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balen

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  1. Yes its full size, has purflings, fair wood, back, neck and ribs are generally in good condition, top had has its wear and repairs in time. The violin has a beautiful look. Has a very nice reddish brown varnish. I wonder what does R and S means under the button. Do you think it's about hundred years old? Anyways I will give it some good love, fully restore and clean it, put some goods on it and can't wait to see how it will sound. I imagine it will be quite sweet and mellow.
  2. You're right Martin, here are some additional shots:
  3. Hello guys, I just found this one, looks like an old czech one but cant recognize the brand. I presume it's at least 50 years old.
  4. looks like a baby alien to me.
  5. 2,5-4 is too low for steel imo, at least for orchestra play. It takes away so much from projection, and with some problematic instruments lower frequencies of the G and D sounds too weak and dull. I generally set up mine as 5,5-3,5 or 5-3,5 depending on the instrument, fingerboard, instruments condition, strings and the player. For cello I use 7,5-5,5. 8 seems to be a bit high for most players. For violas I may use 6-4, but of course it depends on the variables.
  6. balen

    red flames

    Mike sorry for the late reply, I actually don't know the type of the pigment. It was an orange pigment from kremer, added to the oil varnish without mulling it.
  7. ...is a miserable life while there are people out there like burgess or holmes. Just joking tho. And old topic but I wanted to say something too; The real answer is depends where you live. In my country(Turkey), since regular living is very expensive enough, violin making is quite a bit luxury job, where you don't have enough demand basically. I'm also an academician at the university as also being a luthier. So ı'm lucky. But for most our graduates, life's quite hard. And they are changing their careers to be music teachers. Since people earn less money, they want you to make instruments or repairs very cheap too, which is not practical. There is way less respect to luthiers than there are in the west. Things are a lot better in Europe and US as far as I've seen. Still I don't think in anywhere this would be an easy career. One must stand out from the crowd, which takes time, patience, effort but also natural skill, which something not everybody have enough. Thats why there are people like David Burgess I think, and my names is not known to anybody. It was not my first dream, I always wanted to be a car designer, I still do in my heart. But life's like a cheeky boy playing with you. Would I choose this career knowing these? No, I would most probably not. At least in my country. But I still love my job, Its special, so calming and restful. But almost to a degree of retirement hobby when you try to earn your keep from it. Özgün
  8. Being a straight razor user and a sharpening addict; I have lots of stones. Natural to synthetic, cheap to expensive. Aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, arkansas varieties, belgian coticule, ceramic stones, roszutec stone, regular clay based japanese stones, high end japanese ceramic stones, lots of national natural oil and water stones like turkey oil stone and etc. Plus diamond pastes, diomond sprays, cbn sprays, lapping films, Shaptons, naniwas, ceraxes, kings, suehiro you name it Ive got it. Even my masters thesis was about sharpening stones and bevels.If I could only get a nice shiny charley forest to myself,..ohh boy.. I should have born as a japanese with all those tasty steels and natural stones. End of that, yes I mostly use hand sharpening for my tools so rarely with a help of jig. I'm used to free hand sharpening and honing. To me nothing compares to the precision of the hand sharpening. Machines are way faster with way less control. I also use machine grinders and the tormek copy of jet's sharpening tool. Its just ok. The tormek is my dream for the last 15 years, its not being sold here, and I'm still waiting for it. Imo its the ultimate machine for sharpening for consistent results each time. Plus those leather wheels are super handy to polish the bevel FAST. Plus sometimes hollow grind can be useful. But again I like a good stones cutting feeling, getting my hands dirty. Its like a meditation for me. Course it takes more time. But if you keep your tools sharp and just rehone them regularly you wouldn't need a total sharpening overhaul. If anybody is looking for a good machine, than the price shouldn't be the issue here, the answer is clear, get a tormek t8 with a lot accessories. I don't care for its price, and I don't suggest anybody to care IF they can. If you're on the budget however, having a simple grinder for rough grinding, and a simple double sided ceramic stone like a 1/3k cerax would be more than enough. After that, use some chromium oxide on balsa, then hone it on a nice leather strop. Then you're good to go. One doesn't need fancy japanese stones to get this level of sharpness. Plus not all types of steels can cope with the degree the sharpness the very high end sharpening stones would put on them. They would get dull much too soon. So its important to chose depending on what you've got out there. You can go to michigan from ohio both with a toyota or a corvette. Both would take you there but differently.
  9. The best steel I've ever used for knife is dictums hss blades. I guess those are m2 or even m6 steels, with a hardness of 65hrc. It takes a bit longer to sharpen than regular alloy steels but they last 2 to 3 times compared to pfeil knives. Plus they don't burn easily when you regrind them. One disadvantage of them since they are not as pure as other steels there is a limit how sharp they can be. They can be sharpened to crazy sharp not to scary sharp. To me scary sharp is when you touch the edge you get that tickly sensation on your back and on wood it just polishes it while its cutting. Since Ive been shaving with straight razors for years and honing them myself, I like my tools to be real sharp. Im addicted to that feeling of super sharp tools cutting. Once a tool lose it I get angry soon enough. So yes those hss wont be that sharp, but that degree of sharpness rarely needed in any woodworking. For very detailed parts I use my plain carbon blades which can be basically sharp as a straight razor. But I would swear for these hss knife blades. I also have this japanese forged suminigashi knives, said to be 37 layers of forged steel to a level of 66 hrc. Ive used them a few times before, seems like they can be real sharp as most japanese tools do, but they are really a pain to sharpen, the steel is so though unlike anything from west. I have this yoshiro ikeda hand forged chisel and man after 1 hour on diamond stone it still needs some work to flatten its back, crazy tough steel. Japanese are basically crazy when it comes to tools imo.
  10. balen

