Sign in to follow this  
Thomas Coleman

Thomas Coleman's bench

Recommended Posts

13 hours ago, Ken_N said:

You have such clean work.  I can scrape things for days, and not get that clean.  Even your saw cut is clean!  Amazing.

The neck idea is cool.  I had one that popped the fingerboard off from bending.  I was just thinking about that idea.

Thanks for the kind words Ken.  A neck spline and rod will go a long way to preventing a change in the neck projection like you experienced on the instruments you recently posted about.  Do you bevel your scrapers?

11 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Interesting idea.

I suppose the neck is more stable with the reinforcements. Is there any change for the sound as well?

I agree that they're interesting ideas.  Neither of them mine.  I am totally sold on both.  Melvin Goldsmith and Whedbee are inspirations for the spline and Matt Noykos ,Joe Grubaugh and Will where helpful with advice about the rod.  Although the evidence is only anecdotal, myself and others have noticed tonal improvements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems that I experienced something weird.  One night a couple pieces of wood that I had to make bridges fell off the shelving unit and black goop was oozing out of them; a bag of potatoes went bad; a fingerboard fell off a violin ( I had to scrape the neck to get the bow out of it); and the guitar I'm making acquired a dimple on the treble side of the back where the grain is really close to center (its a slab).  I didn't notice the violas then.  

I had been getting the guitar wet with ash water, and cherry wood water too, because the Euro Sycamore, (maple) wasn't getting any color.  Then it would spend all day in the Lightbox.  No top on it, because the garbage can is too small.  I did it about 6 times, and then kept it in for a few more days.  There were no changes in the arching during this time.

Yes, it is weird.  I do like the idea of the spline though. It would help with humidity problems. I thought of using carbon fiber for the guitar, but they are big on truss rods.  With a Birdseye maple, and Padauk neck, it should be pretty strong.  A three piece maple neck with an ebony center might not sit too well with violin buyers.  But it would easily accomplish almost the same thing.   It would be weightier though.  But you don't have to make that pesky groove.  I don't have a table saw, or a router. 

I do put an angle on my scrapers.  I use big plane blades.  The last couple of days I used a single edge, and a double edge razor blade on the viola I'm finishing up.  Scraping gets things smooth, but the razors seem to really get it crisp looking.  I guess that's what I'm looking for.  The cherry has more pores than I see in maple; I haven't tried the razor blades on the spruce yet.

Maybe I need to cut my angle back on the planes to something really radical like 10-15 degrees to get them sharper?  And buy some more razor blades, so I don't have to keep honing these old beaters. Rubbing them on a stone, and then once lightly on a carbide bar makes them really cut nice. The single edge one is nice.  The thick top edge can be bent to create a curve.  I just found that out last night.  I don't know where to find a single edge razor blade that is a Gillette, or some other shaving blade, like the one I have, and not some Chinese junk for a paint scraper in a package of 50 for $1.97.

Sorry, kind of long. I don't work in text speak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ken_N said:

Maybe I need to cut my angle back on the planes to something really radical like 10-15 degrees to get them sharper?

I hone my scrapers at about 45 degrees or so.  I use tempered spring steel, available from MSC although I'm certain any of the big industrial supply houses will carry it.  I mostly use .5mm and .3mm thickness although I do have one slightly thinner (2.8mm?) finishing scraper.  They work well.  I use an aluminum block cut at a 45 degree angle as a honing guide.  Scrapers are a huge PITA but nothing else does the job they do.   I use sandpaper as little as possible,  just on the very edges to eliminate tool facets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom,

My scrapers are at about 25 degrees.  I took the smallest straight one yesterday and ground it back to 12-13 degrees.  It gets very sharp like that.  It worked great.  You can even lay it flat like a plane and shave off the hair that the scraper left before.

So I did the rounded one that is an old Craftsman blade.  It is very hard steel that was a pain to get sharp.  Not any more. 

Totally transformed them.

