Tom O

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About Tom O

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  1. I've had two Perrys in my shop, one with painted purfling and one with the real thing. The purfled Perry (great band name) came in pieces and I reglued (all it needed) and set up. I'm no expert, but OP's innards (another band name) look right to me. Both Perrys sounded very sweet but not spectacularly loud. The one with the painted purfling had a nice repair of some odd back damage--Mr. Huthmaker in Atlanta thought someone had been "El Kabonged" with it, to account for the impact damage.
  2. Be worth more if it could be linked to the great Korean zombie flick, Night Train to Busan.
  3. Sewing machine oil? I've used Remoil on geared guitar and double bass tuners, but it's too heavy and possibly gummy for bow screws. The brass eyelet's pretty slick to start with--adding more than a scintilla of a drop of anything would be too much. Beeswax seems like a good way to go. I've cleaned bow screws with a drop of naphtha (one of those great words to spell--writing it feels like you've accomplished something difficult--like writing "cthonic," or "tmesis," or "phthisis"), a soft nylon brush, and a paper towel. Don't know how good an idea it is, though.
  4. After it turned Shandy-esque, I told my wife about this thread. She said: "Let's see: detail-obsessive wood nuts, cook-your-own-varnish loonies, and literary jokesters--congrats! You've found your people." "Not true!" I says. "It's literary punsters!"
  5. It's just about the only plot point most can figure out, much less remember. But it's Uncle Toby's endless reconstruction of the siege of Namur (is that right?) that's the most like MN threads. It is Uncle Toby, isn't it?
  6. Tom O

    Violin id

    So many folks on MN write so well about violin id, but where are the posts about violin ego?
  7. These folks are great! Great products. Haven't thought too much about their ideas for rosin-cooked potatoes, though.
  8. Semantics!
  9. Until this past weekend, it'd been years since I last use them, but I fettled my two old V&B (Vaughan and Bushnell) iron planes--a model 903 and 705--and am thrilled again at their quality. I got mine years ago on the ebay; they'd been used and abused, but still very flat and easily adjusted. If I'm remembering right, the 9xx series is top of the line, but I don't find any real difference in quality in the 7xx series. These planes are worth keeping an eye out for.
  10. So in January I completed my move from Auburn, Alabama (where I taught full time and ran a music store) to the frozen North--Richmond, Virginia, where I found a terrific job at a local university and a great, cheap place to move my tools, instrument wood, and the detritus from the Guitar Shoppe. But I didn't move everything; I left a very nice table saw behind for a friend, a musician. So I says to him: "Be sure to wax the table as soon as possible." He says: "Is that a euphemism, because it sounds like a euphemism." Me: "No, it's not a euphemism. I really mean you need to wax the table." Him: "Yeah, that's probably a euphemism." Me: "Aaargh!" Him: "Gotcha!" So a couple weeks later he texts me: "Dude! I TOTALLY waxed the table!" I say: "Great! It's a really important thing to do." Him: "That's what SHE said." Anyway, I thought I'd try out a lake of weld, just to see. The Michael Darntonian lake system has worked well for me with other materials, but my first try with weld was no darn good. So I tried a few more times, finally settling on a protocol: boiling the weld (tinctoria lutea?) with a much stronger lye bath. A stronger alum solution precipitated the pigment; filtered, dried, washed, filtered, dried, the pigment got whirled around in a coffee grinder, then pulverized some more with a mortar and pestle. Smeared on the mullering plate, looks like a really gorgeous ash-leaf-in-the-fall golden yellow. With luck, it'll be more lightfast than some other bio-yellows. Anyone else worked with weld? When I worked in an iron-working shop, I worked with weld-ers (notably Lance the Welder, who was a part-time welder AND a part-time Hell's Angel--good at welds, but unable to figure out blueprints).
  11. Thanks, guys! I ground the precipiated shiny bit first in a coffee grinder, then mortared and pestled them, then mulled. Why crystals? heck if I know. I used commercial lye to leach out the pig-ment (thinking of stack tanks here. Swine-ment sounds like a moisturizer applied after hogwash. Ahem.), and alum to invite it into grindertown and mullerville. No rinsing, though.
  12. I know this has been talked to death, or nearly so, but... I started toying with making violin varnish years ago, armed only with a copy of Heron-Allen and of the Hammerls' book--and then life supervened. After a recent move, I unpacked my varnishy stuff, and found some turmeric in alcohol, which I bottled in 2001, and while turmeric pigment's not light fast, I'm testing to see if old turmeric pigment is light "faster" (which is something you might say to reluctant kindling while trying to start a fire to keep warm). I don't expect light fastness, but even if it turns out that way, it's not really practical to wait 18 years for it! On another front, though, I've laked pigment from ground walnut shells, which, dried before mulling, looks like miniature Folger's Coffee Crystals--sharp and shiny. I have more hope for this stuff. Many years ago I stained some pine bookcases with walnut juice decocted from peels in ammonia water. We had those bookcases for eight or nine years before giving them away preparatory to a big move, and there was no appreciable fading.So, maybe... This is the first time I've used an actual muller to mull pigments--much easier than a mortar and pestle. In my head I've been thinking of my new muller as robert. (USA topical humor).
  13. Tom O

    Why arching shape?

    I'm not yet a maker (working on it), but I've set up, repaired, and sold violins through the music store I owned. I had two "Thomas Perrys" go through my shop (one a likely Perry, the other definitely from his shop). The rap on Perry violins is "good for orchestras, not soloists," because of the sweetness vs. power thing. A Perry, they say, is sweet but not powerful. Maybe so. It's true that both these violins were sweet-sounding, with the D and A strings the sweetest, and that neither violin was particularly loud. But as Bill says, power (do we mean something like SPL for a given bow pressure, or a tonality that "cuts through the mix," or what) and sweetness (whatever that means) aren't mutually exclusive at all. While the Perrys weren't particularly loud, they nevertheless commanded attention when played. Maybe that's power, too?
  14. I've read lots on Maestronet, but this is my first post, and may be a bit out of place, but...while everyone here is reasonable about making or using varnish, there's some truly weird stuff out there. I was looking for something else about varnish on Virginia Commonwealth Univ's library website, and found a doozy: The Titian Secret: rel. Cremona Violin Varnish, by Albert W. Green (self published in 1966). It's an eight or nine-page pamphlet that's clearly out there where the buses don't run. He doesn't actually say much about Cremonese varnish, but the result of "25 years [he] has spent" studying this subject is--interpreting the names of Cremonese makers to derive something(?) about their varnish. Gasparo de Salo's name, for example, means something like "gas derived from salts.";view=1up;seq=3 Worth a read; only about nine short pages, but breathtaking.