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STRAD~STYLE

Scraper question?

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I really don't think you want to reduce ribstock from 3mm to 1mm by using a scraper alone. It would be very slow, and your hands will take a beating. And you'd want to stop frequently to re-set the hook or re-sharpen the scraper. I use a toothed plane initially, on both sides, followed by a few swipes from a regular plane (SHARP, to take down the grooves left by the toothed plane a bit), followed by the scraper. Doesn't take too long.

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Doing it by hand is plenty fast, and you don’t have the set up, noise and the dust to contend with. If you’re having trouble setting up a plane to contend with curly wood you can plane cross-grain and that will reduce the level of plane tuning required. You still have to watch for tear-out though and monitor thickness in inverse proportion to your planing technique. :)

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My experience is limited to a handful of sets, some of which have actually become instruments.

But I am lazy.

So I scrape the purty side, then use a toothed blade in my block plane on the inside. Really just a few minutes and you have it down to thickness. I like to be able to feel it between my thumb and forefinger, feeling as it starts to get to the point that it is bendable. A jig and machine would lose that pleasure, at least to me.

In the past, I then cleaned up the tooth marks, but now, having seen Bruce Carlson's photos of del Gesu rib interiors, I don't even have to do that. :)

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.... and don't forget hold them tight to the bench and work on an extremely flat surface, or you'll risk to thickness ribs in an uneven way and to break them.

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Thanks for the help.the low flame ribs were so easy and these high flame ones are killing me :)

In this case toothed and sharp plane blades are mandatory.

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For what my views are worth, I use a high angle plane. My understanding is that low angle planes (and I have one I would not part with) are for endgrain. You need the high angle for highly flamed timber, it works more like a scraper. (See Garrett Wade's The Handplane Book for an explanation). As for the luthier's friend (sounds a little dubious to me :) ) at $150 whatever seems a bit steep. My high angle plane is a Chinese ebony one which cost a grant total of $19.95 - I am still kicking myself that I didn't buy all the shop had. $130 buys a lot of cheap red.

I have never used a toothed plane, but would be happy to try. As for getting rid of the marks, inside or out, don't get too fussed. One of my oldest daughter's violin teachers had a Stefano Scarampella which cost *a lot of money* on which some of the ribs still clearly show the corrugations of the toothed plane. The owner used to have a Peter of Venice as his concert instrument and has recently made a couple of violins - so it's not that he doesn't know about fiddles - it just that what he was intersted in was the sound.

Regards,

Tim

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Tim, without wishing to put words in Mayo's mouth, i suspect he is using a low angle plane with a high bevel angle on the blade, thereby turning it into a high angle plane. I use a 4 1/2 smoothing plane with a 15 degree back bevel on the blade (again to give a high cutting angle) that efficiently takes the rib down to final thickness without the need for either toothed blades or scrapers, even on deeply flamed maple (does require sharp blade, good set up and development of technique, though).

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Can you hone a plane blade on a leather honeing strip?? just curious :)

Yes, as long as the edge doesn't become so rounded over that the blade rides on the rounded part, holding the cutting edge away from the work.

I don't bother with progressively finer stones when sharpening. I go from a highly accurate grind, to a fast-cutting Shapton 2000, to a strop. Don't need anything else, and don't have time to waste.

Strop at an angle to scratches remaining from the sharpening stone (not parallel to them), and they will disappear at the cutting edge.

Absolutely keep all grit away from your strop, including grinding or honing residue. Don't let it come in contact with sandpaper residue, or steel wool. Hang it on a wall and treat it like a princess, or it will mess up your edge.

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