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MikeC

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I need a little woodworking advice.  

 

I'm going to attach the handle to the shaft by drilling a 1/2 inch hole in each and inserting a 1/2 inch dowell and then glue it all together.   

 

In hindsight I realize I should have drilled the hole in the shaft while it was still square, it would have been much easier to get the hole centered and square to the end of the shaft, paralel to the length of the shaft.   

 

Anyone want to toss out some ideas on how to drill  a centered hole in a round shaft?   And actually the shaft is not a cylinder but it's slightly tapered so the sides are not quite a 90 degree angle to the end although the angle would be very small.   

 

I have an idea actually,  but wondered what ideas others might have.  

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I think you're talking about drilling from the end of the shaft right?  If I was doing it (which doesn't mean this is a good idea), I would trace the end of the shaft on a piece of scrap 2 x 4.  Then drill a straight hole through the center of the area you marked and use it as a drill guide jig.  Next, glue the jig onto the shaft using your tracing to line it up.

 

-Jim

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If you had a lathe, that would be ideal... but I'm guessing you don't.

 

Here's another idea:

If you have a drill bit big enough to drill a hole the size of the OD of the shaft, take a block of scrap wood and drill a hole halfway thru, with the wood clamped to the drillpress table.  Then, without moving the wood, change the drill bit to 1/2" and drill through the scrap.  That will give you two perfectly concentric, parallel holes, one to locate on the shaft, and the other to guide the drill.

 

You could also make the fixture on the lathe which you don't have.

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  • 3 weeks later...

thanks for the advice everyone.  I only have access to a small drill press and no lathe,  so I was going to try to make some kind of jig sort of like the way Don is describing.  But then my neighbor happened to mention that he had something that might work,  see the attached picture.   I got the hole drilled, it's square but not quite as centered as I would like but it's close.    Seeing the recent thread on the 3 hour scroll challenge, I started timing how long it takes to do stuff.  The saw cuts in the pic took about 40 minutes with a hand saw,  once I scrapped the miter saw and used a sharper cross cut saw it went faster.  I think I'll skip the 3 hour challenge. :)

 

Thing 1, Thing 2 and Thing 3.   Wish I had a more complete set of different sizes!

 

vacation next week,  camping for a week on a nearly deserted island.  Hopefully I can get a lot more work done once I get back.  Sorry the project is taking so long,  just too many irons in the fire. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

after a week long vacation on  a nearly deserted island,  I returned rejuvenated and ready to make progress.   I was looking for some riffling files that I had but can't find them,  was going to use them to smooth and shape the carved surfaces of the scroll.  I hate when I loose things.  I'll just have to do it mostly with chisels.  

 

 

Sunrise over the island...

 

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I think it looks lovely. The shape of the handle is very pleasing and looks comfortable. Good job. Do you plan to open up the throat? I think it would look better if you did.

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I wasn't going to open the throat because I thought would be a weak point for a handle that could be weight bearing but I can open it up or I also thought maybe doing an incised line to give the appearance of a throat but still leave some wood in there for strength.

That's just a dry fit to the shaft, not glued up yet. I still have to work down to the line along the sides and round off the square edges for comfort, and still have to do the chamfer and fluting and refinement on the scroll.

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I just got through looking at your 5 string thread, you should be making me a cane lol. So I've been drawing some lines on this one thinking of opening up the throat, we'll see how that goes.

I think it will look great either way Mike. Thanks for seeing this through. I have to have a second neck surgey and the cane will come in handy for getting around. Last time my balance was terrible. I think due to the heavy meds I was taking. You centainly have done a first rate job. Can't wait to see how you varnish it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

good luck with the surgery.   I'm looking forward to the grounding and varnishing also,  I'll have to make a batch of varnish, only the second batch ever, hopefully it will turn out good!    I did cut the throat and you're right, it looks better that way.   I'm starting to like the scroll better now too since spending some time messing around with little fiddly bits.  :D  Today  I glued a curly maple veneer on the front of the handle rather than having end grain showing there. It's a small piece that was left over from cutting the shaft down to size.   

 

Wondering about glue now. Anyone have an opinion on the best glue to use?  

I'm thinking of using Titebond wood glue to join the handle to the shaft.  It's suposed to be stronger than the wood and moisture resistant.  

I don't have a lot of experience with hide glue and this isn't a fiddle so I figured it would be ok to use a strong modern glue.

 

Finishing can be strange and unpredictable.   I made a pipe tamper out of a small piece of maple from the shaft and when I put a finish on it, it turned a nice dark tan color but I put the same finish on another sample piece and didn't get that dark color.  

