Tips on making a seamless front


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Scott, sometimes there's more chaff flying about here than wheat, but there is always some useful info in there someplace.

If I may suggest, set up your hand plane well, there are many resources on the net of how to optimize a plane. Once you have it tuned and cutting well, practice joining some scrap lumber first. A few 1x6 boards cut to 15 inch lengths is good for getting a feel for things. Once you master that, then you can move on to working with some good wood for an actual instrument with little fear of running into problems.

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im sorry if im so abrasive but i was always taught in this business there is a right way to do things, done by professionals and many wrong ways, that dont work near as well, often done by amateurs or people with poor or little training.

this is an obvious case in point, people are always writing into this forum saying my centre join failed, whats wrong???

well a long totally flat joiner plane mounted exactly 90% to a perfectly flat shooting board is proven successful and presumably used to success for hundreds of years, same goes for hide glue, you need to use a glue that is repairable when and probably if your join fails, only hide glue offers this.

then theres the wrong way to do things, anything that seems strong but not as strong as the methods above, like power planing leaving chatter, and sanding joins where the sawdust clogs the pores and prevents the glue from soaking in, and any kind of modern glue that doesnt clean up with hot water and or can be glued over with hide glue, this is because when your join fails which wont be long if you use non traditional methods, whos going to know what glue you used if you didnt use hide glue?

i know you guys would like to say its a free country and you can do whatever you want, but in reality its not a free country and youre(you know who you are) telling innocent newbies on this forum that youre wrong way to do things is the right way, and that i, the person championing the traditional right way, is some kind of lunatic who doesnt know what hes talking about, this could have been settled a long time ago if maestronets experts of which i am not one had chose to contribute, but until michael darton, or bruce carlson, or jefferey holmes cares to comment on the subject youve got me, like it or not.

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im sorry if im so abrasive but i was always taught in this business there is a right way to do things, done by professionals and many wrong ways, that dont work near as well, often done by amateurs or people with poor or little training.

There is also a professional way to present your ideas and opinions while maintaining a level of self respect and respect towards others; this is also part of being a professional. Being caustic and belittling towards others irregardless of their contributions on the forum won't go very far in people having any respect for what you have to say. A little bit of tact and explaining your opinions will help others seeking advice or mentoring, rather than making snarky comments. If you don't wish to help them out, it's better not to post anything.

I've learned that there is more than one way to skin a cat. I've re-learned many things by considering carefully what others have to say; often times someone may present an idea I wouldn't have ordinarily thought about.

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but im not trying to win friends and influence people, if this were a popularity contest david burgess and and michael darton would have won that a long time ago, my reputation is for not taking any crap, what you do in your workshop/bedroom is your business, but once you make it all of our business by reccomending it to others on this forum, it becomes my business too. you may not have noticed this but i dont go out on a limb defending most ideas and stay out of most discussions unless im sure i know something or a lot about it, albeit on clavichords ive done more than 50 soundboard joins, and ive tried both power planing and hand planed, power planed joins arent as strong

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but im not trying to win friends and influence people,

ive done more than 50 soundboard joins, and ive tried both power planing and hand planed, power planed joins arent as strong

Just by stating your opinions, you are trying to influence people.

What criteria do you use for measuring a joint gluebond for strength? Did you feed your stock through the power jointer so fast as to leave chatter marks? I can tell you for a fact that it is possible with a power jointer to join two pieces of wood to be just as strong and as visually clean as a hand planed joint. Make all the noise you want, but it doesn't change the fact.

In responding to the original poster's question I wasn't trying to start an argument, mislead anyone, or convince anyone of the superiority of a power tool over a hand tool, only that in my experiences it is possible to use such a tool effectively. Perhaps in your experiences, there was something not right, but you can't make a blanket statement condemning all power jointers only because you had a bad experience.

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Bill,

Perhaps this is a bit off-topic, but what about it - we aren't really "on topic" anymore now anyway, are we?

My suggestion (of course, what you do is entirely up to you) is to just let this go. Arguing will not help. Experience will not help. (since, I believe that your "opponent" has never actually made a violin, so good luck with the whole "experience" thing...))

I'm thinking that most people are just plain tired of the whole charade in any case. (with perhaps one or two exceptions)

For the love of God, brother - just let it die.

Take it from me - you'll never get through using reason, logic, or experience. And other than that there's only theory - a wide open field where everyone is equally correct, in their own opinion. In my opinion, this has become a complete waste of time.

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And other than that there's only theory - a wide open field where everyone is equally correct, in their own opinion. In my opinion, this has become a complete waste of time.

In other words, we are no longer even dealing with the subject of "joining", really, but with an obsessive need to be right.

(pretty much, about everything.)

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Or you could do as Strad and his Bros' did(or so I've heard)and buy pre-joined plates from the Joiners guild .

Someone here has to know....How do other related trades join their tops? and what glue do they use? seems to me that if a top rate classical guitar top is joined on a wide belt sander or knife joiner, then given dimensions and applied stresses, similar methods and materials could be viable in violin making.

I used my flat stone,straight edge and a riser, and LN low angle block plane for my #8&9 plates, hide glue rubbed and Light clamping for security. I carve two small nicks on the corner of one plate at the glue surface and end grain, so there is a small void between the plates on the extreme ends ,that way I can lay my straight edge right on my invisible joint, for marking center.

