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Karl Holtey Design Purfling Cutter at Lee Valley

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I've seen photos of this tool before, when Holtey built it.  It wasn't available for sale then.  It is a beautifully made tool.  It's just beyond my budget.  I do love nice hand tools though.  Might say it's a weakness of mine.  

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Lee Valley need to team-up and offer a cheaper version of this same tool.

I am sure that with all the expertise they have in tool manufacturing that they could offer a less collectable model easily.

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Peter Prier has/had a version of this with a straight handle at the top that he called French. I have one that my friend Sai Gao made that is the same without the handle on the top.

 

Nothing new here, and not really that expensive. For the best bang for your buck, just get a Croen purfling tool.

 

As for offering a less collectible version, there is a small market, at best, for any specialty tool. No profit to be gained by making a cheaper version, and they are a business...

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Howard Core sells a similar product for nearly the same cost.  Although the Lee Valley tool is prettier.  

 

http://www.howardcore.com/cgi-bin/shopper.cgi?preadd=action&key=702522

 

Are these purfling markers that much better than the smaller Ibex ones?

 

http://www.howardcore.com/cgi-bin/shopper.cgi?preadd=action&key=700603

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If you like this sort of purfling marker, Geoff Mather in the UK will make you one for a fraction of these prices. Mine is very nice and well made, but I much prefer the Gewa type designs where your hand is directly above the blade.

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Lee Valley need to team-up and offer a cheaper version of this same tool.

I am sure that with all the expertise they have in tool manufacturing that they could offer a less collectable model easily.

Perhaps they could. With a limited run of 100 for this particular tool however -- I expect there is little profit for either party. Given the attention to detail, the hand work involved and lot size, I think the price is reasonable.

 

Holtey is no different than many makers on this forum, he makes a quality product with an obsessive attention to detail. His partnership with Veritas on this particular venture, will I hope bring his work into the path of those who might not of heard of him before and open the door for future projects.  

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I have used both the Ibex and the one linked in #8 above via Howard Core which I have also heard described as a French model.  At this point, my preference is for the Ibex in large measure because the blades on the French model are thin and I fear too flexible when marking maple and even some gnarly spruce winter grain.  But as is almost always the case, the issue may be more with the tool behind the tool...

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I picked up an IBEX one because the price was right.

I have seen where people modify the IBEX to fit their hand better, which is easy since it is made from wood and soft brass.

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I have two Ibex's one for the outside line and one for the inside line.  I did modify the shape to make them a little more comfortable to use.  They work great, I doubt any other would work better.  In the end it's just a tool to hold a small blade to run around the edge.  Stradivari made his out of wood and metal.  I have another marker that has a horizontal handle.  It has two blades and can be used for the long marking around the upper and lower bouts. It works fine but I rarely use it, I just like marking each line separate.post-6653-0-97803700-1372430695_thumb.jpg

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What's wrong with Strads design? It works really well and has a depth stop. 

I don't think there is anything wrong with Strads design.  I was just using it as an example, you don't need $300.00 purfling markers to do great work.  They're just pretty and nice to have and look at.  I'm a bit of a tool geek.

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What's wrong with Strads design? It works really well and has a depth stop. 

nothing wrong at all! but no one is manufacturing one and i don't have the time to build one. an easy trick for a depth stop with the IBEX is to flip one of the blades upside-down and use it as a stop gague

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nothing wrong at all! but no one is manufacturing one and i don't have the time to build one. an easy trick for a depth stop with the IBEX is to flip one of the blades upside-down and use it as a stop gague

Ask Mark Jackson (UK). He made mine. And Berl all violin makers are tool geeks. And yes, I admit it really is beautiful. I especially like the Brazilian Rosewood looking handle. Not much of that about these days. Is it real?

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Tools don't need to be sophisticated either. I'm using my new purfling cutter now, but I still do a better job with the old home made one. (3 blades side by side is exactly purfling width)

 

post-37356-0-58372300-1372497375_thumb.jpg

 

I find it easier to use the old one because it's more angled like a knife. It's difficult to see what you are doing when the tool is perpendicular to the plate.

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Ask Mark Jackson (UK). He made mine. And Berl all violin makers are tool geeks. And yes, I admit it really is beautiful. I especially like the Brazilian Rosewood looking handle. Not much of that about these days. Is it real?

