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Help with purfling?


Crimson0087
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So I ordered purfling offline. It seems to be barely over a millimeter wide and 2mm deep. I used a purfling too that I ordered to mark the purfling then I used an exacto knife to carve along that marked line and used a purfling cleanout tool that I got off amazon that is supposedly ibex brand? Anyways. I dont know how but my purfling channel seems too wide. Videos I see online people have to hammer the purfling in and Mine slides in with way to much wiggle room. Is this a lost cause? I dont want to start over b/c I want to get a whole violin completed because I am sure I am going to make more mistakes along the way better to make them all on the same violin then attempt the second with that knowledge. Any ideas on ways I can make this "acceptable" to just finish it? Should I glue it in and fill in the space with epoxy? wood filler? I posted a pic along with a pic of tools I used.

Violin1.jpg

Violin2.jpg

violin3.jpg

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Michael is correct that you need to adjust your tool to the width of your purfling before marking the groove. As he says you could now find some wider purfling but I can see that your groove is actually of varying width so you may still have to clean that up to get the wider purfling to fit. 

I always set the marker to what looks right then mark and cut a groove in some maple and spruce scraps and then fit a scrap of the purfling in and see how tight it is. if it is a tiny bit tight you can scrape the purfling a hair or you can adjust the marker. Also a good idea to scrape a small chamfer on the bottom corner of the purfling to allow it to slide into the groove. At this point you might see if using  the trois brins method of using three seperate pieces of veneer held together in the hand and fed into the glue filled groove might bail you out with your uneven groove. This method can do a very neat job if done accurately but can also give a slightly funky but adequate purfling job which looks fine on antiqued instruments. I usually recommend that beginners not get into antiquing until they can make a decent straight fiddle but you have kind of backed yourself into a corner on this one.

Incidentally I think Xacto knives have no place in violin making. A sharp violin makers knife will do a better job of following the line of your marker and not jump as much when crossing the grain lines of the spruce. Good luck with this. I agree that you should go ahead and finish this instrument as best you can and then avoid repeating your mistakes on the next one. I also recommend getting Brian Derber's "Manual of violin making" and following his directions carefully. It is the one book I have seen which can help a beginner make a decent violin on the first attempt.

 

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That all sounds like great advice. 

If I could just add a comment from my experience as a beginner.  I did a similar thing on my first attempt and was surprised and pleased how good it ended up looking after glueing.  The wood swelled a little and the hide glue filled most gaps.

By the way, I found I had to file down  the sides of my clean-cut tool as it was too thick for groove width.  I wish I had known to turn & shim the blades.  Hope you enjoy the journey, it's all about learning. 

 

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Saw that too, Michael. I have an old tool that this one appears to be a knock off of, and the blades being shaped correctly is what makes it work. As you say, single bevel.

 

I'd add that sharpening both edges and using a rounded "spear" profile is useful, so that it can cut on both the push or the pull. This allows you to take fiber orientation into account. Using the tool set up this way, along with the included depth stop, allows be to cut the entire purfling channel with the marker itself, rather than switching to a knife, other than in the corners. 

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36 minutes ago, Dennis J said:

Purfling tools or purling markers are just that and are of little use. I've found a tool that cuts with a single blade followed by a knife is the best way to go.

 

769408441_DSC_00022.jpg

Those are nice! Reminds me of something Hargrave uses. 

I'd argue that the well made older "French" markers cut beautifully - but not as they come out of the box. Like all tools, they must be set up properly.

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@Dennis J

Is that a tool you made or purchased?

@JacksonMaberry @Michael Darnton

Are you guys referring to one made like these two?

image.png.348cb4e71c355b85e2112fa573bf930b.png

image.png.0623aae34f073fe2fc828b564e5e365a.png

 

@Crimson0087

I've had slightly better success with the similar tools.

Ive only used the purfling *cutter* as a marker. I only slightly scratched the surface then came back and carefully cut the purfling miter.

I grinded the tips of the purfling marker to 1.3mm at the tips. *measured with caliper*

Also i had to modify my cheap purfling pick as it was 1.8mm wide. Ground this down to 1.2mm.

As a side note ill be replacing my cheap tools most likely with something similar to what Dennis J is using. Picture below is my first attempt. Don't use for a reference as how it should look...

Hope this helps with tweaks and method to your current toolset.

image.png.26442a08569c4cbfa4e0fe93a6c8031a.png

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Just now, CaseyLouque said:

@Dennis J

Is that a tool you made or purchased?

@JacksonMaberry @Michael Darnton

Are you guys referring to one made like these two?

image.png.348cb4e71c355b85e2112fa573bf930b.png

image.png.0623aae34f073fe2fc828b564e5e365a.png

 

@Crimson0087

I've had slightly better success with the similar tools.

Ive only used the purfling *cutter* as a marker. I only slightly scratched the surface then came back and carefully cut the purfling miter.

I grinded the tips of the purfling marker to 1.3mm at the tips. *measured with caliper*

Also i had to modify my cheap purfling pick as it was 1.8mm wide. Ground this down to 1.2mm.

As a side note ill be replacing my cheap tools most likely with something similar to what Dennis J is using. Picture below is my first attempt. Don't use for a reference as how it should look...

Hope this helps with tweaks and method to your current toolset.

image.png.26442a08569c4cbfa4e0fe93a6c8031a.png

No, I am not referring to the ibex style cutter, which is held from above. I have never been able to make those useful for more than marking, and I don't even like them for that. But many people have done just fine with them, so ultimately it's a matter of preference. Whatever works!

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If that purfling cutter is the same one that I got from Amazon, and it appears to be,  You'll have to grind and reshape the cutting tips.  Mine came with needle like points beveled all the way around.  They need to be single bevel rounded tip.  They can be placed both bevels facing in or both facing out or both facing the same way for varying widths of channel cut.  I bevel the edges of the purfling that go into the channel. You can scrape them thinner if needed. I lightly sand the perfling because the strips are quite rough as they come.    They slide in easily no gaps no hammering needed.   Test fit on scraps first.  

The purfling pick you have looks like the same one I have also. It works well for the purpose.  

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I bought that purfling marker for my first build and had the same experience.  Live and learn.

Regrinding to a single bevel and shimming is the way to go if you keep that tool.  The Ibex marker shown above is better quality and more stable.  That is what I switched to.

Agree to ditch the Xacto knife.  I use a fine blade carving knife by Swiss Made.  I find this easier than a traditional violin knife.  (Although I have meaning to try the Hock violin knife blades.)

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I made them Casey. The blades are 1.8 mm thick and 6 mm wide. Probably a bit wider than ideal. One is set for the inner cut and the other the outer. As others say it is important that they are not too pointy. They are bevelled on one side only, the idea being to use the one set for the outer cut to have the flat side of the blade facing out, and the other the opposite way.

They work really well, especially across the grain.

 

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10 minutes ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

I admit I'm rather surprised anyone has had any success with those purfling pickers.  How do you do it?  I've found them to be utterly worthless, worse for their intended purpose than any jury-rig I've ever tried.  Not trying to be overly negative; just could someone please explain to me how you make it work?  

I've always preferred a very small chisel - I agree that the "picks" are not all that intuitive

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So tell me what you guys think of this. My purfling channel is almost 2 mm wide which is even too wide for cello purfling...I was thinking about ripping some 2 mm think maple on band saw dying it black and gluing it in place...not perfect but then again this is my "learning" violin. Thoughts?

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