing a bass bow, which I'm most familiar with, I'll use the gauge to measure the inside width of the ferrule and then spread the hair in the slot to that width, pressing the hair between thumb and index finger, adding or subtracting hair until the ribbon feels right. Then add just a little bit more, depending on the quality of the hair, to account for rejects I'm going to pull out as I comb and inspect the hank. After culling, I'll usually do a second check with the gauge to be sure. With the other strings that I'm not so intimate with, I use the second method. In the workshops we were given "ideal" hanks of hair for violin, viola, cello. It was a simple matter of jamming those sample hanks into the slot of my gauge and seeing where each measured out to. I think they were 8, 8.5 and 12mm respectively in my 1mm wide slot. So that's a starting point. You can adjust from there. If you buy your gauge from Lynn it will simply have 4 marks on it, one for each instrument.Or you can easily make your own. The same for the turning stick. But I think when you're just starting out it's better to let someone else deal with the tool making and you concentrate on learning to use them.
  11. Bow - Cracks in Head

    This is my stand partner's German (as in German grip) bass bow. I'm not in the shop right now but if I remember right it's a Schuster. I took it on to replace the tip and rehair, but found cracks in the head. I've never seen cracks like these in an old bow. They look like checks in drying lumber. My eyes are not what they used to be but when I squeeze the front I think I'm seeing some very slight movement. There don't appear to be any cracks looking inside the mortise. I'm at a loss what to do about this. The owner asks if can't just wick some CA glue into the cracks and continue on with the original work. I'm having trouble convincing myself that's a permanent solution. Especially since he's a pretty powerful player. Any ideas? Thanks.
  12. Bending Flat-backed Instrument

    Oops. The dates just registered. Nice solutuon with the wedges. Simple and effective.
  13. Bending Flat-backed Instrument

    Actually, not a bending iron. It's your basic household iron (or in my case, two of for each side of a bass back). I followed Roger's guidance (with plenty of practice on scrap first) . I had tried both V and narrow straight bit and found the straight bit worked better for me. I just had to pick a diameter such that the kerf was narrow enough to close when fully bent but not so narrow as to close before the full bend was achieved, which could rip the back. I clamped the back to the bench, making sure it was quite flat so the routed channel would of uniform depth. Clamped a guide rail across, crossed fingers and toes, and went across in one pass with a trim (small) router leaving between 1 to 1.5 mm of thickness at the bottom. I built a bending platform of plywood. A level portion to clamp the back to and a downward inclined ramp matching the desired bend angle. I lined up the kerf where the level portion met the ramp and clamped, the top of the back extending over the ramp like a diving board. Heated up a pair of household irons set for max steam, lay a wet cloth over the bend area and ironed it (albeit two handed) like ironing trousers, gradually tilting the irons to lever the back down against the ramp. Then clamped bent portion to the ramp. There was virtually no springback when I released it the next day. Considering the absolute terror I felt at the start, the result was strangely anticlimactic. After considerable prep and positioning, the actual bending was fast and easy. Hope that helps.
  14. Glue for underslide

    Instrument makers have it easy. Hot hide glue. But bow makers are all over the map. The closest I’ve heard to anything resembling a rule is to use more water resistant adhesives at the grip due to sweaty hands. CA glue works fine. In reality so does liquid hide glue in spite of the admonition. I wouldn’t stress over it. What’s probably more important is your prep and working techniques. Rough up the gluing surface of the silver prior to gluing. Some use acid. Others sand paper. Pin the silver before stressing it with filing. Always file or sand pushing the silver into the wood, not prying it away. Drill the initial portion of the hole for the eyelet that penetrates the silver slightly wider than the eyelet. Then switch to slightly undersize for the wood. This can help avoid the thread of the eyelet from prying up on the silver as you screw it in for the first time. What I would love to see is a questionnaire handed out to bow makers asking “what types of glue have you used on the various parts of the bow, bonding what materials and how effective were they? I wish the VSA would take it up as a project. To me, the value of such a statistical survey seems a no brainer. I put the request in years ago when they were soliciting topics to pursue, but never did hear back.
  15. Double bass forma

    I told myself I was going to wean myself from social media. So much for resolutions. -- Bob, I've got all of the plans and remember crosschecking at the time. I have a vague memory that one other neck was in error too. They're buried in my storage locker. Next time I'm over there I'll try to remember to look. -- I had the same issue with Fedex copying. In my case the widths were similar but the lengths were off from 2 to 5 mm. I elected just to live with it. Faulty expectations: thought blueprints would be pricier and didn't go there. Thanks, I'll know better next time. -- For those of you into making a BIG violin: Joe let me play the big one. Forget D or Eb. It was more like a C or C# neck.