 

Your Strad purfuling tools Roger, are also works of art in their own right -- both as functional tools and historical reconstructions. Does a purfling tool need to be as sophisticated as the Holtey desing? Clearly not, Peter and Berl have shown designs and mods that are functional and have their own sense of beauty. 

 

I purchased one of these simply because I love the look of it  and I admire Karl's work -- yes I'm a tool geek, I confess. The handle wood is "Dalbergia Cubiquitzensis" which is from Guatemala. Karl Holtey turned the handles himself. It looks as nice as any Brazilian rosewood I've seen.

 

The tool is very flexible, very comfortable to use, and the registration is rock solid! I expect it will work on a variety of applications on violin, guitar and mandolin family instruments. (Apparently Karl designed the original for guitar maker Zachary Taylor).

 

I noted this above -- if you want a depth stop on your purfling tool, simply flip one of the blades upside down and set it to the appropriate depth! The blade on the IBEX is thick enough that it acts like a skate. It works on the Holtey tool as well

 

Best,

 

Chris

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Tools don't need to be sophisticated either. I'm using my new purfling cutter now, but I still do a better job with the old home made one. (3 blades side by side is exactly purfling width)

attachicon.gifPurfCutters.jpg

I find it easier to use the old one because it's more angled like a knife. It's difficult to see what you are doing when the tool is perpendicular to the plate.

I don't want anyone to think I'm married to routing the purfling channels, but the times I've tried to practice cutting even one side of a channel with the Ibex purfling tool was a disaster. Not even close. The blade just wants to go in whatever direction it wants. Tends to follow the grain. I must just have really bad technique. There was never a smooth even cut. That is when I gave up and went the router route. Other problem was finding a narrow enough tool to clean the channel. I bought two such tools both were too wide. I guess people make their own tools for this.

I like the design of you home made tool. Makes a lot more sense to me as well from control perspective. Do you use this to cut the full channel depth? I think it is very hard to get really straight vertical walls with so many passes required.

Joe

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I don't want anyone to think I'm married to routing the purfling channels, but the times I've tried to practice cutting even one side of a channel with the Ibex purfling tool was a disaster. Not even close. The blade just wants to go in whatever direction it wants. Tends to follow the grain. I must just have really bad technique. There was never a smooth even cut. That is when I gave up and went the router route. Other problem was finding a narrow enough tool to clean the channel. I bought two such tools both were too wide. I guess people make their own tools for this.

I like the design of you home made tool. Makes a lot more sense to me as well from control perspective. Do you use this to cut the full channel depth? I think it is very hard to get really straight vertical walls with so many passes required.

Joe

Joe, we need to practice or make modern tools like you do :)

I find it difficult with both my tools to make perfect purfling. With the home made one I'm able to cut to the final dept. As it also makes 3 tracks, the channel practically comes out of it self. With the new one I cut the final dept with a small knife little by little and clean the channel with e really small scruwdriver that I have sharpened as a chisel.

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Roger, I have looked everywhere for Mark Jackson, can't even find a phone number. Could you send me his details? I need to replace a very blunt reamer from him.

Thank you

Paul

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Joe, we need to practice or make modern tools like you do :)

I find it difficult with both my tools to make perfect purfling. With the home made one I'm able to cut to the final dept. As it also makes 3 tracks, the channel practically comes out of it self. With the new one I cut the final dept with a small knife little by little and clean the channel with e really small scruwdriver that I have sharpened as a chisel.

I bought both available varieties of pursuing channel cleaners and ground them down to a proper width for violin. I'm not sure why all the pursuing channel tools the sell out there are inappropriate out of the box for violin work.

Three blades is a great idea. It always seems like to me, the chunk you try to take out with the channel cleaner tool, gets wedged sideways, tending to damage the channel wall, since it's the same width as the channel. Three blades would take care of that issue. Nice.

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Are Holtey's items actually supposed to be used???  I have been tracking him and his stratospheric pricing for about 15 years and made some planes of my own according to the Kingshot book which kind of resemble his although not as clean but that I actually use and easily take a half a thousandth cut.  I always wondered:

- who buys this Holtey stuff at these exorbitant prices?

-  what do they do with it?

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