What do your workshops look like?

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Originally posted by:

Not my workspace, but one of my favorites.

AHA!!! That's Johann Reiter's shop in Mittenwald. I've been there and have one of his instruments. He made Oktave Geiges, instruments one octave lower than the violin with a very thick body based on a cello, rather than a violin or viola model, but still played under the chin. I have the very last one he made (#103/103). Actually Erich Sandner finished the instrument started years before by Reiter. Sandner was Reiter's apprentice and then took over his shop when Reiter died. I got my Oktave Geige in 1969. I absolutely LOVE the sound it makes. I have it strung as an Oktave Geige with OktaveGeige strings made by Otto Infield. Some people re-string them as violas because of the RICH sound quality the big box produces. Some others use fractional cello strings for a cello you can play under your chin. I like the original Oktave Geige designation. If you EVER get a chance to play one, PLEASE DO, as they produce a FANTASTIC sound!!!

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Seth and All,

Thank you for the compliments. As I said I just like having the huge bench in the shop. It's nine feet long. As for the knife holder, the knives are held on the ledges by magnets imbeded in the slanted back piece then covered with rib stock. It has a heavy maple base so it stands up without tipping over and like the goudge holder I can move it close to the work and slide it back out of the way. (lazy mans ideas, don't have to get up off the stool)


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Originally posted by:

Tim, that hunk of wood in the foreground, is that a one piece back for anything in particular

Chris, I haven't decided what I'm going to do with it yet. I got a pretty good deal on it and even though it's not all that bad, it's also not really all that terrific.


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I am pleased to report that instead of this:


I am now the proud and pleased occupant of this:


... which although not climate-controlled, is for me PERFECT!

Both pics are taken from approximately the same position but 5 months apart.

My bending iron is in the vice at the left, powered by 2 x 25watt globes inside the pipe.

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Is that in your new building, or have you somehow upgraded the old one? I seem to recall that you had remodelled your home, or something, and that this is inside the new wing of the house...is that correct?

It looks wonderful. It also looks as if you have begun a second bass...yes? same model? I reckon the first must be nearly complete. It's time for you to post more pictures of the bass, I think. :-)

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I demolished the third-world car-port, extended the back of the house to make bed/bath/family room ... and added a brick garage where the carport used to be.

I shall never park a car in there.

The other bass is an oldish czech ply bass I bought cheaply to restore. I have replaced the bottom block and pressed out the sunken top. I shall replace the bassbar and reassemble soon. The finish was pretty awful too so I'm stripping it and will refinish.

I have double powerpoints all around and a dedicated earth leakage circuitbreaker, a large window onto the garden and raked ceilings. At one end I have a desk for my office.

The best thing about the new workshop is the floor. Concrete painted with "Jet-dry" paving paint. Lovely to walk on and easy to keep swept. My wife can't believe her eyes ...

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I was referring to the bass in the foreground-- as I had seen photos of your new bass with some shellac on it, and this one had none, I jumped to the conclusion that you must be working on a second (new) bass, not considering that this might have been an earlier photograph.

So what really IS the current status of the bass we've been watching? St. Patrick's day saw a green phase come and go, and at one point I thought you had it all put together-- not so?

I'm really happy for you in your new shop-- you will be a world-renowned bass-maker before you know it. :-)

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The green bass was an April fools joke that nobody "got".

The bass in the foreground is THE bass. I have only just resumed work on it.

Still to do:

1. purfle the back (what I am doing now)

2. stick in the label

3. glue on the top

4. apply the finish

5. fit and shoot the fingerboard.

6. cut the bridge

7. string her up

have I forgotten anything?

Yeah. I haven't ordered a bridge yet.

Oh and sound post. Mustn't forget that, eh?

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In the current picture it does not look as though it has been shellacked...I knew the April-fools joke was just a spoof, but I didn't connect it with the day until you explained it later.

But because of that photo (as it looked before you photoshopped it green), I had surmised that the top was already glued in place. I guess it was just set up against the garland, and the mold was still in place.--neck just balanced there, etc.

Anyway-- I am thrilled that your new shop is going to be the birthplace of many new basses. The wood looks new in this current photo-- did the shellac lighten up a whole lot as it dried? Or is this an older photo?

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It has been shellacked then rubbed back while wet with fine wet and dry to fill the pores. Then when dry I sanded with fine no-clog sandpaper. its silky smooth, reasonably sealed, but much lighter than a fresh coat of shellac. I need to seal the silky oak because it tends to soak up the danish oil finish I want to use. I find that shellac does this quite well.


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