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About bengreen

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  1. 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......
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Bending Flat-backed Instrument

    Oops. The dates just registered. Nice solutuon with the wedges. Simple and effective.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Double bass forma

    Be careful with the Peter Chandler plans. It was wonderful that he was willing to fill an obvious void in the literature but there are problems with his plans. Specifically, I made a template for the neck and scroll of his John Lott Sr. bass by gluing a copy of the plans to some hard board and cutting along his lines. But I noticed the dimensions he specified for the thickness of the top and bottom of the neck were way thinner than the actual measurements of my template, by a good 15mm. It was as if he was including the thickness of the fingerboard to the neck as well, except that the surface of the phantom fingerboard flowed directly into the scroll. Luckily I caught it before cutting any wood. And also luckily I had made several full size copies of the plans so was able to do some creative cutting and pasting to come up with a template that matched his written (and reasonable) dimensions. Chandler was a very nice man who was kind enough to send me photos of the actual bass upon which the plans were based. But by the time I caught these problems he was gone so the opportunity for having corrections made were past. I did send an email to the supplier you note above alerting them to the problems but never did get a reply. So if you go that route, look the plans over carefully and be sure everything makes sense before you cut any wood. Also understand that the outlines either side of the center line are two separate drawings. One side is the outline of the front, the other side is the outline of the back. So what you will end up with are two half templates from the one drawing. I got my wood at International Violin.
  12. cello bow with German grip

    Well, that's me again answering while sleep deprived. I'm awake now and your last post actually registered. Don't be too bothered about bad habits. Yes, foundations are good and if you repeatedly practice mistakes you'll decidedly slow your progress. But as far as crossover goes, the principal bass in my section regularly takes lessons from a violin teacher and I only wish I could play half as well as he does. Your technique is never final, it's a process. Draw from as wide an information base as you can access. Try stuff. Some ideas you'll use, some you'll reject, and the mix will evolve as your playing does. By all means, try a bass bow on your cello. Easiest/cheapest would be to borrow your teachers bow when you go for that bass lesson. Not sure what to expect. I had a weird experience at a makers workshop where someone showed up with a pair of french bass bows that weighed in at around 230 grams (typical is more like 130 to 150 for bass, and your cello about 80). Monsters! They were built for a specific, reasonable application but I can't remember what it was now. Tried them on my 7/8 bass and felt like I was torturing the poor thing. It felt like I was way overdriving it, sort of like overdriving an amp with too much input voltage. German bows are generally lighter than French so maybe not quite so overkill on your cello. For what it's worth, David Finckel uses bass rosin on his cello bow. His 100 YouTube cello talks are totally fun for this bass player to watch. Good luck with it. If you get a chance later on, give us an update with how things worked out. PS Fun quote, possibly even relevant. My first serious bass teacher was in the Philadelphia Orchestra. A large man. Demonstrating a passage on my dinky plywood instrument, he said "This bass can't take as much as I can give it!" Always loved that line. PPS Second thoughts, jogged memory of trying expensive bows of my teacher's...I dropped it. Luckily, carpet.
  13. cello bow with German grip

    Short answer is, any bow maker could make you a frog to spec. In one respect it would actually be easier than a conventional frog because German bass frogs rarely have a heel plate. So that's one fussy, time consuming operation that goes bye bye. You'd just have to figure what are appropriate dimensions. Looked at the web site filddecollector mentions and some of those baroque cello bows look very like a frog made for bass (Alsatian) which is meant as a crossover for French and German bow players. Looks like a viable option. The thought of adapting an existing cello of German bass frog is not that compelling for me. Anything you add to a cello frog would be kind of Rube Goldberg-ish and probably interfere with a proper grip. And a German bass frog has a much wider hair ribbon than a cello, an eyelet too wide to fit in a cello stick's frog mortise, a screw diameter larger than the cello's drilled shaft, a stick channel too wide that wouldn't mate with any cello stick. There would be so much work involved in repurposing it, the end result so compromised, it really would be better to start from scratch. Since she's already done it, my first move would be to give the person Jerry mentioned a call. Then you'll be talking to someone who knows exactly what it costs and how successful the result was for the player. I sympathize with your problem. I have shoulder issues too. I really can't go for more than about two minutes of continuous playing without searing heat crippling me. In my case, all that's necessary is to "unload" the tension in my rotator muscles for a second or two and I'm good to go again. Probably 99% of orchestra rep has sufficient pauses in it that my shoulder has a negligible affect on my ensemble playing. But to make it through the five minutes or so needed for a Bach cello suite movement, that's where it makes me so frustrated I could cry. I also contemplated your route: switching to German frog, or making a bow with a crossover frog. Underhand is less stress on the shoulder.Trouble is, I have close to fifty years invested in learning French bow technique. I can pick up a German bow and scrub away simple lines, but as far as playing with anything remotely resembling the facility and nuance I can manage with a French But that brings up a point. French and German technique are very different. And almost certainly baroque bow too. Whichever you go with, it would probably be a boon to get some lessons with a teacher proficient with that grip, even if it means a cellist taking a lesson with (gasp!) a bass player.
  14. Ebony won't plane

    Hi Ed, Just curious, do you use the toothed irons in your bow work? Reason I ask is that I've started using the Hill method planing sticks: wire tensioner to straighten cambered stick and use of larger planes, longer strokes. Results have been way more even octagons than I ever managed with the little French bowmaker planes. But tear out is a problem and at some point I have to switch back to scraper planes, in particular the Lie-Nielsen 212 above. Is a bow facet too narrow for a fine toothed block or apron plane to be effective? Ben
  15. Ebony won't plane

    For bows and fingerboards this seems to take nasty grain in stride (when it's sharp). And angle is adjustable.