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I am always awestruck when I see such beautiful and precise work as this and realise that although I will never be able to do work this good I need to get off the computer and into my workshop as soon as I've typed this! (I will probably cut my finger again, within the hour?)

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yeah don't cut yourself, I did that recently and realized it's not a good way to get a protein sealer on the fiddle... :D   

Dave what kind of varnish do you use?  

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23 hours ago, MikeC said:

Dave what kind of varnish do you use?  

Colophony/amber/linseed. Sometimes colophony/linseed

18 hours ago, Urban Luthier said:

I agree your purfling work is stunning Dave! Is that a pear centre?

Thank you. Well spotted, it is indeed pear. 

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On 1/13/2021 at 11:27 PM, Thomas Coleman said:

Really nice work.  Great job!

Thank you very much, Thomas.

On 1/14/2021 at 5:55 AM, catnip said:

Did you get you pear purfling from Karin Rost?

No, I don’t get it from there.

If you wish to try out some different types of purfling, it can be quite easy to make, if a bit messy.
You only need a piece of pear, holly, boxwood, or whatever you fancy, which is long enough to go round the bottom bout from corner to corner. If you join you purfling at the centre, you could use a much smaller piece.
For one instrument, veneers 20mm wide will be sufficient, you can make them to your own desired thicknesses.

If you happen to have a glazier nearby, some offcuts from shop windows make excellent cauls for gluing the veneer sandwich together. They are very flat, heavy, and easy to clean up.
Gently warm up the glass a little, wrap cling film over the face, and place it on a flat surface. Tape the veneers together at one end, brush glue over the first black, lay the centre piece, brush on more glue, and press down the final black with a wallpaper roller.
Wipe away the excess glue, and apply tape to the loose end, another piece of cling film over the sandwich, and finally the other piece of glass over the top. You can put a few light weights on top just to hold things.

After about 6 hours, take it out and remove the cling film, replacing it with kitchen paper, and put it back between the cauls. If you do not do this, it will twist and curl up. If it stays wet too long, the colour can leach from the blacks.

Once fully dry, straighten one side with a plane, then use a cutting gauge or knife to slice off your strips.



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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/26/2021 at 1:51 PM, MikeC said:

The ground color looks good.  Can you say what it is or is it a secret sauce?  

A lot of this is simply from UV tanning. Although slow, it is quite effective.
From samples I tried, it was clear that what works for flamed maple, didn’t work quite as well for quilted. 
For this instrument, I did something different to my usual method. A series of aqueous solutions, followed by a protein sealer.



On 1/26/2021 at 5:02 PM, ctanzio said:

Wowza! That purfling and edge work is mind-blowing. Well done!

Thank you very much. I find purfling one of the slowest parts of making an instrument, but when it turns out well, it’s definitely time well spent.

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