Saturday, April 06, 2019

I finished my third violin. I call this one the Donna Marie.  It is not my best work craftsmanship-wise, but I believe it is the best sounding of the three.  It needs some setup work but seems to have good potential.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

I haven't been very active on this blog for quite some time. Still, that doesn't mean I haven't been doing things!  I have always been interested in the creative arts and have been doing some oil painting along with some furniture restoration for clients.  Below are a couple of things I have been working on. Not great, but fun to do.

Holly in Zimbabwe
Three Fruits
Elephant At Tea
Red Elephant with Vase
Self Portrait

Friday, September 04, 2015

Cherry Credenza

My Son-in-Law and my daughter requested that I build this cherry credenza for them when I offered to make them something for a wedding present.  They are both architects and decided to create a functional design for their New York apartment. It was quite an experience bringing their ideas to life, much different than building something of one's own design.  The collaboration was a joy and they were happy with the result.  There are two full extension drawers on each side and a center shelf in the middle.  The drawer on the right side is set up for a record player with openings for wires where needed.  The back of the credenza is fully finished wood so the unit could be floated in a room that would allow it to be viewed from all sides.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Old Forgotten Cello Restoration

This cello was given to me by a gentleman I have known for many years at the church I formally attended.  He had no intention of doing anything with it and decided that he would give it to me.  In my mind, I hoped it would be in reasonable condition.  It turned out to be in pieces.  The top was in four pieces, a section of rib from the neck to the corner block was detached completely with a small section of wood missing.  The biggest problem was something I had never seen before. The neck and top block was made out of one piece of wood!  Since the projection was off and the neck was too short to begin with, I decided to put a new neck, top block and bottom block into the instrument.  The original bottom block was not wide enough to install an end pin.  The original bass bar was very small and had to be replaced along with a bass bar crack almost the length of the instrument that had to be glued and cleated.  Some might say all this work for an antique factory instrument wasn't worth it.  I wanted to hear that old wood sing again, as I believe old instruments have a tonal advantage over more modern instruments in many cases.  It took a long time to complete this project, but the instrument really sings, now.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Irene Violin

 This is the Irene violin (2014) I made in honor of my 95-year-old mother. It was made in a pattern taken from the 1715 Titian Stradavarius violin.  My mother was very influential in the development of her children's interest in music and taught us all to play and sing when we were very young.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Simple Purfling Jig Setup

I am in the process of making another violin. The back plate is the next phase and I wanted to have a more predictable and secure purfling jig arrangement for doing the harder maple wood back.  Below is a simple design I came up with, as many woodworkers do, of a stabilizing jig.  I thought I might share this with anyone interested.
 This jig was attached to my table saw fence, held in place with two clamps.  The purfling channel cutting jig is held in place by the wood arms and is secured with a c clamp.  Two blocks of wood next to the stabilizing arm eliminate movement from side to side and the weight of the c clamp over the purfling jig is sufficient to keep the jig down at the proper depth. also important with this jig is to have an external power source switch within arms distance as you cut so you can turn the Dremel tool on and off easily.  The Dremel tool is fixed and you move the violin plate with both hands to the right around the jig.  The process is scary but is very controllable. Just make sure to keep the plate in contact with the plate edge perpendicularly to the cutter and down with hand pressure as you work and you won't have any problems. Always test on scrap wood before cutting into the plate to check depth and distance from the plate edge.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Greg's Cello Restoration

I completed the repair of this cello. The neck was broken at the base of the old scroll and the neck was broken out of the instrument destroying the button at the top back of the body.  The button had been repaired before and was mutilated beyond usefulness.   I morticed in a new button tab from inside the back of the instrument, removed the bass bar, added support (cleats) to a bass bar crack, replaced the bass bar over the cleats, replaced the top and installed a new neck.  It was quite a project but a joy in that the instrument was my brother's high school instrument!  Please click on the link below to view the restoration process