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Steve Voigt

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  1. Apologies for being flip and offending anyone who's a fan of wet grinders. Snark aside though, I think the basic point is beyond dispute. A dry grinder with a stock grey wheel is much faster than a Tormek, and a CBN wheel widens the gap much more.
  2. Agree with this 100%. One thing I'll add is that there's still a place for friable wheels, especially if you're restoring old tools, because friable wheels can be shaped. For wide/shallow incannel gouges or nos.12-18 hollows, I'll use a soft white wheel, 3/4" x 6", and shape it to the desired radius with a cheap diamond dresser. For narrower tools, I use a chainsaw grinding wheel. The backing flange from a 4-1/2" angle grinder makes a handy 5/8" to 7/8" adapter for these wheels. But the important thing is, with a dry grinder, you can do both cbn and friable wheels...put one on each side. You have options. The best thing I can say about a wet grinder is that it's quiet, so you can put on some nice music while you waste a good chunk of your day, grinding at a snail's pace…
  3. Hi Mike, Regarding the handle…yeah, L.V. is a hard to find, and no fun to work. If you have a piece of rosewood, or any of the common rosewood substitutes, that might work, but obviously the price and sustainability issues are the same as with L.V. If I were you, I'd probably use a piece of walnut. A bit soft, but makes a nice looking handle for a dark plane, especially after finishing. Regarding making a plane…go for it! A few years ago, I wrote an article for Popular Woodworking on making a coffin smoother, to which they affixed the unfortunate title of "Smooth Operator." You can find the article for free online now. Josh Klein also wrote an article on making a fore plane for a recent issue of Mortise and Tenon magazine, but that one is hard copy only.
  4. Hi Andrew, Thanks for posting the videos, and also the very nice images of early Italian-style planes in your earlier post. Your plane looks very interesting! I'm always glad to see other people making planes. Years ago, I wrote to the Hawley museum, seeking a copy of the Bock video. They agreed to put it on a disc and mail it across the pond in return for a 50 pound "contribution" to the museum. I was a little miffed when they put it on youTube for free! (not really; I'm glad more people can see it now). Bock's and Bayliss's work is a good deal sloppier than their predecessors from the golden age of British planes, a reflection of the declining standards for hand tools in the 20th C. But even so, their fast, fluent work is inspiring to watch. As you suggest, there is no substitute for learning a trade young, and doing it all your life.
  5. And Jackson has never met a pun he could resist! Seriously though, thanks. I don't make fiddles (though I have played since I was a kid), so I will confine my comments to what I know...tools and finishes.
  6. Hi Mike, What you have is called a razee plane. Try searching for "razee jack plane" and you'll find plenty of images. Razees were often made by craftsman in the shipbuilding trades, and they often used lignum vitae. From the shape of the eyes in the mortise, which do not look like those made by a pro, I'm guessing your plane was user made, not a commercially made plane. The unusual molded step down to the tote area suggests the same conclusion. Is there a name stamp on the toe? If not, it's almost certainly user made (which is not a criticism; there are many very fine user made planes). Check the length of the plane. If it's under 17", it mostly likely had an open tote; if it's longer, a closed tote.
  7. Having to push hard and fast means your iron is not sharp. I can't tell for sure, but it looks like you're using a cheap combo oil stone--you're never going to get truly sharp with that. I use oil stones, and you don't have to spend a lot of money. A medium or fine India, a hard black or translucent Arkansas, and a strop will do the job. And you need to be able to flatten the stones. You can of course use waterstones, diamonds, or whatever if you'd rather. Here are a couple vids on using oil stones, by Larry Williams and my friend Dave Weaver. I'm not nearly as anal about stone flattening as Larry is, but otherwise his method is a good one. Dave is a wealth of information on sharpening and lots of other stuff.
  8. +1 Jackson. A sharp blade will pull the plane into the cut.
  9. Peter, I guess I'm not seeing what you're seeing. I have no idea what kind of plane that is, but it should be up to the job if it's tuned and working correctly. Of course, that's a big if, but I have no way of knowing unless I'm physically inspecting the plane. But in general, I think most metal planes can be tuned up well enough to produce nearly perfect surfaces and joints. A premium plane is much nicer to use, but it's not required.
