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surdo
04-21-2016, 05:55 AM
Hello ukulele makers!

I've got the bug to teach myself lutherie and make soprano ukuleles and braguinhas/machetes. I'd like to ask your advice on tools. I'm writing from Brazil, where it's not always a good idea to buy from Ebay because of the very bad exchange rate and very high import taxes, which in my state amount to around 100% on the value of the purchase and postage.

For now, I have a few questions and I'll break this up in to topics:

1. Chisels

For chisels I will try and buy locally. There are a few "new old stock" options floating around and from what I've seen available on the biggest online supplier (MercadoLivre), I've been able to narrow it down to 3 options/brands: Marpel (these ones, supposedly from Sheffield, England), Narex (Czech) and Mifer (Spanish)

I've read good thinks about all 3 brands in the 3 links below, although I'm inclined to go for the Marpel set at R$379 (that's in Brazilian Real)

Marpel -

http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-716798275-antigo-magnifico-formo-ingles-marples-sheffield-kit-4-novo-_JM

Mifer - (nice wooden handles but the two middle sized chisels seem to have a similar width)

http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-711030574-antigo-formo-mifer-spain-kit-c4-belissimos-cabos-pau-santo-_JM

Narex - getting pricey at R$500

http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-685175213-narex-conjunto-com-4-formoes-_JM


Would you agree that the Marpels are the best option? Any advantage in the Narex besides wooden handles?


2. Planes

Since I'm only going to make sopranos and braguinhas to begin with, can I get away with using only a block plane? These are expensive new R$500 and difficult to find second-hand. I may buy one of these on ebay and pay the duties.

I also plan to but a Stanley Spoke Shave no. 51 and a Stanley cabinet scraper (No. 80) both of which I can get for an OK price.

Will I need a bigger plane than the block plane? Old Stanley No. 4s are more common and relatively cheap to buy here.

3. Sharpening.

I'll buy a sharpening jig for the chisels and plane blades. I already have a King Home Stone which I believe is 1000 grit. I understand an 8000 grit is good for finishing however the Japanese stones are too expensive. I may instead buy a thick pane of glass and use sandpaper. Which grit sandpaper should I use to approximate an 8000 grit stone?

Carborundum stones at 8000 grit are available locally at an OK price. Are these an good? The ones I've seen are meant to be used with water. Better than sand paper?

4. Power tools / saws

I have a drill. Band saws of a 1/4 HP are relatively cheap - 1/2 HP a possibility and anything over 1HP too expensive. Are the lower power machines worth the money (around R$500)? I'm thinking of holding off on buying one and having a carpenter mill my first pieces (I have some nice planks of Brazilian walnut I'd like to use for sides and backs). I haven't really thought though how I will make or obtain a mould...

I'll try and make do with a coping saw and will buy some kind of razor saw. Various japanese models are available here. A gent saw? Suggestions please!

5. Work bench. I know many people suggest making one's own but I'm thinking of getting a hobbyist's model like this with two wood vices (1.6 * 0.5 * 0.9m) - around R$600


6. Plans - I have a precise outline, dimensions and photos of an instrument that want to make, which is actually a 19thC cavaquinho, but one with gut strings - so, much like a braguinha or soprano ukulele.

7. Books. Someone suggested to me "Make your own Ukulele" by Bill Plant.


I know there are many other things I'll need - but this is what I've researched so far.

Your suggestions/comments are very welcome!


Thanks

Michael N.
04-21-2016, 07:39 AM
I'll answer a few of the tool questions.
Sharpening. If you already have 1,000 g you are almost there. After the 1,000G stone just use a piece of hard leather, perhaps some polishing substance on it. It won't be the absolute ultimate edge but it should be good enough. I use a 1200G diamond stone followed by the leather. I do have an 8,000G waterstone but I no longer use it. Just remember that when using the leather you should strop at a slightly lower angle. Leather has the tendency to round the edge too much if you use the same angle as you did on the stone.

