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violins88

blacksmith looking to make tools for violin makers

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I was called by a Canadian blacksmith who wanted to know what kinds of tools might be in demand by violin makers.

I told her scroll gouges and spoon gouges might be needed because the price is pretty steep in the USA right now.

Does anyone have other thoughts about what she should look into?

Thanks

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You have a nice website.

Show her this link :

http://jpschmidtviolins.com/knife.html

Try Google, seriously.

Or get her to post on this forum.

She's up against stiff competition regarding tool steel characteristics.

The Japanese gouges are well made and very popular, pricey though.

Spoon gouges for violins ?

I have an old one made by Sorby, and never used it. Looks nice though...

I found that I could cut the ends of my long blade Ashely Isles gouges, stick them in ebony handles and have a set of scroll gouges for free.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/benconover/21...57603469479222/

The largest gouge I cut off, I just smoothed the rough back edge and use it without a handle for close work around scrolls, it's pretty much a perfect tool and cost bugger all to make.

The small radius gouges are very useful.

As are very flat radius ones, for scrolls.

Knives are easily made form files and you can buy em dirt cheap elsewhere.

Planes....too difficult to make and a production run basis, I'd say.

Vices ? You can buy a great pattern makers vice for $200, so why woul dyou commission a handmade one.... ?

Little brass finger planes of the homemade variety ?

I bough one 15 years ago and never use it. It's a heavy lump with no grace.

The Ibex ones are better, bronze castings.

The violin maker's suppliers sell cheap brass planes (I bought a nice one), so your friend has no real market there either.

So....

Tools that would sell....

Try making and selling clamps cheaper than these :

http://www.amazon.com/C-Clamp-Pony-Malleab...ef=pd_rhf_p_t_1

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"She's up against stiff competition regarding tool steel characteristics."

Maybe not.

The great advantage of most tool steels (I assume you meant the modern alloys) is longetivity, (& sometimes corrosion resistance) not ultimate sharpness. The rare compounds that do both (some REX formulas, for instance) are insanely expensive.

Luthiers don't do the kind of volume cuts that a cabinet maker or carpenter might do, so using a really fine high-carbon blade is completely feasible. Just get into a good sharpening habit. If a blacksmith were willing to do a fine, hand-hammered & laminated blade, I think there would be a small niche market.

I personally love Japanese #1 white steel, and also good old vintage western (crucible) steel. Gimmee a fat ol' English laminated blade from the 1800's any day....

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yea ...as a blacksmith of 20 yrs and more/ I am no so sure there would be a profit involved for her/ Unless she has tons of experience and tooling and time for R&D and quick!Violin makers as a group are pretty picky people and a soft or brittle edge does nothing to build customer relations .I have built many of my own tools /because right now I have more time than money. there are so many good -great tools out there for little cost. Dastra and others have been at is so long that a little guy just can't compete .Although I do know one guy that made and sold a 7"hand plane for some$1500 wow eh?

I trained in architectural ironwork and would be very pleased to make any one a custom traditional or modern designed ferro battuto insegne (wrought Iron sign )for your shop if that is of any intrest to ant one. here is sample of my work.

post-30189-1286463975_thumb.jpg

post-30189-1286464021_thumb.jpg

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yea ...as a blacksmith of 20 yrs and more/ I am no so sure there would be a profit involved for her/ Unless she has tons of experience and tooling and time for R&D and quick!Violin makers as a group are pretty picky people and a soft or brittle edge does nothing to build customer relations .I have built many of my own tools /because right now I have more time than money. there are so many good -great tools out there for little cost. Dastra and others have been at is so long that a little guy just can't compete .Although I do know one guy that made and sold a 7"hand plane for some$1500 wow eh?

I trained in architectural ironwork and would be very pleased to make any one a custom traditional or modern designed ferro battuto insegne (wrought Iron sign )for your shop if that is of any intrest to ant one. here is sample of my work.

Beautiful work!

Rant:

Why let an outsider get these ideas and work though when some of us are doing just that (tool making)? I have in the past asked for input as to desired designs for kniives & planes but I didn't get any feedback. I can cast silcon bronze, make any blade in any shape desired AND it will be properly heat treated. Yes, since I retired from medical practice I mainly make violins and make change with my other activities but I would be proud to supply the violin community with my tools. I will be adding images of the Bill Carter designed mini chariot plane soon. I can't sell those (Bill's design) but I can make pretty much anything.

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Beautiful work!

Rant:

Why let an outsider get these ideas and work though when some of us are doing just that (tool making)? I have in the past asked for input as to desired designs for kniives & planes but I didn't get any feedback. I can cast silcon bronze, make any blade in any shape desired AND it will be properly heat treated. Yes, since I retired from medical practice I mainly make violins and make change with my other activities but I would be proud to supply the violin community with my tools. I will be adding images of the Bill Carter designed mini chariot plane soon. I can't sell those (Bill's design) but I can make pretty much anything.

I love Bill Carters use of recyled materials.

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Violin sound post setter, old English pattern, available from Dick.

A well made Cello version would be very nice though.

Ben can you draw out (full size) what you're thinking of and send it to me via PM? These are usually annealed higher carbon steel so you can bend it to your preferred shape. I have a collection of vintage and new setters. I find that the stainless herdim doesn't have a good balance for me and I use a no- name German vintage setter that has a heavy head and is slightly thicker and less malleable. This last one has an excellent feel.

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Deano,

''Ben can you draw out (full size) what you're thinking of and send it to me via PM?''

I don't know what a really good Cello post setter would look like.

Perhaps you could take a photo of your vintage setters ?

Thanks.

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comfortable thumb planes

actually I've been thinking about that...Glocks have a very uncomfortable hand grip. There is a company "Houge" that makes tight fitting slip on grips that fit over the stock grip. I was thinking of something similar for the planes...

Man when I was young it took awhile to get "guitar finger tips"...Now instead of calluses on my tips, I have "Ibex thumb" :)

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''I was thinking of something similar for the planes...''

Jezz, I used to use a small piece of leather around the plane.

Or you can use those rubber money counting things, rubber thimbles.

Now I just rest my hands every hour or so, find another job that needs doing, then back to ibex thumb.

A set of well made closing clamps for Cello, affordable, with knurled screws, precision threads and padded jaws.

That would be very nice.

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jones, very nice work, I fool with metal also, but nothing on the caliber that you do, thanks for the pics. TO make anything that is competitive is hard with so many choices and mass production, unless you are doing it for yourself. With any craft finding the thing that you can do better/faster/more unique than the other guy is the trick!

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