And at the risk of telling to much here is my dirty little secret for flattening glued plates,take some ink and rub it on the flat stone...place the glued plate on the stone....remove the dirt-ink with a sharp block plane,works for rib garlands and neck blocks as well, a little bit of Sharpe marker on the square will leave a mark on blocks as well. I use this method less and less as time goes but for developing a feel for what need to be removed it works great.

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Bill,

Perhaps this is a bit off-topic, but what about it - we aren't really "on topic" anymore now anyway, are we?

My suggestion (of course, what you do is entirely up to you) is to just let this go. Arguing will not help. Experience will not help. (since, I believe that your "opponent" has never actually made a violin, so good luck with the whole "experience" thing...))

I'm thinking that most people are just plain tired of the whole charade in any case. (with perhaps one or two exceptions)

For the love of God, brother - just let it die.

Take it from me - you'll never get through using reason, logic, or experience. And other than that there's only theory - a wide open field where everyone is equally correct, in their own opinion. In my opinion, this has become a complete waste of time.

Some of the best wisdom and intelligence I've seen yet today. You're right Craig, I've got better things to spend my time on; I'm rather ashamed I allowed myself to have been drawn into this kid's game.

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Craig, you are much more forgiving than me. Every thread that I have even been remotely interested in lately has been destroyed by this guy. I think about the "Golden Rule" and how it applies to this from two different sides. Obviously the Golden Rule means nothing to Lyndon. Then there's the other side, If I was being a JERK I would want someone to point this out to me in any and every manner possible until I understood the reality of the situation. But then, I realize that if I had lived my whole life as a JERK this is exactly how I would expect people to treat me, I would accept that this is the way that the world goes around, I wouldn't know any better.

Scott

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Craig, you are much more forgiving than me. Every thread that I have even been remotely interested in lately has been destroyed by this guy. I think about the "Golden Rule" and how it applies to this from two different sides. Obviously the Golden Rule means nothing to Lyndon. Then there's the other side, If I was being a JERK I would want someone to point this out to me in any and every manner possible until I understood the reality of the situation. But then, I realize that if I had lived my whole life as a JERK this is exactly how I would expect people to treat me, I would accept that this is the way that the world goes around, I wouldn't know any better.

Scott

I'll second that. As soon as I see his name, I know nothing good will come of it. It's very frustrating.

For someone professing a deep interest in Buddhism, Lyndon seem to have a stunning lack of self-awareness.

Sad, really.

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Craig, you are much more forgiving than me. Every thread that I have even been remotely interested in lately has been destroyed by this guy. I think about the "Golden Rule" and how it applies to this from two different sides. Obviously the Golden Rule means nothing to Lyndon. Then there's the other side, If I was being a JERK I would want someone to point this out to me in any and every manner possible until I understood the reality of the situation. But then, I realize that if I had lived my whole life as a JERK this is exactly how I would expect people to treat me, I would accept that this is the way that the world goes around, I wouldn't know any better.

Scott

The above is true unless the specific intent is to be a jerk. As I mentioned before, this sort of behavior is of little benefit to anyone.

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A really large plane isn't altogether necessary. I've been using a low angle blade plane with a 14 1/2 Inch sole with good success.

I agree, the shooting board is a very good idea. I've never used one myself, up until now I've been using a fence attached to the side of my plane; this however requires keeping the fence tight against the wood and balancing the plane on the edge to be planed at the same time. It works, but moving the wood past the stationary plane makes so much more sense.

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up until now I've been using a fence attached to the side of my plane

I see, same result, different approach. I may experiment with my short planes. It would be a difficult setup but, I have been thinking about a shooting board like Craigs with a short plane and fences situated to extend the surface of the sole plate. Yeah, hard to keep at zero but would make a nice dedicated machine. Then if the wood were to ride on a moving sled, the plate would only have to be planed flat after gluing.

Scott

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A shooting board, even a very rudimentary like the one I am using, makes a big difference. I know some people can plane spruces and maple pieces directly holding the plane and still get a perfectly flat surface all along the length, but I believe it requires a huge practice.

I don't have problem with the top joint because spruce is very soft (I use the rubbing method). It's more difficult with maple even with the shooting board (I made a "bed" to hold the wood while I slide it against the plane), but one still has the option to use one piece back every time it's possible.

Also, and I don't know if it makes any difference but I took the habit to cut the last cm of one corner for each half piece of wood prior to glue them together because I fell like even with the shooting board the last cm can act as a kind of wedge and push away part of the plates. Buv again it probably just psychological

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I think Bill is right. I just purchased a 22" plane, but I think I could have gotten away with something a bit smaller like a 14 inch sole.

Yes, you can easily get away with a 14" plane, and have things work just fine, but a 22" plane, is just plane better.

("plane better" - guffaw!)

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As a teenager I used to work summers for a large furniture factory. The solution for getting a PERFECT joint is a machine with a SPIRAL cutter. Spiral cutters are available as aftermarket retrofits. I believe a quality one will last the life of the (violin ) maker.

I too have seen a spiral cutter, set up on a routing table - give a great result. I thik it mostly depends on how well (accurately) the machinery is set up.

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