  10. As a planemaker who has helped many people learn the basics of planing…may I suggest that you're going about this the wrong way? You're viewing the isolated job of planing the center joint as an unpleasant task to be gotten out of the way, instead of thinking about it as an opportunity to become highly skilled with a plane. You say you've tried everything, but it appears you've only been at it for a short time, not nearly long enough to learn any of these approaches. You need to take a giant step back, and slow way down. First, you need to learn to sharpen. As others have observed, the tear-out and chatter visible in your previous thread indicate that you haven't mastered sharpening yet, and sharpening is the gateway to everything in woodworking. This may take you weeks, just to get decent at it. Then, you need to be able to use your plane to produce tear-out free surfaces and gossamer shavings. More weeks. When you can do that, practice four-squaring boards--two sides and two faces that are flat, parallel, and perpendicular. Start with something like Easter white pine, and work your way up to more difficult woods. When you can do this, you'll be ready to graduate to edge jointing. But you've got to work through the basics first. Now, you can skip all this and buy a power jointer, but if you can't use a hand plane, how are you going to do the many, far more complex steps involved in making an instrument? So again, I suggest you radically shift your time horizon, accept that it's going to take a while to learn, and get back to it. Maybe have a beer and give it a night off first.
  11. Hi Michael, I'm not totally sure I understand your point, since I didn't use the words "suspension" or "solution." But I agree that the resin/oil mixture is a solution, not a suspension, since it's transparent. I meant the comparison to paint as an analogy; I didn't mean to suggest that the resin/oil mixture was actually a paint--sorry if I created that impression! However, suspensions and solutions are both mixtures, whereas a (properly) cooked varnish appears to be a compound. To me that's the important difference. In any case, the sources I listed are probably a better guide than my speculations!
  12. Here are a couple sources. I believe both articles are paywalled, but you can find them if you have institutional access. "Reconstructing historical recipes of linseed oil/colophony: Influence of preparation processes on application properties." Tirat, Echard, et al. Journal of Cultural Heritage, Sept. 2017. From the article: "In particular, it suggests that, for a given colophony proportion, there are threshold values of heating time and temperature below which colophony and oil cannot be mixed at the molecular level to produce a monophasic liquid system. " Another source: "Copal varnishes used on 18th- and 19th- century carriages." Augerson, Christopher. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, Spring/Summer 2011. From the article: "Although it was long believed resin polymers formed cross-polymers during manufacture, this was proven only recently by Van den Berg et al (1999).* Their work showed that the copal polymer rearranges extensively and that the double bonds of fatty acids partly migrate during cooking, resulting in many partially unresolved isomeric structures. With artificially aged samples, the characteristic saturated fatty acids from the oils remained but the unsaturated ones reacted away completely, including the less reactive oleic acid…" * Van den Berg, Horst, and Boon. "Recognition of copals in aged resin/oil paints and varnishes." ICOM committe for preservation preprints. 12th annual meeting, Lyon, ed. J. Bridgeland. (I've not yet looked for this reference) An observation of my own, from outside the violin world: traditional paint is of course made by mixing (mulling) pigment and linseed oil. Normally the mixture, after drying, remains stable for a very long time. So if the resin is thought of as an unusually transparent pigment, then it may make sense, and it may not demix for a long time, if ever. However, there are durability issues to consider that are different from those with varnish. Linseed oil paint needs to be "rejuvenated" with oil every 5-10 years, and repainted every 20 or so (for exterior applications) because the linseed oil oxidizes on the surface. And of course on paintings, the paint is normally varnished. I'm not passing judgement on anyone's work here, just pointing out that (1) there is strong evidence, both scientific and practical, that cooking does change the nature of the mixture; and (2) the durability issues will be quite different in a cold-compounded mixture.
  13. Glad you found it interesting. I was surprised there wasn't more discussion of it here in the original thread, but hopefully a lot of people got to see the interview, or will in the future.
  14. You need to rinse all the salt out of the oil with 2 or 3 plain water rinses, as explained, once again, in Spurgeon's instructions. You won't like the results if you skip this step.
  15. I talked to Dale at WFI about this oil. It is indeed an alkali refined oil. He couldn't say whether it was cold pressed, so I assume it's not. I tried it a couple times and then moved on. It dries only a little bit faster than unrefined oil, and quite a lot slower than cold pressed oil that's been washed and heated to remove the break. It's cheap though. The Swedish oils have gone up a LOT in price lately.
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