Nick Allen

Nick Allen's Bench.

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On 3/28/2019 at 9:23 PM, Evan Smith said:

Nervous?

I suppose caution is warranted,,

after all there are two of them,

they might gang up on you!:lol:

It feels like that sometimes days. Working in the profession is a lot different than my usual hobby atmosphere. It always seems that there is not enough time to get the job done in a real shop. The work takes on a much more serious tone. Get it done, do it well, get paid, move on to the next. 

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The neck still needs shaped fully, and the corners need the fluting re established after I knocked the corner height down. The f hole nicks need to be put in now. 

I put a set of Thonastik Infeld Rondos on it. I'm not quite sure of the sound. Sounds a lil wooly to me under the ear so far. But we'll see how that develops with post readjustments and setup tweaks along with the neck being brought into standard. 

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Wooly, eh?  I've been messing around a bit with scraping instruments while strung up in the white and it's fun to be able to pick it up and have instant feedback of what you're doing.   I've only done this to a couple instruments so far but it seems like you can adjust for loudness to a certain point if the sound is dampened but not so much for tone. 

How did the neck grafting go?  I'm getting ready try my first one. 

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14 minutes ago, DoorMouse said:

Wooly, eh?  I've been messing around a bit with scraping instruments while strung up in the white and it's fun to be able to pick it up and have instant feedback of what you're doing.   I've only done this to a couple instruments so far but it seems like you can adjust for loudness to a certain point if the sound is dampened but not so much for tone. 

How did the neck grafting go?  I'm getting ready try my first one. 

I still have to give it a final light scraping to clean it up for varnishing. So I could try and scrape a little here and a little there to see if it makes a difference.  

The neck grafts went well. The hardest part is really dressing the cavity in the pegbox to make it just a hair concave. Like a thou or less. This allows the glue to do it's thing I think. To be honest it's not as daunting as it may seem. 

 

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4 hours ago, Thomas Coleman said:

And of course varnish will change the tone considerably.  Looking great Nick!  Will you start a number 5 now?

Thanks!

I'm imagining that a cured varnish may brighten things perhaps? Or a thick oil varnish may dampen even further. 

I'm gonna try and play with bridge cutting to see if I can get a different result. I'm not displeased by the sound yet. I'm just not sure of it so far. 

I'm starting #5 posthaste. I think maybe I'll do a Baroque violin after that, and then really start cracking on my first cello. I'm really excited for the cello, so that may jump the queue if I'm not careful lol. 

This fiddle hopefully will find a buyer in the future. These instruments are really starting to pile up in my small apartment, and my girlfriend is wearing short on accommodation. 

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Started a new one. This time around, I'm gonna fill the upper block cutout and recut it to modern dimensions, and not baroque. 

IMG_20190511_155620.jpg

IMG_20190511_155643.jpg

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24 minutes ago, Thomas Coleman said:

You probably don't even need to fill in the space.

Hmm. Do you think the resulting block will be too shallow, then? J&C says 50x18. But mine is 62x15, which is what Strad used I think. 

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On 3/24/2018 at 3:19 PM, Nick Allen said:

Made up a Strad G form template today from Addie's drawing (thx again Addie). It fits perfectly into the Titian Strad poster. 

I'm gonna go the easy route and use a router (pun very much intended) to make the form. 

IMG_20180324_151220.jpg

I am curious about you made your one piece mold from a half template.  I see that you use similar locating pins in the upper and lower bouts that I use except I router two pieces of 1/2" plywood to exactly match the half template then center glue them.  How to locate the exact position for your pins when you are using a one piece mold ? 

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8 hours ago, catnip said:

I am curious about you made your one piece mold from a half template.  I see that you use similar locating pins in the upper and lower bouts that I use except I router two pieces of 1/2" plywood to exactly match the half template then center glue them.  How to locate the exact position for your pins when you are using a one piece mold ? 

The location of the pins is more or less arbitrary. You can locate the pins along the center line for simplicity, or in the boutsif you want, off center. 

Just drill your holes in the lexan/template material. Then strike a center line on some plywood, and trace your template on it, flipping it to make a whole form. You can now either drill the holes in the wood through the existing template holes, or do it after you rough cut the form. Then, rough cut the form. Now, you have some locating holes that will hold your template down and in the same place every time. 

From here you can either hand finish the form, or take it to the router table. 

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Thanks, that makes sense and it simple and straight forward.  My method is a bit more complicated since I not only fix the locating pins in the bouts (off center) but I also drill out the clamping holes and cut the corner , top and bottom blocks at the same time.  The only draw back is then gluing the two mold pieces along what is left of the center line.

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2 hours ago, catnip said:

Thanks, that makes sense and it simple and straight forward.  My method is a bit more complicated since I not only fix the locating pins in the bouts (off center) but I also drill out the clamping holes and cut the corner , top and bottom blocks at the same time.  The only draw back is then gluing the two mold pieces along what is left of the center line.

I found that if you shape both halves at the same time, any error is doubled and in symmetry. 

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So here's the back I'm gonna use for my fiddle that I just started. I like the flame and how it kind of bows up. 

The joint is perfect in the upper bouts, but it really got away from me in the lower bouts. I tried in vain to see if it would carve out, to no avail. I'll have to resaw this one and try again. 

It's a shame, because I got the bookmatch perfect, and the lower surface is planed. I only have 19mm to work with on this wood. So I can't reglue it crooked and have to plane too much off when flattening it. 

Also, I never realized how flat my thumbs are until I saw that first picture lol. 

IMG_20190521_094826.jpg

IMG_20190521_094833.jpg

IMG_20190521_094838.jpg

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If it were mine I wouldn't re-saw it.  It looks great and you have to pay attention to not realize that it's not a one-piece back.  Carving is bound to change some of the grain alignment.  Then there's the varnish.  When it comes alive there will be some aspects that weren't expected.

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I would re-do the joint.  It's not obvious in the photo in the post until you go to the full resolution, but it's visibly a bit wide of a glue joint.

"...only 19mm to work with" sounds like tons of wood to me for a violin, as my normal back arch is ~15mm.  As long as you plane the joint with both halves back-to-back and are careful to keep them aligned when gluing, you shouldn't lose too much.

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On 5/21/2019 at 1:16 PM, Jim Bress said:

If it were mine I wouldn't re-saw it.  It looks great and you have to pay attention to not realize that it's not a one-piece back.  Carving is bound to change some of the grain alignment.  Then there's the varnish.  When it comes alive there will be some aspects that weren't expected.

I've gone the more Maverick route and it has worked out in the past for me. It's my usual working method, Jim.

 

On 5/21/2019 at 1:28 PM, Don Noon said:

I would re-do the joint.  It's not obvious in the photo in the post until you go to the full resolution, but it's visibly a bit wide of a glue joint.

"...only 19mm to work with" sounds like tons of wood to me for a violin, as my normal back arch is ~15mm.  As long as you plane the joint with both halves back-to-back and are careful to keep them aligned when gluing, you shouldn't lose too much.

I did resaw it, and it turns out, my hide glue went bad, so I ordered some more. The strange thing is, is that I noticed my old stuff has lost its gross hide glue smell. The new stuff stinks like it should and thus works like it should. 

The b*tch vacuumed together like it should. The new glue grabbed in like two seconds. I managed to get the pieces bookmatched again and relatively planar as well! 

IMG_20190526_231041.jpg

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5 hours ago, Anthony Panke said:

Looks elegant indeed!

Thanks, man. I'll update the scroll carving as it goes. 

Currently, my latest violin is ready for some sun tan. 

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