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Making more progress and doing as much detail work as I can before gluing the shaft.   I cut a bit of a throat into it though not as deep as a regulation fiddle neck.  I'm contemplating going a little deeper but it don't look too bad as it is.    I rounded off the upper grip surface and started fluting.   I'll smooth it up some but leave some tool marks.  On the front where it is flat,  I'll probably round that over some,  kind of give it a slightly domed surface,  that's why I put a fairly thick piece there rather than just a thin veneer.   Once the shaft is glued on then I'll blend the lower part of the handle into it. 

 

EM  I saw that rosin you've been cooking,  you might have to send me some to make varnish, save me having to run a crock pot for a month.  ;)   

 

I thought of something that maybe could be added to rosin to color it,  don't know if it would work but may be worth a try .  I may get some of that diamond G rosin and test it out.  

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Caveat emptor,  I'm not any kind of a finishing expert so I can't guarantee how it will turn out, but I'm going to try making a batch of varnish for it.  I've only ever made one batch and it looked nice, sort of dark copper color, and it seems tough and durable but I don't know how a new batch will turn out.    My plan is to use a tough durable ground and then hopefully if the varnish wears it will be a good looking wear pattern sort of like antiquing on a violin. 

 

I've seen pictures of violins where the varnish seems to feather away to nothing, almost like an air brushed look.  I don't know what formulation would produce a varnish with that characteristic.   I'm thinking maybe a high rosin content / low oil content varnish may wear that way.    Wasn't there some analysis that showed Cremona varnish as being about 3 parts rosin to 1 part oil?    Judging from good closeup pictures it looks like the original varnish layer was somewhere around a tenth of a millimeter thickness.  

 

My view is that the ground is the real protective finish and that the varnish is just a color layer so even if the varnish wears, the ground should still give good protection from dirt and grime.  

 

As far as the proportions, if I had to do it over again,  the design might be adjusted a bit.   A violin scroll seemed kind of small so the template I used (side view of scroll)  was enlarged a little bit  but I didn't enlarge the other dimensions side to side so the proportions are a little off as compared to a normal violin scroll.   I think it still turned out pretty good anyway though.    

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Making more progress and doing as much detail work as I can before gluing the shaft.   I cut a bit of a throat into it though not as deep as a regulation fiddle neck.  I'm contemplating going a little deeper but it don't look too bad as it is.    I rounded off the upper grip surface and started fluting.   I'll smooth it up some but leave some tool marks.  On the front where it is flat,  I'll probably round that over some,  kind of give it a slightly domed surface,  that's why I put a fairly thick piece there rather than just a thin veneer.   Once the shaft is glued on then I'll blend the lower part of the handle into it. 

 

EM  I saw that rosin you've been cooking,  you might have to send me some to make varnish, save me having to run a crock pot for a month.  ;)   

 

I thought of something that maybe could be added to rosin to color it,  don't know if it would work but may be worth a try .  I may get some of that diamond G rosin and test it out.

Looks great Mike. It's appearance definitely says handcrafted and that is very hard to find today in the market place. Great Job!!

I agree with your thoughts on grounds and varnishing. I would be happy to send you some rosin. Today is day 21 and I'll let it go for just a while longer and send some to you as soon as it's done cooking. A ceramic crock pot is the way to go. When finished cooking just pour it out into a foil baking pan. What reaims in the pot comes out very easily when cooled. PM me your address and I'll send you some rosin and other goodies for varnishing.

-em

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm leaving the lines sharp... maybe a lite rub with 600 grit paper.   I'm about ready to start putting a finish on it.    Everyone chime in,  what's your favorite ground?   Everyone has a favorite tree to bark up.   I tend to favor rosin dissolved in turpentine first as a sealer then a lite rub of linseed oil since LO is what Echard found at the wood surface.    Ernie I crushed some of that rosin you sent to me and dissolved it in turp and put some on a test scrap.  It's drying in the sun today.  I made it too thin so it may take a few coats to build up.  It does put some color into the wood.     I'll attach a few closer pics of the scroll here.  

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I'm leaving the lines sharp... maybe a lite rub with 600 grit paper.   I'm about ready to start putting a finish on it.    Everyone chime in,  what's your favorite ground?   Everyone has a favorite tree to bark up.   I tend to favor rosin dissolved in turpentine first as a sealer then a lite rub of linseed oil since LO is what Echard found at the wood surface.    Ernie I crushed some of that rosin you sent to me and dissolved it in turp and put some on a test scrap.  It's drying in the sun today.  I made it too thin so it may take a few coats to build up.  It does put some color into the wood.     I'll attach a few closer pics of the scroll here.

Looks good. I'm sending you some of the limed rosin varnish that I just made. I would try applying that straight on the maple for a ground. Use it only for a ground that you wipe off because it has a lot of lime particles in it, even though I filtered it. The thinned down rosin doesn't give enough color but the cooked varnish does. Give it a try. I'm working on the care package today. You should have it in a few days. Have fun Mike!!

-em

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