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Urban Luthier

Karl Holtey Design Purfling Cutter at Lee Valley

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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?

They do get used, and they do work beautifully.

The job though can be done a lot cheaper with Ebay old planes.  These planes do excell in certain difficult situations, mostly not those though in making a violin.  I am thinking wild grained exotic woods that defy most ordinary planes.

 

Collectors also buy these tools, and investors too.

A collector never sells, while an investor dooes.

Just like anyone driving to the corner store, any working vehicle will do, but we all have a prefernce for one mode of transport over another.

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If I am remembering correctly, does not Neil Ertz have a Holtey or two.

I don't think though that the planes are getting any credit for the excellent work he produces.

Must have had some great teachers! ;)

 

Sure is fun though to test drive these babies.

And yes, just like your Elvis collector plates, they will go up in value! :blink:

 

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If I am remembering correctly, does not Neil Ertz have a Holtey or two.

I don't think though that the planes are getting any credit for the excellent work he produces.

Must have had some great teachers! ;)

 

Sure is fun though to test drive these babies.

And yes, just like your Elvis collector plates, they will go up in value! :blink:

 

 

But what will happen when they find out Elvis is still alive ? .... (few years ago Kate Bush had him on a video :) )

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Yes, there is a Holtey or two in my workshop and I use them daily……...I’m quite sure any other plane set up well with a good blade would be perfectly good…but I love the small selection of tools I own and use, they make spending time at the bench even more pleasurable and I’ve never regretted or felt the need to justify the price I have paid for what I consider the best tools I could find.

Neil

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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?

Roger, I'd like to have a Strad style purfling cutter made.  Does Mark have a website?  I see a Mark Jackson in the Strad directory with just a phone number, but I'm not sure if this is the right one.

 

Thanks,

Jim

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The wonketey one I made one day, and it works so well I've not made another one. But I will because I want a separate one with two blades. I showed it to friends and they all thought it was a pretty nice idea. It uses  allen head bolts because it is easier on the fingers & wrists. It was a sketch for a tool, but it turned out to be an accurate tool. Made by a tool. 

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Stephen, I think you're tool is a great design and would be easy to build.  Unfortunately, time is my most limiting resource.  So I would rather purchase a tool and preserve what little making time I have instead of spending it building a tool.  Not that building a tool wouldn't be fun as well.   I really like the strad style purfling cutter, soo does anyone know if Mark Jackson has a website or email?

 

Thanks,

Jim

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I love making my own tools. :)

Me to. :)   Love you're new avatar, but I'm not sure how I feel about you kicking bears in their thoughtful spot. :huh:

 

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  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.

 

 

Having been there and done that - I understand fully.

 

I do know of, and admire the people who want to, and who do go a more traditional route.

More power to you - and all that...

but I'm a router man also. And, if you cannot tell the differentce between a hand cut (no matter how well made the hand tool might be) and a routed purfling job when the violin is finished, does it matter how one got there?

I say, no, not really.

 

Hand made routed channel cleaner? Yes on that one too. I made mine out of a old used pallet knife, because it had the correct steel and profile for the job, It's been in use for quite a few years now.

Should I try to post a photo of it?

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Having been there and done that - I understand fully.

 

I do know of, and admire the people who want to, and who do go a more traditional route.

More power to you - and all that...

but I'm a router man also. And, if you cannot tell the differentce between a hand cut (no matter how well made the hand tool might be) and a routed purfling job when the violin is finished, does it matter how one got there?

I say, no, not really.

 

Hand made routed channel cleaner? Yes on that one too. I made mine out of a old used pallet knife, because it had the correct steel and profile for the job, It's been in use for quite a few years now.

Should I try to post a photo of it?

 

Hi Craig,

 

Sorry I missed your post until today.  Sure I'd love to see the channel cleaner.  Mine is one I bought just ground down the width. Unfortunately the steel is too soft.  I have another German made channel cleaner.  Also too wide but much better steel.

 

I thought I posted a picture of my home made router tool.  The Stew-Mac version is really too big for getting into the tight curves of the C-Bout.  So I made a smaller wooden version of the Stew-Mac Purfling tool.

 

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I made it so the Dremel flex cable attachment (1/2-20 thread) would screw in.  The top wooden plate could have been adjustable as in the Stew-Mac tool, but I just fixed the purfling distance from the edge stop to the distance I use for violins ~ 3.75 mm.  I also included a depth stop since I don't want to cut deeper when routing the thicker corner areas.  I removed material from the underside so the tool would slide partially over the button area leaving as little channel to cut by hand as possible.  The smaller size of the tool lets you get right out to the point of the corners.  

 

Working with the smaller lighter flex cable and smaller wooden router tool is much easier and better than the larger bulkier Stew-Mac tool which is really designed to be used on Guiitars. Even so I'll probably rig up a depth stop on the Stew-Mac tool and use it on my first cello which is having a slow start.

 

Joe

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The wonketey one I made one day, and it works so well I've not made another one. But I will because I want a separate one with two blades. I showed it to friends and they all thought it was a pretty nice idea. It uses  allen head bolts because it is easier on the fingers & wrists. It was a sketch for a tool, but it turned out to be an accurate tool. Made by a tool. 

 

Somehow I tuned out and missed all these great posts....  :blink:

 

You tool looks like what I would have imagined would be a much more stable purfling cutter configuration.  My whole problem with learning to do it with the available tools is the handles and leverage point is too far from the "action" and so it just feels unstable.  If you want to draw something in fine detail you want to grip the pencil close to the point and same with cutting purfling channel.  You need fine control.

 

I also like the long bar which says to me you are cutting the purfling after closing the box so you can use both plate boundaries to keep the cutter vertical.  I hope you don't mind if I copy your design.  As the signature says "The right tool for the right job..."  I think you found the right tool!

 

Joe

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