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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

What is "a master level woodworker"?

I would not.

Yup. Significance?

Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. Some people make a darned good living making and posting YouTube videos.

I'm certain based on your reputation, that you're a very highly skilled luthier and no doubt even a highly skilled woodworker (those two things are not the same as you seemed to suggest from what I understood). I don't imagine that reputation comes from your ability to criticize others though. Particularly when those others are highly accomplished and offer up their knowledge for free to watchers of their videos, with information perfectly relevant to this particular discussion. Whether it's successful for them is hardly relevant in assessing their skill or the value of their content.

Even if you're the greatest luthier & woodworker in the world, if you're not sharing your knowledge it's not really super helpful to anyone but you, and perhaps you're even a better woodworker than Mr. Sellers, but that doesn't make his insight any less valuable to the person asking these questions or his skill any less valuable either to those seeking insight. Making YouTube videos is probably not that far removed from taking time to teach apprentices. I don't think you could say a violin maker who takes his time teaching apprentices isn't generally a good maker, just like taking time to make videos doesn't automatically mean he's a mediocre woodworker. And often successful videos are successful because they're offering something of value. This was my point, your suggestion that he "ain't much" seemed pretty... unreasonable to me and not based on any real familiarity with Mr. Sellers' books, videos or work.

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23 hours ago, Mat Roop said:

Ok... dumb question... a powered jointer has two tables adjustable to match the thickness of the cut, otherwise the joint will not be straight ... . Why is it then that there are no hand planes with two adjustable soles.... would that not produce a better straighter edge?

There have been adjustable sole hand planes. bowmaker John Bolander in his bow making book advised you to lower the whole front of the plane to the throat by .001”. Planes are just a fixed blade. There’s many ways to makes them, they’ve pretty much all been done. Go around the world and you can find all kinds of weird, wonderful, ways to shape wood.

For the OP. I own an ECE wood jointer. Several other wood jointers. As well as a number of metal planes (#2-8 Stanley), a bunch of Japanese wood planes, I’ve got planitis. If you are new, just buy a high quality LN or LV and get working.

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Veritas and Lie Nielsen planes are as accurately made as anyone would need for any violin making job. I have some Stanley and Record planes which I use for rough work.  The only advantage they have over bevel-up block planes is that they can be adjusted without loosening the blade. And, while I can get them sharpened and set up quite well they just aren't as reliable as the blocks. None of them has a flat sole and they can be difficult to set up for fine cuts.

I can plane rib stock down to 1.2 mm with the blocks and that requires blades to be set very accurately, which can be done with the blocks.

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6 minutes ago, Dennis J said:

Veritas and Lie Nielsen planes are as accurately made as anyone would need for any violin making job. I have some Stanley and Record planes which I use for rough work.  The only advantage they have over bevel-up block planes is that they can be adjusted without loosening the blade. And, while I can get them sharpened and set up quite well they just aren't as reliable as the blocks. None of them has a flat sole and they can be difficult to set up for fine cuts.

I can plane rib stock down to 1.2 mm with the blocks and that requires blades to be set very accurately, which can be done with the blocks.

The rib stock I've had a bit of a struggle with, I have used primarily my block plane like you say but it seems one way or another I always have to work against the grain... on one end or another and even finely set I get tear out to a degree. So I've had to finish with sanding blocks and scrapers. I'm sure I have a long way to go to get better at every aspect of violin making.

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29 minutes ago, Mike Atkins said:

The rib stock I've had a bit of a struggle with, I have used primarily my block plane like you say but it seems one way or another I always have to work against the grain... on one end or another and even finely set I get tear out to a degree. So I've had to finish with sanding blocks and scrapers. I'm sure I have a long way to go to get better at every aspect of violin making.

Plane with toothed vertical blade (scraper plane) and 1 mm thick scraper. Sufficiently fast and no tear-out at all.

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I know what you mean Mike. I manage planing quite long lengths of rib stock down from 2 mm plus to 1.2 using the planing jigs in the pic. The bigger one has a stop at then end about 1.8 mm high which I use to start planing ribs or lining material.