The 5X lens is a big help too.  You would think that 3X progressives would help some.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought some of you might be interested in this.  Here is a short video of new label letterpress die.  Currently I am using it as a "rubber stamp" but I hope to start actually pressing labels with it.  I think this will lead to a crisper looking label.  Printing can be challenging!  For awhile I was using something very similar... a linoleum stamp that my wife made using a laser engraver.  But since we moved and also because the decade changed (hence an incorrect date on the label) I decided to have this made.  I designed the label and made the vector file and sent it off to the engraver.  Unfortunately I don't have a photo of a clean printed label using this die but it's similar in quality to my linoleum stamp ie the quality is plenty good for me.  I like a "handprinted" look.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great Thomas ! Wondered if you'd mind showing where you sent it to be engraved? And did you just send them a hand made paper label that they copied it from ? Thanks ! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/2/2020 at 9:35 PM, Edward Byler said:

Looks great Thomas ! Wondered if you'd mind showing where you sent it to be engraved? And did you just send them a hand made paper label that they copied it from ? Thanks ! 

I had the die made by Owosso.  You have to send them a digital file and there are requirements for the file.  It has to be a vector file and any text ( in my case the entire label) has to be outlined.  I used Corel but I'm sure you could use any graphics program.  They give instructions for outlining text using several different programs. 

On 3/3/2020 at 4:13 AM, Jim Bress said:

Very nice!  I see you built in a little more cushion on the date this time. :)

Thanks! haha yes...the first version was "201" but was made in 2018, so I have a few years left in this one.  Worse case scenario is I'll have to use a dremel tool to grind off the last "2" in 10 years :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My latest violin.  I don't antique instruments in general but for several reasons decided to do it on this one.  The last photo looks like there is white wood in one of the scars but that's just a reflection.  Lots to learn.  Excelsior.  I'm very pleased with how it sounds.

 

IMG_1015.jpg

IMG_1016.jpg

IMG-1006.jpg

IMG-1018.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that is really nice Thomas!  I'm not an antique look guy either, but that one looks good. The color and texture are just right.

I always wondered about the double wear from the chin on both sides.  If someone held it under the chin at the treble bout, wouldn't they do that all the time?  Every instrument had people playing them both ways?  Was some of the antiquing done from the get go?  They did both sides for some sense of symmetry?  

I think that maybe antiquing in the beginning might not be a new thing.  But like a sunburst on a guitar, it is often hard to pull off.

The f holes seem to command attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ken_N said:

Now that is really nice Thomas!  I'm not an antique look guy either, but that one looks good. The color and texture are just right.

I always wondered about the double wear from the chin on both sides.  If someone held it under the chin at the treble bout, wouldn't they do that all the time?  Every instrument had people playing them both ways?  Was some of the antiquing done from the get go?  They did both sides for some sense of symmetry?  

I think that maybe antiquing in the beginning might not be a new thing.  But like a sunburst on a guitar, it is often hard to pull off.

The f holes seem to command attention.

The wear on the treble bout side might be from people playing baroque style. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll soon start a baroque guitar, Stradivari, using plans by Jan van Cappelle.  One of the daunting parts was the rosette so I decided to do some practice.  Here is my first completed rosette.  Not as nice as the laser cut ones you can buy but I'm pleased and confident that I'll be able to make something halfway decent.  I'll make the actual rosette about 3mm larger than this one.  Here I used pearwood and archival cotton paper (used by many contemporary makers).  I'd still like to try actual parchment as I suspect that it'll be tougher than the cotton paper.  I'm still researching and practicing but hope to start on the guitar ,in earnest, in the next coupla' weeks.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/8/2020 at 8:08 AM, Thomas Coleman said:

My latest violin.  I don't antique instruments in general but for several reasons decided to do it on this one.  The last photo looks like there is white wood in one of the scars but that's just a reflection.  Lots to learn.  Excelsior.  I'm very pleased with how it sounds.

 

IMG_1015.jpg

IMG_1016.jpg

IMG-1006.jpg

IMG-1018.jpg

Nicely done Tommy!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind words Joe.  It's obvious to me that I still have far to go.  One thing I'd like to do different is the addition of many many more micro scratches.  It certainly comes as no surprise to me, but antiquing is very challenging.   Excelsior OR as you might say...on we go

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.