Chisels. Anything will do. Chisels are not complicated tools. Providing you can get a sharp edge and it stays sharp for a reasonable period of time then there's nothing to worry about. The vast, vast majority of chisels will fulfill that function.
If you can buy a decent No 4 for not much money you may as well. Just try to make sure it's an older plane. Made before the 1970's, if possible.
The Stanley No.80 are useful. Not sure about a spokeshave on a Soprano. They might be a bit large and cumbersome.

ProfChris
04-21-2016, 08:58 AM
I wouldn't buy a spokeshave. Carving a soprano neck I use chisels and a cabinet (card) scraper (cheap and very useful, for final thicknessing as well). You can manage with just a block plane but a no 4 or 3 speeds things up. A bandsaw saves effort, but unless you want to resaw a coping saw will do everything you need but slower.

Maybe add a Japanese style pull saw, which can also be used to cut fret slots?

ksquine
04-21-2016, 09:09 AM
- I'd go for the Marples chisels and learn to sharpen them. Better chisels hold a sharp edge longer but if you're an occasional builder, its not a problem to sharpen after each build
- The glass plate is good for sharpening. There are a couple different scales used for sandpaper grit. See what scale is printed on your sandpaper and google the equivalent. I only go to 4000 grit on my water stones for sharpening
- A block plane is good, but I would get a #4 bench plane before a spoke shave. Uke necks are very short and if the wood grain is wrong....a spoke shave doesn't work so well. I just carve necks with my chisels...just my preference
- Work bench...anything sturdy and flat is fine. Probably cheaper to make if you have the tools. My first bench was just an old bureau with a thick sheet of MDF on top
- Power tools....Never ending debate here. I would say a router is my essential power tool. The drill press and bandsaw also make life easier. You can build without any of them if you like

surdo
04-21-2016, 10:36 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Great, I'll scratch the spokeshave. I'll buy the No. 80 scraper and probably a card scraper as well. I like the idea of using leather for polishing. Do you mean the type of leather used by boot makers for example? I'll also try glass and sandpaper as I'll need to flatten my King stone with something anyway, it has quite a curve in it. Re. planes. Assuming I won't absolutely need a block plane, I found the following selection no. 3 and no. 4 planes available. The 1st is a US made Stanley Bailey No. 3 Keyhole plane, which is apparently older than 1960.

http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-750197665-stanley-bailey-3-made-in-usa-key-hole-style-_JM

a neat and tidy Brazilian-made Stanley SB3:

http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-737783293-plaina-stanley-antiga-sb3-_JM

and an older Brazilian no. 3 that looks in OK nick, and cheap:

http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-712093340-plaina-stanley-antiga-n-3-jrg-power--_JM

An English made Rapier 400 plane from the 70s:

here's the address without the http business (i'm not allowed to send so many links it seems)

produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-737998215-plaina-antiga-rapier-400-made-england-_JM

The other 3s and 4s are Stanley "Globals" - I guess the are Chinese made.

Any opinions on these planes? Go for the US made? I'd ask for more photos of the base of the plane. The rapier?

Re. work bench - yes a slab of MDF is not a bad idea - I could clamp that to a spare kitchen table that I have and perhaps bolt the MDF to the wall. Would you recommend attaching some sort of vice? Any particular type?

Cheers

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
04-21-2016, 11:42 AM
Not knowing if you have made a uke yet, id say (and it's a bit of putting the cart before the horse), make a uke to see if you actually like it before you drop a lot of money into tools/machinery.
I've seen alot of people over the years get the bug but either don't like the dust and concentration, or just are not good at it. - not being good at it is a fixable problem.

Stew Mac (and maybe LMI) have tool lists.

Having said that, every home should have a basic tool chest of 4 piece chisel set, simple jack plane, drill bits, hammer etc.