They have sides above the bed level so you don't have to worry about the plane wandering sideways too much. I use a low angle block with a toothed blade and a number 4 bevel-up initially to plane down close to the 1.8 mm stop level on the big jig. At that thickness the ribs can bend up and and you can't control things so I switch to the smaller jig. That one has 120 grit sandpaper clamped at bed level.

I now use the number 4 block, which is sharpened at about 45 deg. plus, to finish planing down to 1.2-1.3 mm. At this stage I have a good idea which direction of planing is the best as far as tear-out is concerned and I can plane each side successfully. Even lying on the sandpaper the rib can sometimes slide forward so the plane has to be set fairly fine. If I had a scraper plane I'd probably use it but the system I'm using is very accurate and quite fast.

Gets complicated, don't it.

DSC_0002.jpg

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The best way to join plates is the way which works best for you and takes the least time. For a beginner following the advice of one and only one successful maker and using their method until you have mastered it is probably the way to go. 

Brian Derber's book is probably the one book I have seen which I think a beginner working alone could follow and make a decent first instrument.

My own experience with wooden planes is that I spent about an hour with a straight scraper tuning my Ulmia jointer plane 37 years ago and have not had to touch it since other than sharpening the blade and adjusting the depth of cut depending on the wood and the weather. I prefer to clamp my joints especially cellos and leave a barely visible catenaric lengthwise hollow which I inspect with a strong spot light held behind the joint. I have explained my procedure in detail in previous threads on this forum.

The most important thing is to learn what the unglued and finished joints are supposed to look like. How you get there can be achieved in many ways. Pick one and go for it.

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1 hour ago, Davide Sora said:

Plane with toothed vertical blade (scraper plane) and 1 mm thick scraper. Sufficiently fast and no tear-out at all.

Unfortunately I don't have a toothed blade or a scraper plane, perhaps I should invest in them or get better at sharpening scrapers, which is another challenge I'm working on. :)

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8 hours ago, Mike Atkins said:

Unfortunately I don't have a toothed blade or a scraper plane, perhaps I should invest in them or get better at sharpening scrapers, which is another challenge I'm working on. :)

You can make the scraper plane, it's not difficult, just buy the toothed blade (someone also makes the blade by modifying a normal blade, but in my opinion it's not worth it).

I bought this one: https://www.dictum.com/en/plane-blades-baeo/toothed-blade-for-stanley-block-plane-no-9-703014

815765177_1_Pialladentataperfasce.jpg.48a4ba8dc630a29424332c918f6b5490.jpg1832327735_2_Pialladentataperfasce.thumb.jpg.d0bfe7c3e259a32f56dfee13db8ddcdb.jpg

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1 hour ago, Davide Sora said:

You can make the scraper plane, it's not difficult, just buy the toothed blade (someone also makes the blade by modifying a normal blade, but in my opinion it's not worth it).

I bought this one: https://www.dictum.com/en/plane-blades-baeo/toothed-blade-for-stanley-block-plane-no-9-703014

815765177_1_Pialladentataperfasce.jpg.48a4ba8dc630a29424332c918f6b5490.jpg1832327735_2_Pialladentataperfasce.thumb.jpg.d0bfe7c3e259a32f56dfee13db8ddcdb.jpg

very nice!

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

Shavings from planing a set of cello ribs: regular blade, super-sharp. Minimal throat opening. Plane skewed at least 45 degrees when cutting. Rib clamped at one end.

 

1265.jpg

Skewing the plane is a good tip. This looks a lot like my shop floor some days.

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I second @David Burgess's opinion on the Lie Nielsen plane its a great tool and will save you a great deal of time to fine tune it. If one was to use an old Stanley one, it would most definitely need a lot of flattening which can take a LONG time. Especially with jointer planes. And if you are doing this professionally this time that you will spend tuning it will have to be taken away from other more important tasks in the shop, like actually making an instrument. Even if you took the time to make it perfect it would never be as good as the Lie Nielsen. Old Stanley's have thinner bodies than the Lie Nielsen ones which means they vibrate more, especially when planing highly flamed maple. The same applies for their thin blades which can chatter significantly.

