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Special hold clamp system


AMORI
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Can anyone shed light on a clamping system I saw on a website recently. It may have been one of our member's site. This fantastic looking piece of equipment had a central ball joint, mounted on the workbench, and the violin component was somehow clamped so that one could access it from any side.

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I think what you describe is used by wood carvers. The piece of wood being carved is attached to the device with screws. The ball joint allows the piece to be rotated into any position and then clamped there securely. I think Woodcraft Supply sold this type of thing many years ago under the name "Power Arm." Look for it under wood carvers' supplies or wood carvers' vises.

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I've seen a shop-built variation on that idea at some violin maker's site somewhere. I've also seen a similar idea done as an oversized universal-joint.

The ones you can buy don't all have as much holding power as you might want, some are better than others. Woodcraft sells several variants with different degress of holding power.

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Wood carver's mounts are sold at Woodcraft Supply stores and by catalog. But I recently saw something even slicker. At Collings Guitars in Austin Texas, Bill Collings has a fixture at some workstations where a circular jig with a large O ring and a vacuum in the center allows a worker to simply place a finished instrument against the plate.

The rubber O ring prevents the instrument from touching the metal, and creates a seal that holds the instrument in place. The plate swivels on a ball joint to any angle. The fixture sits on something like a drill press stand so that you can stand next to the work with no obstructions.

I don't know how firmly this thing hold the instrument, but once finish is applied I guess you don't want to be putting too much force to the thing anyway.

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Amori, being in South Africa, this doesn't apply, but for those in the US --

Last year I ordered a number of cradles from B&C for students at the UNH violin making school, where I was an assistant. Getting the items though customs was a bit of a pain, since B&C didn't provide the appropriate classification code. Customs tried to slap the highest possible duty on them. I had to figure out the code and convince them it was correct.

The codes are available on the US government 'unified tariff code' website; if anyone intends to order, let me know and I will look up the code I found that applied.

-Claire

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I ordered the cradle from BC on April 15, it is still on the way one month later. I do not know will one piece casue same custom problem as Claire said? I heard there is a minor problem on the clamp ball(which will move when you carve the plate, though it could be fixed), I will post the review when I got it in.

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Finally the carving board from BC came in Thursday, without difficulty through custom. Just thought we all love the beauty of Italian violin, shoes, etc because their high quality, the package of this carving was so ugly and rough makes me wondering.

However, threw out those packing stuff, set the board up and hey it is so convinent to arch the plate now, you could swing around and work from any directions you like. So far so good, also the ball clamp works well at this moment, no complain after one night of work.

It is a bit overprice though, maybe the low demanding make it high price. By the way, the order processing is very easy, you could simply send email to them and it will get back to you in a day or so. Much better than Strad poster experience.

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Ran down to workshop to check it out, the body was made of aluminum, ball is made of copper. You will have to make perfect level plate or you will have to fight for the plate clamping when you do the arching, it is good to know I have to make perfect level for the next plate.

David, I do not think $285 is cheap for the material and quality of the clamps on the woodboard.

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Is the stand or table included? If not, you would have to bolt the craddle/ball joint on the work bench.

What is this clamp system for? Only for carving the arch? Then it's not for me. I do the roughing with a router/duplicarver (15 min. job), then I work at the kitchen table using finger planes and scrapers. I don't have a work bench.

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I made my own router set-up. It's crude but serves the purpose. The router bit is surrounded by a soft plastice shroud and connect to the vacuum. The plate is held down with the vacuum.

In the beginning, I want to remove the superfluous wood and get down to the ballpark quick, but leave sufficient wood for executing "hand-made inaccuracy" or art or for fine-tune the arch. My friend uses the duplicator to hollow the inside as well. He made a craddle to raise the edge. For hollowing, I clamp a piece of board on the table as a stop, hold the plate with my left hand and operate a short shaft bent gouge with the right hand. I keep rotating the plate while I carve.

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