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Nick Allen's Bench.


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Here is a sample with the same treatment, but with aloe nitrite, guttato (gamboge rosinate), clear varnish with selenite filler, and a red madder alizarin cooked varnish over top. The alizarin is cooked into the varnish. It's not my recipe, a friend gave me a jar, but I plan on making some myself soon. 

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23 minutes ago, David Alex T. said:

Looks nice. Did you check color fading properties after few weeks/months?

I jammed it in the light box for two weeks directly in front of a Sola Curr bulb with no change. 

The color is fixed to either the oil or resin. Which one here I forget. But it's stabilized with metal salts and minerals during the cooking process. 

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3 hours ago, MikeC said:

Welcome back.  Three pages and years ago you posted about the "sausage" method of plate carving.  Can you say anymore about that?  Are you still doing it that way? 

Oh yeah. I forgot about that. 

Basically, you set the edge heights. I like to then carve the fluting in the purfling channel. 

Then, get the long arch situated, with a mm or so of headroom. 

Now strike a center line. 

Now you can determine how full the arch will be. For something in the realm of standard, you'll strike two lines in either side of the center. Each 21mm or so from the center, giving 42mm. This does not necessarily coincide with the F hole upper eyes. 

Now, you'll determine the bounds of the actual sausage into the upper and lower bouts. For the lower bouts, the limit is right around the narrowest part of the lower corners. For the upper bout, it's closer to the widest part of the bout. Strike two lines perpendicular to the center here. 

Now you have a box. A rectangle. 

What I now do is take a gouge that's reasonably tight. I'll carve a channel on the outside of either vertical line, that's perfectly level. Use a ruler or straightedge to determine this. The channel should terminate right around the upper and lower bounds that we just set. The depth of the channel is more of a feel thing. You'll figure that out with a few go arounds. 

Now, the fun part. Take your normal arching gouge, and carve in towards the center. Start from the lowest point of the fluting, and make a straight cut right to the lowest part of the channel approaching the center. Do this within the upper and lower bounds. Make sure that the cuts are straight, without much recurve. 

Now, round over the space in between your 42mm rectangle to whatever radius that you're going for. Connect the radius to the new straight cuts you just made inward. 

You'll have to do this perhaps once more, to refine the shape. 

The tricky part to this is the parts of the upper and lower bouts that are outside of the boundaries that you set. You still have to sculpt those areas to blend with your sausage-tent thing. 

Now. I'll take a thumb plane, and work vertically, taking off the ridges of the straight perpendicular cuts from the arching gouge. Don't worry about the maple if you're doing the back, just make sure the plane is razor sharp and don't let up on the vigour with your planing action. Make some heat if anything. 

Now assess your roughed out arch. See how it transitions into the purfling channel and into the center radius and adjust to taste. 

You can move those initial vertical lines that I arbitrarily set to 42mm in or out to make fuller or more pinched arches. 

You can also move the bounding lines on the top and bottom up or down as well.

The top and back will have different limits on the upper and lower bouts. 

I can post a quick drawing soon to clarify. 

But it's basically a system that allows you to make an arch that can vary in shape and profile quickly and efficiently. 

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On 4/5/2024 at 7:31 AM, MikeC said:

Hi Nick, thanks for the arching explanation.  I can kind of visualize what you're saying but pictures would be great!  I'll make a plate from scrap wood and see how it works.   

I'll hit you up with some pictures tomorrow. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's my latest with the latest. 

Working on the antiquing currently. I did the shading and the dings and whatnot. I'm going to start to add patina this week. I still have to let it dry properly after the varnish removal and shading, as well as level some areas that got out of hand a little bit before patina. 

I'll use a shellac soap mixed with XSL nanoparticles pigments for the primary patina, then a mixture of shellac soap, beeswax soap and more pigment for the cheese layer. Then I'll use the spray gun to adjust the tonality in certain places to enhance any effects I may be after. Then a crapton of French polishing to effectively Brunswick the whole thing and obliterate almost all of the texture, locking in the patina and giving it a more authentic look. I've noticed that most old fiddles of renown have very little texture left, and almost no chipping or crenellations in the varnish save for a few spots here or there, so I avoided any tape pulling on this one...

