My first hair gauge [link] wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be so I kept an upgrade in the back of my head. The other night I spotted this string gauge [Below] and it inspired me to make something extremely similar to measure bow hair. I made this new hair gauge using brass strip 1/2 inch wide and about 2 inches long. I used a wood coffee stirer to space them apart about 1/16 of an inch and soldered a brass cleat along one edge on both sides. Then I cleaned it up with my benc...
won’t make this a regular thing, but I wanted to post this first one. This is a 3/4 size violin with a beak in the tuning peg box. The break was clean and simple to fix with glue. Epoxy was used because the break line went Right through a tuning peg hole. One clamp held everything perfectly in place while the glue cured. Just reiterating that these are student rental instruments. The idea is o keep them playable. In this case the repair is nearly invisible, but this will not al...
I think today I could mark as when I entered an ‘apprenticeship’ as an ‘Orchestral Instrument Repair Technician’. I’m doing piecework as I learn, but the owner of the shop wants me to be stationed there eventually. It’s better for business. I’ve got a steep learning curve ahead of me. the better and faster I work, the more I get paid. I’m repairing student rental instruments, so they aren’t going to be ‘restored’ to showr...
I had two chisels without handles. The flatter one is from of old. It was from my dad’s stuff. It’s purpose when I was growing up was to pry open the old ‘extra’ refrigerator we had in the basement. The handle of the fridge had broken somewhere in my pre-history. The handle on the chisel was clear yellow plastic. The plastic broke some years ago when I was using the chisel to do chisel stuff. Surprise! It lived for some time in one of my tool boxes, handleless...
A violin opening knife is a very thin, semi-flexible wide-bladed tool used to separate the parts of a violin. The glue used to hold such instruments together is brittle and will let go under stress. Apparently that is a feature, not a flaw. For mine, I was too cheap and impatient to find a thin cheese knife, so I took a dollar store spackle knife and after removing the blade from the plastic handle and trimming it down, I sandwiched it between two pieces of mahogany with epoxy. Whe...
I haven’t learned to make these items yet. A pair of pliers, mine are parallel pliers that I got from a friend, a good pair of hair cutting scissors, and a fine tooth comb.
See more photos on my project page [link] A bow vise is used to hold a violin bow while replacing the horse hair that vibrates the strings. I started by looking up such a thing and finding photos of (mostly) the commercially available models. Then I printed out a few screen shots for the details. I didn’t absolutely duplicate the commercial model, but I got something that will work. The wood is oak throughout. A few bibs and bobs of the hardware will be replaced with brass once I ge...
If this looks like a screwdriver with the business end cut off, you’re not far off. One of the luthiers I watched used just that to push the little maple plugs/wedges in to secure the hair in the bow. I decided to make mine from scratch anyway. The handle is a scrap piece of mahogany this time with a ferrule attached. The push stick is a piece of rod from an old pendaflex folder frame. I just made sure I slightly rounded the business end and smoothed it so that it wouldn’...
In one of the videos I watched on bow re-hairing, it was sugested that a tiny rat tail file would come in handy. I happen to have a double set of tiny files, so I thought I’d put a handle on the one I apparently need. I took one of the easily discarded wooden handles from a used foam brush and drilled out the plastic tang that remained in the handle. Then I fit a copper ferrule on it and glued in the file. (The hole was just a bit loose for the file tang.) I did a bit of sanding...
This tool is made from the business end of one of those nut picks that come with nut cracking sets. In a video about bow re-hairing I saw the technician using a tool like this to push the abalone slide back over the hair on the frog end of the bow. I sad to myself ‘I can make one of those!’ After cutting the nut pick in two, I mounted it in a scrap piece of white oak and strengthened it witrh a ferrule. Even so, I learned that the hole you drill to accept the tool ne...
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