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JohnCockburn

Purfling Markers

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I know that many folks on the forum use dremels etc, but for those who mark/cut by hand, do you see any benefit in the "fancy" types of purfling markers such as this? Are they better in any meanngful way than the cheaper ones that stewmac etc sell?

At the moment I use a diy one made from square section steel. It works OK, but would maybe benefit from a bit more heft.

Any thoughts/suggestions greatly appreciated.

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It depends what you mean by better. The brass Mittenwald model on the link is certainly quite hefty if you are looking for something heavier. Over the years i've tried quite a few different models such as the Ibex and some made for me by tool makers. Personally I didn't like the Ibex model due to the fact that tightening the grub screws makes the blades shift.

Now I use a type with a brass bar and arm. The 'handle' part hangs below the plate, I have found it to be more stable when marking the groove. The other thing I like is that the distance from the edge can easily be adjusted, without having to alter the width of the blades.

Each type has it's pros and cons, it's just a shame there aren't really many places you can go to compare different models. Some do seem to be very expensive for what they are.

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JohnC - I've used one of these for a few yearsMach 3- its quite simple and adaptable for other things. I've got to quite like it. I have made them, but they need a bit of weight - and I'm not set up for metal working.

They only need to mark a line that the knife can follow - and whatever you use you need to get used to it. Stick a load of purfling in on scraps of curved spruce !

Geoff

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looking at the mach 3 (great name ...for a jet ) I've always wondered if the center of effort being to the side rather destablize the cutting action always wanting to drift to the aft of the cut and inward like a weather vein. I built the mitten wald style and enjoy the pen feel it gives its like using a heavy pen the center of effort is directly over the cutting edge and seems to track easly the sloane fromstu mack needs some adjusment to the guide post to center it with the cutter so the distance to edge can remain constant around curves.an yes when I'm a billionair I will get one of the RAIR karl hotley sets of every thing he makes WOW thanks doubles

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Every instrument I have done has been done by hand, I like to use the purfling markers only to score the lines, after that I will use a carpet/utility knife freehand and go around several times on each line in order to achieve the depth I want. A small dot on the blade gives an easy depth gauge. I find that if one trys to use the purfling cutter to cut the line to its depth that one must go around several times anyway and that it is just easier to not have to keep "going around the track" with the guide against the plate edge. It works great for the first time around in order to achive nice uniform lines, but the passes after that can get squirrely when trying to "eye track" the blade and the edge guide at the same time.

IF there was a cutter that was sharp enough and heavy enough to get to depth the first time around i would buy it. But I don't think there is one, I could be wrong. I did rig a cutter for my dremel thingy. It was quite easy,My sears one came with a circle cutter, It was very easy to modify{without destroying it} and turn it into a purfling guide. It only took one minute and cost one small scrap chunk of softwood. Basically, I cut a small block 1/2" by 3/4" and drilled a small pilot hole into it and then stuck it onto the spike part of the circle cutter {the part that established the center when cutting circles} it is just stuck on like a thumb tack, but it stays in place and swivels nicely to follow the contour well. The rest of the adjustments needed are already in the device, how far in/out and the depth.

So I prefer freehand cutting once it is scribed. It is not the safest way, but if you are good with a utility knife, there are not many blades that are as thin and strong as a good carpet blade, let alone a good knife will have a handle that allows for lots of down pressure. I suggest clamping the work in place vrs holding it with your free hand it is much safer.

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How about a rare Karl Holtey purfling cutter half way down the page

That is a great looking purfling marker. I like the handle that can be adjusted. My favorite marker is an old one with a handle that is horizontal. I find it easier to hold at a constant distance (from the edge) than one with a vertical handle. I don't know what the cost is on the Holtey, but I'm sure it's not cheap. For hand marking it looks like the best I've ever seen, probably worth every penny of the cost.

Berl

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As Jessupe says - it only for scribing a mark to follow with a knife. Once I establish exactly where the two lines are to be - I go around the plate with a pencil guage with the line set to the middle of the two lines. Its easy to do this sweetly around the edge. I then mark the lines, very very shallow, keeping the line centered to the scribed marks. I'm often purfling onto a sloping edge - as I purfle after the box is closed up and partially sunk.

I go around corners with a series of dots, stabs, close together then follow them with the first knife cut.

The first cut with the knife is the crucial one ! The next deepening is easier and the next time around easier still. I mark the pencil line 'in the middle' as if its on the line its difficult to see the first scribed line. The line I scribe with the purfling marker is so fine it can be hard to see !

I don't deepen the groove fully with the knife before cleaning out. I clean it out part way, then deepen it again with a special tool I made up - which deepens the cut, but does not damage the original edge. Most hand purfling goes pear shaped trying to deepen the cleared out cut with a knife - it invaribly damages edges. My little tool will track the edge of the groove and only cut at the bottom edge.

Just my way - do what suits you. I enjoy purfling and it does not take too long. I'm about to do another cello - I shall time myself :)

Geoff

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At the moment I use a diy one made from square section steel. It works OK, but would maybe benefit from a bit more heft.

Any thoughts/suggestions greatly appreciated.

Have you thought of filling it with lead if you need a bit more mass?

Old tyre lead weights can be picked up at the local garage usually.

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Now I use a type with a brass bar and arm. The 'handle' part hangs below the plate

That's what I usually use for my double bass purfling, but the other day i saw a picture of someone using it with the "handle" part as a handle! ... and felt a bit silly because I'd been using it upside down all this time. But now, i'm not so sure!

gramil1.jpg

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That's what I usually use for my double bass purfling, but the other day i saw a picture of someone using it with the "handle" part as a handle! ... and felt a bit silly because I'd been using it upside down all this time. But now, i'm not so sure!

gramil1.jpg

I'll avoid the obvious down under joke! ;)

I'd use it which ever way feels best, the style you have shown could indeed be used either way, which may be an advantage. It's the end result that matters most so I wouldn't be too concerned.

The one I have can only be used one way.

post-29770-0-42802900-1291670281_thumb.jpg

post-29770-0-25732400-1291670290_thumb.jpg

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There is another option.

Just mark a single line from the edge - then deepen it with a knife. Then mark the other line with a double blade, freehand - running one in the cut already made. Helps if that blade is a bit dull - and set a little further out than the other - so it tracks without cutting in.

I do this on the button area - where I'm marking a single line at a time - and have been tempted to adopt it all round. Its easier to mark a single line on to a sloping edge. Seems to me most old cutters were single blade - the ones I've seen ?

Geoff

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I'll avoid the obvious down under joke! ;)

I'd use it which ever way feels best, the style you have shown could indeed be used either way, which may be an advantage. It's the end result that matters most so I wouldn't be too concerned.

The one I have can only be used one way.

Is that one of Brian Hart's?

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