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Enco is having a over $25 free shipping, here is the link to a 12 x 14 granite block about 3" thick, for $24.99, buy a silicon dressing stick for $2 or what ever and get free shipping 12"X18" 1MP GRD B GRANITE SURFACE PLATE

It is accurate to ".000005" according to the slip that came with it, ) but the ad says .0002 so should be close enough for violin work. kevin

granite surface plate

silicone dressing stick

use WEBFR as a code for the free shipping.

how they can make and ship a 85lb. piece of granite and deliver it to my house for $24 is beyond me.

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Sounds like "try plates" used to test flatness in real machine shops [read "pre-CNC]. You can get lots of them from industrial supply houses which buy out factories. Shipping is another story...they must have been paid to haul these away to ship at that price.....


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Joe, I live in Ireland, they like funerals here, so there's lots of polished granite available for worktops.

Thanks anyway.

So Ben,

I checked out your web site and for a round trip plane ticket and a bottle of good Irish whiskey I'll bring you a nice piece of granite!


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I got a granite tombstone from a local dealer that was damaged, it's perfect for mulling pigments on. One side is highly polished, and the other is ground flat, but un-polished. It's this side I use for mulling. I doubt it approaches the tolerances of the machinists slab, but it's good enough for what I do.

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Isn't a thick piece of MDF or laminated particle board worktop flat enough for anything that requires a flat surface in violin making?

Not for making center joints... or making plane soles flat enough to make center joints (assuming you don't pay the $$ for a good plane).

Tons (literally) of good used surface plates are for sale on eBay, but you need to be able to go get it. Shipping is the killer. I got a nice Starrett 18x24 for $50, but I had to pick it up.

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No, John, not really.

For centre joints all you need is a good straight edge, a good blade, and a good plane.

A good jointer plane (the reeeealy long one) is useful for Cellos.

Even without a straight edge you should be able to feel if the joint fits, or not.

Even with a very $moolah$ plane, the sole may not be utterly flat.

To true the surface of a plane you need to send it off to be flattened 'professionally'.

They use large engineers surface plate and ink, for the proceedure.

All the German babes at Newark loved to get their stuff flattened.

I didn't bother with that though, and used wet & dry paper on a slab of marble, for truing up the soles of my planes. Seems to work OK and saved me the eternal question of 'is my stuff as flat as hers ?' The answer was, probably not.

If you have a decent frame for your bench, you can screw together three sheets of MDF and make yourself a very sturdy and (quite) flat bench top.

If you are obsessed with flatness you can flatten your antique beech workbench with your utterly flat plane, until everything is utterly flattened.

For sharpening I like the electric japanese whetstones. Or if I'm feeling frisky, arkansas & oil.

All of the above has come from too much time reading about benches and tools.


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