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Urban Luthier

Urban Luthier's Bench

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thanks for your kind words everyone! 

_DSF6042.thumb.JPG.dcf0b0c927d20c8ea3fcead87cf8d199.JPGJim, scroll was mostly gouge work, the larger surfaces of the volutes were scraped clean. The area around the top and front of the flute was finished with a knife. The volutes and around the eye and volute as it heads into the pegbox is gouge work.

This is my 3rd so I'm really just trying to figure stuff out as I go. I used the strad template to layout the scroll but i didn't do a great job scraping off the compass marks. The varnish has seeped  into the compass pricks and gouge facets -- it  looks unsightly to me right now Hopefully it will tone down as I add colour to the varnish.

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Impressive all the same.  We're on the same number.  I think varnish accents tool marks, and they show more over time.  I aim for completely clean without getting overly fussy. I am un-bothered by any accidental tool marks.  Sometimes this occurs just moving stuff around.  I don't antique, so I call these character marks.  Our working method for scrolls are about the same.  Unfortunately, I always seem to have small pits in the walls that are probably from compression during the gouge cuts.  I guess I need to sharpen my gouges better/ more frequently.  I can see the compass prick in the above picture.  I think these are very common.  The camera doesn't show the tool marks that probably only bothers you.  We're our own toughest critic. ;)  Looking forward to seeing your varnish work.

-Jim

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Some work in progress varnishing shots.... this is my third and the second time I've used an oil varnish. Still lots to learn about application, texture and managing colour. I'm having a hard time getting the camera to focus -- the varnish is quite transparent. 

_DSF6103.thumb.JPG.788f0781083e856e9a75a9a57a5fc09e.JPG_DSF6102.thumb.JPG.09de8169bab7b6b14123f58bc6eac37c.JPG_DSF6101.thumb.JPG.3bf78123384f0b9cee9fa9b3b6fd4a76.JPG388896663__DSF6099copy.thumb.JPG.0dd076f09092fc114e90ca000ff78881.JPG_DSF6096.thumb.JPG.1d079231b57cb51651f074a05f55d05d.JPG

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I started to so some research on baroque fittings and I'm having a hard time tracking down baroque style viola fittings. I will make the tailpiece. Does anyone have a reco for good quality but affordable pegs and bridges?

At this point I may have to cut my own bridge from a blank, but I have neither the toolset nor the skill to turn my own pegs. Since this is my first go at a baroque instrument, I don't want to spend a ton. Any recommendations would be appreciated!

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1 hour ago, Urban Luthier said:

I started to so some research on baroque fittings and I'm having a hard time tracking down baroque style viola fittings. I will make the tailpiece. Does anyone have a reco for good quality but affordable pegs and bridges?

Hansell make a nice baroque peg but there could be a wait time depending how busy they are.

https://www.hansellviolins.com/set-of-4-style-j-pegs-673-p.asp

You could also try Dov Schmidt for less expensive pegs.

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1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Plenty of good baroque bridges available from the usual suppliers - Despiau, Aubert, Milo Stamm. As for pegs, using the simplest looking pegs you can find is just fine. 

thx Jackson --  I looked at these - some nice product. For violas however, most resellers don't have any stock! Being in Canada ordering single items from the US or Europe can be very expensive with shipping. a $30 winds up being $70-80 dollars.

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57 minutes ago, lpr5184 said:

Hansell make a nice baroque peg but there could be a wait time depending how busy they are.

https://www.hansellviolins.com/set-of-4-style-j-pegs-673-p.asp

You could also try Dov Schmidt for less expensive pegs.

These are really really nice, thanks for pointing them out E. Probably a bit pricy for my first venture. But will book mark these for future projects. 

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5 minutes ago, Urban Luthier said:

thx Jackson --  I looked at these - some nice product. For violas however, most resellers don't have any stock! Being in Canada ordering single items from the US or Europe can be very expensive with shipping. a $30 winds up being $70-80 dollars.

Oh my goodness! I didn't realize, sorry. If you aren't able to find anything, send me a message. I have a stock of old bridge wood. 

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         Which supplier in Canada sells "bridge" wood?  I always just keep an eye out for extremely tight grain maple with little to no  flame.   I have a billet of sycamore maple that I may sacrifice for bridge wood since the billet's character is just dots and lines.  A couple of years ago I was experimenting with laser cutting bridges using the Epilog laser at the public library.  Most people there were using the Laser to  cut out Christmas decorations.

 

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It has been a while since I posted, but a PM from Jim motivated me to take some photos of current work. I started a cello based on the Davidov / Gore booth. I drew it up by hand based on Roger's poster. (There is a photo of the Gore booth with the belly off the body which was useful as well). 

The form is two 18mm baltic birch plywood sheets laminated together - I was inspired by a from by Michael Koeberling posted in his bench. This was a lot of work to make but it is quite light weight and easy to maneuver.  

I don't have a bandsaw capable of re-sawing cello rib stock so I ripped 3mm pieces by hand using a Japanese Ryoba saw. Great saw, tracks well but this was a lot of work.

The cello wood I have is attractive enough but certainly not stellar. Still it should serve well for this project

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Cello rib garland. First cello. The amount of effort and skill required to build a nice rib garland was much more difficult than I thought - far greater than a violin or viola. Bending the corners required basically all my strength to hold the bending strap fast around the iron to set the bend. Twisting and warping was an issue as well, even working carefully i had to correct twist throughout each bout before gluing. Lastly it took a bit of patience to get an invisible joint between the lower bouts. All and all i'm fairly pleased with the result. The curves follow the outline fairly closely. 

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ha not too scary but a couple of other things I found challenging...

Working in a small space is really difficult -- one needs a bit of elbow room around the bending iron to work efficiently -- kind of hard in a 8 x 8 ft shop. I can barley fit a Cello on my bench!

I found it easier to fit the ribs with the form secured in the tail vice so the form rested at a 90 degrees angle to the bench - easy for the first 5 ribs - kind of hard for the las one!

I had to work really fast when gluing. Because the ribs are thin and cover a large surface area - i found if i used too much glue, I got a bit of warping even before the clamp was secured. I used a hair dryer on the highest setting to warm the parts before gluing and this really helped

also one more thing - i cut the blocks with a gouge and rasp and for the most part left things fairly rough - I think the texture helped with gluing. I made this sanding thing in the shape of a bending iron -- a few passes with this  really helped keep the corner bits that meet the form and joins nice and clean.

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Nice job.  I haven't bent cello ribs yet.  I have a back and belly roughed in, but the back has a really low arch because I sawed it in half crooked, so I might redo it.  

I did bend ribs for an arch top guitar with a cutaway, and that was quite an ordeal.  One piece on each side, but at least the ribs are only 3" tall!  I used cello rib stock ripped in half.  

I can say that the ribs fairly followed to outline too.  But not with a straight face.

Everyones work is so much neater than mine.

Ken

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