    File question

    Hello people, I have an old little half round file passed from a friend. I've been using it for some years and its still cuts quite well, almost like a vallorbe. It has a lion logo on in and "made in germany" on the back. No brand name. I looked but couldn't find any info. I wonder if anybody knows which brand this might be? and old f. dick or pferd maybe? Also how do you compare pferds to vallorbe? In my country they are a lot cheaper than vallorbe. I didn't like bahco files, but if these are good p/p files I may give them a try since vallorbe's are a bit too expensive for me. Özgün
  11. balen

    red flames

    You know Daniel, I'd took this photo and uploaded to flickr, it was done by my previous teacher, as far as I remember this was an oil varnish with a bit of pigments in it from kremer. No particular staining, grounding or primer was applied to this particular one, so pigments alone may help a lot to achieve what you've asked for.
  12. I've been using the myrrh for some time, as I said before its a gum resin which means its a gum but also a resin complex. Thus solvent is important. Since gums wont dissolve in alcohol but in water, if you dissolve it in water you get the gum part, in alcohol you get the resin part. In water you almost dissolve half of the myrrh you've put into it. Which is enough for me. Gives a nice light golden stain, and improves flames too. Since gum arabic is a pure gum its very natural for it to completely dissolve in water just like any pure gums. What I was talking about; is gum arabic seems like a too strong medium with very strong adhering ability, which I think it may not be needed. Myrrh alsa has this adhering properties but in a much low degree.
  13. So albumen in vb as a protein acts as a sealer and a hardening agent.The honey and sugar for hygrosocping and gum arabic as an ahdesive for the varnish. Which has been used for ages as adhasive. I had bad memories with vb, used same recipe used here but with brown sugar, it nicely applied to wood and harden it, but it was so hygroscopic, it didnt accept my spirit varnish and rejected it. I had to remove the varnish 3 times. After that I though there may be a problem with my spirit formula, and decided to apply oil varnish. Darn thing evet didn't accepted oil varnish too. With so much effort, sanding, using turpentine etc I had succesfully finished varnishing that instrument but I hated vb for it. And I didnt used too much honey or sugar. To me it seems that sugar and honey are overly hygroscopic. Do we really need that much? And gum arabic seems to be very strong as an adhesive, I'm not sure one needs that strong adhesive when using oil varnishe wich is already sticky in nature compared to spirit varnish. I wonder is anybody tried myrrh in place of gum arabic? Since myrrh is a gum resin, which means it has both properties of gums and resin, and partially soluble in water as a gum just like gum arabic but less stronger. So I'm thinking how about making a modern vb using only myrrh and egg white albumen, without the use of honey and sugar. I think propolis solved in alcohol would be a nice sealer for the interior since it has some amount of wax in it, acting as a barrier to moisture. And for the outside of the top, not the whole instrument, this myrrh and egg white mixture could be a much easygoing ground/sealer combination, still hardening the wood, and acting as an adhesive for the varnish coat. I dont think one needs a hygroscopic surface outside the instrument since the actual varnish will do that job already. What do you guys think about my thougths?
  14. With little hot water and heat from a hot iron, bridges can be straightened with a basic clamp jig. Generally need to be clamped a few hours. But this only works for a short term, then most possibly the bridge will warp soon again.
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