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Mike Molnar's Bench


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  • 3 months later...

I almost fell off my bench stool when I saw the Trade Secrets article in The Strad by Joseph Curtin and Alex Sobolev: "Digitising the violin fingerboard".

 

As chance would have it, I was running this on my CNC when I read the article.

 

post-6615-0-54344200-1401567324_thumb.jpg

 

I have been making fingerboards this way since January 2011. It does save time as the article mentions. It is also fun for us techies.

 

My regrets about the article is that it talks about theory, but does not show anything practical namely their CNC setup. I do show mine here. Holding the work and making fixtures are key to making and ranks as any important secret.  ;) I have said enough.  :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 7 months later...

I occasionally get questions about my unfortunate experience with the Lacey Act for importing tonewood into the USA.

 

So, I am attaching my paper that was published a while ago in the VMAAI newsletter. I encourage everyone to join the VMAAI. There is also a link to the VMAAI on Facebook.

 

VMAAI-Lacey Act.pdf

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Here I placed the 4 backs by the garlands. The plate sitting on the clamped garland has been contoured by hand adjusting the arches to my interpretation of a Strad. The other plates sitting on their garlands are pretty much as they come out of the CNC, but I have put in the purfling and pins. The corners must be hand mitered. All of these are hollowed out (thick) on the inside, but need to be graduated. One plate is a single piece from Andreas Pahler (Germany). The other three are two-piece Slovakian from Tomas Byma who is no longer dealing in tonewood. Today, I will be working on the tops. 

 

The way I use my CNC is to make the machine do the grunt work that leads to carpel tunnel syndrome and other ailments. The plates are roughly shaped much like the CNC-ed ebony fingerboards we buy and reshape. All the plates are my design, based on my interpretations.

 

post-6615-0-63104100-1449843535_thumb.jpg

 

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The way I use my CNC is to make the machine do the grunt work that leads to carpel tunnel syndrome and other ailments. The plates are roughly shaped much like the CNC-ed ebony fingerboards we buy and reshape. All the plates are my design, based on my interpretations.

 

attachicon.gif4plates.JPG

 

Hi Mike
 
Next year I will try to make a violoncello (hard, isn´t it?)
I was wondering myself if a router could help someting. I am not thinking to work like with a cnc, I only whant to fit the router in the way I can cut some wood, the heavy part of the work , and then continue with gouges, planes and scrapers as usual.
I am violinist and sometimes I stop to use tool because I must play. Some hard work may harden my fingers
 
I see you have experience with machines and don´t worry about the use of "modern" tools (ha ha), so:
What do you think about that?
Does it worth?
 
Thanks in advance
Tango
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Hi Mike
 
Next year I will try to make a violoncello (hard, isn´t it?)
I was wondering myself if a router could help someting. I am not thinking to work like with a cnc, I only whant to fit the router in the way I can cut some wood, the heavy part of the work , and then continue with gouges, planes and scrapers as usual.
I am violinist and sometimes I stop to use tool because I must play. Some hard work may harden my fingers
 
I see you have experience with machines and don´t worry about the use of "modern" tools (ha ha), so:
What do you think about that?
Does it worth?
 
Thanks in advance
Tango

 

First of all, I know nothing about making a violoncello. It's a different animal. Enormous by my standards.

 

Before I had a CNC I used a router for edging and a small one for the purfling channel. Take a look at router tables and see if that would work. You could make one too. I made a fixture holding the router above the table so I could better control the work. There is a lot of R&D that goes into using machines.

 

For contoured surfaces you would need something like a "Gemini" duplicator. I never used one, but know these were popular at one time. Maybe they still are. Most people are pretty secretive about the machines in their workshop. Everyone wants to be pictured as using only hand tools. I wonder if they also work by candlelight.  :D

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