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Woodworking blog entries tagged with 'shopmade'

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #29: Brass bridge templates and bevel gauge

09-05-2017 06:17 PM by Dave Rutan | 4 comments »

To badly mis-paraphrase a character from Babylon 5, “Zathras wants to have something nice.” A while ago I made a set of templates out of plastic for creating the arc that is on the top of violin and cello bridges. I was determined that eventually I would replace them with brass ones once I found a source for the brass. Well, eBay sells this 5-inch brass ruler that is an inch wide for less than $2 each… So I decided to start with a template for a full size viol...

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #28: Violin and Cello Stick Clamps

08-20-2017 01:50 AM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

I have a project coming up, so I’m gearing up beforehand. I have a cello to repair in a fairly major way. The larger clamps are for the cello, though they may be long enough for a double bass, or at least not a full size one. The smaller clamps are meant for violins, though they may even fit on a viola. The sticks are 1/4” dowels and the heads are mahagony. There is a slight chance the heads might come off even though they are glued, so I may pin them before use. The cla...

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #26: A few deep reach clamps

08-10-2017 01:18 AM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

I made one of these as an experiment and I ened up using it in the orchestral repair shop to hold two edges of a violin face crack. I figured it couldn’t hurt to make a few more. Sometimes I have to repair multiple instruments in a day. I made two sizes, 5 in. And 7 in deep with a capacity of 2-1/4 inches. Turns out this is a little small for a full size fiddle, but then most of our violins are 3/4 size and smaller. I’ll make a few larger ones eventually for full size v...

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3D Router #2: X-Axis

07-29-2017 01:44 PM by bj383ss | 3 comments »

So on with the 3D router build. I have had this project complete for several months but realized I never post the updates on LJ’s. So all this is copy and pasted from my GJ thread. I have about 96% of the materials and parts to complete. Missing a few misc screws. Been working on it the last 2 days and here is my progress. Cutting and drilling the aluminum angle iron for the X axis runners. I clocked all the screws. Both sides done. This is simple work...

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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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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 #11: Get a grip on your bow!

01-05-2017 08:05 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

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...

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Shopmade Luthier Tools #10: Blunt push stick

01-04-2017 11:56 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

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’...

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