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About Shunyata

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  1. As a quick followup... I paid attention and found that as I blended the purfling scoop into the rest of the plate (using oblique lighting to gauge smoothness or the curvature) I was naturally removing wood from the shoulders and hips to create the barrel profile others mentioned. I haven't drawn new contours in, but I bet they would look very much like Davide's graphic. Oh, and gratitude to Davide for his plate shaping videos! I don't use the exact same method, but his instruction has helped me "grok in fullness". (Ant Robert Heinlein readers out there?)
  2. I learned with three templates from the Bruce Ossman book - it seems to work for me, although it leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation, hence my posted question. I had specifically wondered about straightening the contours as Davide suggests. Structurally, straighter courses will be less rigid than the contours I am using. I wonder what the tonal consequences are? Mr. Noon?
  3. I know everyone has a different way for handling arching. I use four templates to set the lomg arch and the arch at the shoulder waist and hips. Then i slowly work the contours. I would appreciate any comment on the contours below.
  4. I have used Engleman, Sitka and red spruce. (Also white pine from Home Depot for my first attempt.) I like working with the red spruce. It feels harder to me and the grain is more forgiving. But I am NOT a very experienced maker.
  5. I will have to see if I can get more from the same tree. What I have now is impeccably quartersawn, and sized in billets for mandolin making. While it is shamefully wasteful, the billet size gives me plenty of room to trim and get exactly what I want from it.
  6. Don't know that the maple is soft per se but it carves and plates wonderfully - i have never had such a pleasant time carving! I have been watching weight and have been consistently working from the same Strad template for the last few builds so I have a good idea what to expect. Based upon your advice I won't worry yet!
  7. I found a billet of very nicely flamed maple. But it seems softer than usual. When rough planing the billet I had no chip out. And carving the arching is like cutting through cold butter, again with no chip out at all. It's wonderful to work with! But I am concerned this good behavior may not play nicely with tone. Any advice for the thicknessing process? Leaving it thick seems like it could be problematic if the wood is soft, but so does going thin. What to do?
  8. Mr Darnton mentioned he wouldn't like the skirt on my bench because it would make it difficult to clamp items to the top. While he is right in one sense, one must realize that "clampless and viceless" is the entire proposition of this bench. With bench dogs and the holes in the top and skirt you can do all the same things that you do with a vice or clamps. Usually it is much faster with bench dogs, and some things are much easier. Nevertheless, this bench is a commitment to a different way of working... but one that is just as effective.
  9. Here is the English style bench I built. The top and legs are doubled 2x10 lumber, so this thing is rock solid. Weighs over 200lbs. You cannot wrack the frame no matter how hard you are working on it. It is also vice-less. I use bench dogs and the crochet attached to the front to securely hold any piece. Adjust much faster snd more flexibly than a vice. Also have a plane stop built into the top that pounds up from underneath. Being left handed I mounted the crochet and plane stop opposite side from the usual setup.
  10. Where do you think your exhalation goes? It comes out everywhere, including the section closest to your glasses, even when fit properly.
  11. Having made mistakes resulting in high arches and high bridges (sometimes both at once, in one embarassing case the belly plate was so high in the forehead it looked macrocephalic) I can attest to the impacts or arching and bridge height! I can't think of any other way to get large string angle.
  12. Antifog spray like you use in your car works. You can buy glasses made wjth this coating. Otherwise A little duct tape at the top of the mask to direct exhalation downward does wonders. Don't need to press the tape all the way down, you just need a shield to direct air coming through the mask away from your glasses.
  13. Is this what you mean when you say slitting gauge? This marking guage exactly does the trick - the circular marking blade is more stable to work with than the narrow blade type (as in Davide's video).
  14. I think I agree with the efficiency of Davide' s approach. I also have difficulty getting the arching right around the C bouts and the points. His method may help with this. I am starting plate arching now and will give it a try!
  15. For decades my father has harvested his own wood for furniture making. He taught me: Cut away bark and sapwood. Cut into reasonably sized billets. Figure on at least 1/4" waste on all surfaces, And more like 1" on end grain surfaces. This allows for shape changes as the billet dries. Parafin wax the end grain immediately. You can develop checking crazy fast. Stack with spacers to allow airflow and rotate the stack every few months. Allow at least 1yr dry time per inch of thickness.