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Urban Luthier

Urban Luthier's Bench

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Here is a graduation punch I built this week based on the relic in the Cremona museum. I was inspired by Torbjorn's and Davide's examples. With a lot of help from Addie's plans.

 

I skipped the hold fast cutouts as it is easier for me to just put it in the face vise. Instead of a threaded screw with a pointed tip, I've used an old scratch awl which passes through a countersink. (The awl is locked in place with with adjustable allen-screws). The anvil is an old ebony peg and the hinge is a 1/8 in brass pin.

 

The wood is maple as that is what I had on hand -- this stuff is too hard to work with -- I'd advise mahogany or beech instead. The finished is Joe's other stuff (tried and true oil varnish)

 

Couple of observations -- the anvil appears quite high -- but 29.5 mm is what's indicated on the drawing. is this because the height allows the plates to be angled?

 

The tool appears to be large enough to do a B-form cello -- you can pass the entire upper and middle section through.

 

Chris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I moved recently and was left with out a workshop. I'm now trying to set up a new one. The space is really, really tiny 8X8 ft -- originally the cold cellar. I added 2in rigid polystyrene insulation and to maximize space I screwed the furring strips over the insulation into the cinderblocks to save space.

 

Some wiring is done with switches on the bench to turn on and off overhead lighting. (I hated having to walk away from the bench to turn off the overhead light in my old shop!)

 

My bench is in now to test the space. I've placed it adjacent to the window) It is amazing how useful even a small window is for raking light. Next up is to build a self along the side wall at the the end of the bench. 

 

I splurged on a luxruy item for the bench -- a real British Anglepoise lamp. This is the nicest lamp I've every seen!

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Moving into a new work shop is exciting.  My basement shop is windowless.  I have fantasies about having a small window like yours installed, the basement is mostly under ground.  I dought it will eve happen. 

 

I somehow missed seeing your graduation punch.  Nice work!  That will probably be the next jig I make.  Any hind site wisdom from making yours?

 

Cheers,

Jim

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A few tips on making the graduation punch

 

  • Addie's plan is a god send! See above.
  • I used a 1/8 in brass rod for the lever hinge -- easy to remove if you need to make an adjustment while you are making the punch.
  • The hardest part was figuring out how to deal with the adjustable spike. In the end I used an old awl through a counterbore drilled right into the arm. The counterbore locks onto the awl spike with a small allen key.
  • The veritas taper gauge works well to set the depth. Although it is easy enough to make one of your own. See Roger's Bass book.

 

This is a fabulous tool to make -- it really works! I went a little overboard with the through tenon joinery, it looks nice but it might be overkill!

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I moved recently and was left with out a workshop.

 

Still in Toronto? I moved to Kingston last summer.

 

BTW...your graduation punch looks great!

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Yes John the bending finally arrived. Nicely made piece of kit, works flawlessly. Jim, my avatar is actually one of the Queen's from the Isle of Lewis chess set (so he is in fact a she, and I think she is more worried about my lack of progress than anything!)

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A few tips on making the graduation punch

 

  • Addie's plan is a god send! See above.
  • I used a 1/8 in brass rod for the lever hinge -- easy to remove if you need to make an adjustment while you are making the punch.
  • The hardest part was figuring out how to deal with the adjustable spike. In the end I used an old awl through a counterbore drilled right into the arm. The counterbore locks onto the awl spike with a small allen key.
  • The veritas taper gauge works well to set the depth. Although it is easy enough to make one of your own. See Roger's Bass book.

 

This is a fabulous tool to make -- it really works! I went a little overboard with the through tenon joinery, it looks nice but it might be overkill!

Beautiful look to that punch..... makes you want to use it so you can look at it more often :)

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My daughter has been after me for ages to build her a soprano Ukulele -- I finally gave in. Based on a 1930's Martin. Sounds quite good given its small size.

Congrats to you and Sophia.  Great label!

 

-Jim

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I wouldn't worry about the weight. Your arching looks good, the stiffness is fine. You'll lose a few more grams yet off the button and edging.

 

I've made a lot violins with backs between 110 and 115 grams, with a final total violin weight of around 380-385 grams with no chinrest which people said felt light. There's nothing stopping you getting a great tone with that back. It just depends what you do with the rest of the violin. :)

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Thanks Doug! Here is the top. I've got a bit more work to do, but I'm close to Sacconi grads (2.7 around the f holes, 2.4 elsewhere 3ish at the edges, 4 at the centre edge and at the top and bottom block). The top seems a bit heavy. ~ 67g w/o the bass bar. I expect it will loose another 2g when i do the final scrape and perhaps a couple more when i finalize the edge. Engleman spruce. Stiffness feels good as is.

 

Again too heavy? 

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When I use Engelmann spruce, my tops are a bit lighter, in the low 60 grams without bar, even though mine are usually a bit thicker than what you've told me yours is. Maybe the spruce I was using is less dense. I think stiffness is more important than weight. I like my tops to closely match the back. I don't think you should go thinner than what you've got now.

 

With Engelmann, I like to glue a thin spruce veneer where the sound post goes to protect the belly from soundpost damage. I use a higher density spruce, but it probably doesn't matter much since the glue makes the area stiffer or harder. This seemed to have a positive tonal effect on violins on which I retrofitted this patch. I glue it in very thin, then carve it when the glue is dry to only be about .2mm thicker than the belly without the patch.

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