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On 4/9/2024 at 7:29 PM, Nick Allen said:

Here is some ground that I was messing around with today. 

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That color is sick af, nice work. Lazy as I am, I'd just slap on a coat of clear and take a smoke break.

Top is a little blotchy, is that deliberate to enhance later antiquing?

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On 4/27/2024 at 7:41 PM, Nick Allen said:

Here's my latest with the latest. 

Working on the antiquing currently. I did the shading and the dings and whatnot. I'm going to start to add patina this week. I still have to let it dry properly after the varnish removal and shading, as well as level some areas that got out of hand a little bit before patina. 

I'll use a shellac soap mixed with XSL nanoparticles pigments for the primary patina, then a mixture of shellac soap, beeswax soap and more pigment for the cheese layer. Then I'll use the spray gun to adjust the tonality in certain places to enhance any effects I may be after. Then a crapton of French polishing to effectively Brunswick the whole thing and obliterate almost all of the texture, locking in the patina and giving it a more authentic look. I've noticed that most old fiddles of renown have very little texture left, and almost no chipping or crenellations in the varnish save for a few spots here or there, so I avoided any tape pulling on this one...

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Man you've gotten really good at the antiquing in such a short time. I haven't ever done it but I'm gonna hit you up before I try. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/2/2024 at 7:13 PM, JacksonMaberry said:

That color is sick af, nice work. Lazy as I am, I'd just slap on a coat of clear and take a smoke break.

Top is a little blotchy, is that deliberate to enhance later antiquing?

Thanks! The color is quite simple. There is a little trick to get the complexity in the red, as in the diffuse softness. 

The top too color in the chemical stages in a strange way, but that was okay because it lended to the antiquing later, so you are correct. I was concerned at first, but I stuck to the old mantra of keep calm and varnish on. 

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On 5/2/2024 at 7:14 PM, JacksonMaberry said:

Man you've gotten really good at the antiquing in such a short time. I haven't ever done it but I'm gonna hit you up before I try. 

Thank you again. I have to say that I've had the privilege of sitting next to some blokes who are really in another league these past months. 

Ask me anything anytime you're ready to delve into the dark side. I have no secrets lol. 

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Here's some progress. I'm at the stage where it looks crazy, until it pulls together at the end. My technique so far has been to more or less add and subtract. A million layers of French polish over chips and scratches with some patina in between. The camo pattern in the middle will be sorted out. It looks a bit much right now lol. 

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I envy your antiquing skills.    I did very lite antiquing on my last (first) build, didn't want to overdo it.  

You were going to show some pictures of the plate carving?  I'm about to start on the back plate and interested in trying the technique. 

 

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16 hours ago, Nick Allen said:

Thank you again. I have to say that I've had the privilege of sitting next to some blokes who are really in another league these past months. 

Ask me anything anytime you're ready to delve into the dark side. I have no secrets lol. 

I will be hitting you up for sure, thanks for being willing to share!

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On 5/11/2024 at 2:12 AM, Nick Allen said:

Here's some progress. I'm at the stage where it looks crazy, until it pulls together at the end. My technique so far has been to more or less add and subtract. A million layers of French polish over chips and scratches with some patina in between. The camo pattern in the middle will be sorted out. It looks a bit much right now lol. 

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Very nice!

I usually try to use less darkened zones, but that’s a matter of taste. 

I like it, 

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3 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Very nice!

I usually try to use less darkened zones, but that’s a matter of taste. 

I like it, 

Thanks!

I agree. The dark spots are getting managed. I'm not a huge fan of them. So I can polish/scrape them off, just like one would clean them in real life. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/7/2024 at 4:33 AM, violinbridges said:

looks great, I am always amazed that its straight varnished first then removed..

How do you remove it to obtain consistent repeatable results, you mention tape above??/ 

 

Thanks!

I use a variety of methods. On this one, I used mainly alcohol polishing, some very light and selective abrasion and chipping/scratching with various tools. 

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