That being said there are more affordable solutions than the Lie Nielsen which offer the same precision. The only thing that sets them apart is probably just the finish. Mainly when it comes to deburring and probably the lacquer will be a little better.

Such planes are the ones from WoodRiver if you are in the US/Canada or the Quangsheng/Juuma. I tested the Juuma no. 6 which is the one I own, on a granite plate for flatness. Couldn't even get the 0.05mm underneath the plane. I also checked the sides for squareness (in case you plan to use one on a shooting board) and they where spot on square. The blade was also very thick as was the chip breaker. Frog and lever cap made out of Brass just like the Lie Nielsen. Its not as cheap as the Stanley since it costs around 200+ € but neither as expensive as the Lie Nielsen which costs twice as much. Great value for money, if I may say so myself.

Here's a picture of the plane.

 

juuma-hobel-300039-2.jpg

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I've used old Stanley Bailey #6 plane for my centerjoints with no problem. We checked the plane for flatness (my FIL was machinist - grinder for airplane parts) and it is nearly perfect (better than my new Stanley sweethreart 9 1/2) and I guess it will stay such for few more years to come.

BTW, making block planes is fun I made one after seeeing Davide Sora's toothed plane in old thread. I made it not 90 degrees but something like 65 degrees so when standard blade is bevel up the angle is close to 90 but I've used it with blade bevel down with great results on curly maple. (I used older plane blade I had laying in the shop for years, I cut teeth with fine triangular diamond file).

IMG_1397.thumb.JPG.03b12824d4f2a2be7f28d76edd429856.JPG

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On 1/4/2022 at 6:04 PM, Mike Atkins said:

I don't think you could say a violin maker who takes his time teaching apprentices isn't generally a good maker, ...

I don't see how aspiring to teach necessarily has anything to do with being a good maker, or the quality of the teaching. Some hacks love to teach, and some really good makers don't. And vice-versa.

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Yup. Many bona fide "experts" can't teach at all...either because they don't want to or because they really don't have the ability to teach.

And there are many teachers of subjects that they might not excel in - say, if they had to take part in a competition - but are more than able to teach the subject. Those teachers are very aware (mostly) of what their personal limitations are and deal with it accordingly.

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12 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Anyone can post a YouTube video. No vetting, peer review, or skill in their trade required.

No vetting, peer review or skil needed? Sounds like I have what it takes to make youtube videos... :D   I was thinking of doing just that during my next build.  

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Anyone buying a plane should know that bad machining can affect its performance in many ways. It is not just a matter of how flat the sole is. Stanley style planes are quite complex and any misalignment of the frog because of bad machining is fatal.

I know that Veritas and Lie Nielsen, the two brands I'm familiar with, can be relied on to work properly. And I do know that there plenty of brands out there that are just not worth wasting your time with. They might be half the price but they can be real shockers.

I think  low-angle bevel-up planes are the best way to go.

 

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38 minutes ago, Dennis J said:

I think  low-angle bevel-up planes are the best way to go.

 

I am following the Derber method for my first build but not religiously. Michael Darnton’s minimalist philosophy of using no more than you need to get the job done appeals to me. So, I decided to try making the center joint with the Veritas jack plane I have. I might make my own wooden jointer or buy a metal one later on. 
 

4 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Some hacks love to teach, and some really good makers don't. And vice-versa.

I completely agree with your overall point that you have to be judicious in who you take advice from. The problem for someone in my position who comes to this with very little knowledge is that you don’t know what you don’t know.
 

I try to find answers in a variety of places including YouTube and this forum and implement what I think makes sense given my limited knowledge. I do try to give more weight to people who seem to have the respect of their peers. I never take anyone’s word as gospel though. To be fair to Paul Sellers in particular, he describes himself as a lifelong amateur woodworker on his website. So at least he’s not claiming to be more than he is. 
 

I really appreciate all the discussion on this post.

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