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Woodworking blog entries tagged with 'lutherie'

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #18: Violin bridge jigs

02-07-2017 08:09 PM by Dave Rutan | 3 comments »

It stands to reason that if I need bridge jigs for a cello, [link 1] [link 2] I’ll need bridge jigs for a violin as well. I made these out of some scrap wood. The bridge fitting jig (on the right above) was made from oak. The string jack/lifter is from poplar. I made the blank for it at the time I made the blank for the cello string lifter. Brass hardware gives a tiny touch of class to jigs which are very utilitarian. I finished the string lifter with golden oak stain and th...

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Project Ideas, Hmm... #7: Luthier toolbox

02-06-2017 08:09 PM by Dave Rutan | 9 comments »

The rumors of my demise have been exaggerated. Between starting to learn this new job, mostly from home, and running my daughter back and forth to concert rehearsals, I’ve had little time to do much aside from gearing up to repair instruments. Which brings me to the title of this post. Right now these tools are living in a shoebox, both the ones I’m using and the ones I anticipate needing in the future. I’ve been thinking about what kind of tool box I could build to house...

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #17: String jack or lifter for cello

01-23-2017 09:36 PM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

This is a device that lifts the strings off of the bridge of a musical instrument so that the bridge can be removed during the fitting/adjustment process. I think i first saw one of these in a video on YouTube. After looking it up, I decided it was definitely something I could make. It’s basically a thick bridge, this one is for a 3/4 cello, which has a top piece which lifts with the assistance of a screw. The top piece runs on guides. The commercial products run in slides on the si...

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #16: A few hole clamps

01-23-2017 02:06 AM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

I made these in anticipation of someday being tasked to repair cracks in violins. I made them from a, (or a few) Pend-A-flex hanger frames (one is shown above framing the three clamps.) The U-shaped part is threaded on both ends, while the straight bar has a threadable through hole in each end. I simply bent the frames into a C shape as small as possible on my machinists vise and fit either a 1/4 inch bolt or a #10 bolt in an appropriate hole. The smallest of the three I had to flatted th...

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #15: Improved bow hair gauge out of brass

01-13-2017 08:09 PM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

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...

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Adventures in Lutherie #8: Simple violin repair

01-11-2017 06:52 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

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...

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Adventures in Lutherie #7: I'm an apprentice!

01-10-2017 08:40 PM by Dave Rutan | 3 comments »

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...

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #14: 2 chisels rehandled

01-09-2017 02:24 AM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

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...

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #13: Violin opening knife

01-08-2017 11:54 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

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...

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #12: Etc.

01-05-2017 10:55 PM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

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.

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