$10-$20 per chisel and your in a good quality range

sharpening- id buy this (i have the blue and red and the 8000 below)
https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/DMT-Three-Stone-6-Diamond-Whetstone-Set-in-Hardwood-Box-P439.aspx?gclid=CNnN38jLoMwCFQetaQodEUMMyw

and 8000 polishing stone

http://www.japanwoodworker.com/product/156658/takenoko-polishing-stone-8000-grit.aspx

you could get away with just the red or green though and use 220 sand paper instead of the blue to get out nicks

Michael N.
04-21-2016, 12:28 PM
Yes, any thick hard leather.
Your first Stanley No.3 is a lot older than 1960's. It's a good one, older style frog, older type blade (square cut corners). The blade also seems to have a good length to it. It does seem a bit expensive for the condition though. I think that translates to 40 UK, perhaps 15 to 20 more than I would expect.
Even though I've owned dozens of planes I've never owned a No.3. Probably ideally suited to Ukulele building.
Forget the other planes. They are much cheaper versions aimed more at the DIY market.
Don't they have wooden Planes in Brazil? We can buy old wooden planes here for a few 'ss. You get your money's worth just in the blade.
Regarding a block plane. Look for a Stanley 102. Don't pay much more that the Brazilian equivalent of a few 'ss. They are simple planes but they do the job. I know of a Violin maker who uses a Stanley 102 all the time, his Lie Nielsen 102 sits on the shelf.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
04-21-2016, 01:07 PM
Just to give you the other side, I don't own a chisel or a plane. Life's too short to be sharpening tools. ;)

surdo
04-21-2016, 01:31 PM
Thanks Michael. Yes, because Brazil is a relatively poor country (although for some it's not!), the market for quality second-hand goods is small. Sellers charge accordingly and they know it will cost a fortune to import the same item for the reasons I mentioned above. Ill think about that US Stanley No. 3. But yes, there are lots of wooden planes. I just don't know enough about them to know what to get. I have been saving some links for planes that I thought looked good. Here are some links:

This one is 28cm long but not so cheap - has a "greaves" blade and a peugot "lamina" - the part that wedges the blade, seems to have been varnished and is quite expensive:

http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-704120937-plaina-antiga-de-madeira-lmina-greaves-_JM

This one says it's 14.5cm long, but this doesn't seem to add up with the other dimensions given (and not so cheap either):

http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-748836560-plaina-madeira-ferramenta-de-carpinteiro-carpintaria-galopa-_JM

Another longer plane - but no length given (i can ask)

http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-680347659-plaina-de-madeira-linda-peca-_JM

Thanks for your help - and nice work on your website by the way - congrats

Michael N.
04-21-2016, 02:04 PM
They are amazingly expensive. A few years ago I bought 3 wooden planes for 1 on ebay (no one else bid). Cost me 7 for the post. One of them had never been used, even though it was made in the late 60's. I suppose we are spoiled a bit in the UK with all the old Sheffield tools. I feel guilty. I have about 30 planes if not more!
Greaves was a Sheffield blade maker. I have a blade by him or perhaps it's a saw, one of them. Puegeot was French. I have one of their blades too. The 'lamina' is called a chipbreaker or cap iron in English.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
04-21-2016, 02:24 PM
Just to give you the other side, I don't own a chisel or a plane. Life's too short to be sharpening tools. ;)

shurely you use a chisel while building???

Titchtheclown
04-21-2016, 02:52 PM
At the risk of upsetting the traditionalists (again) a lot of work can be done with really cheap and improvised hand tools. Here is a test did for the cigar box nation of most saws I had for use as fret saws.
http://www.cigarboxnation.com/forum/topics/things-that-work-as-fret-saws-and-some-that-don-t
My first fret jobs were done with a junior hacksaw blade but lately I use the dovetail, (also known as gents saw).

Here is my favourite small plane.
http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/online-store/products/SCA-Block-Plane-Mini.aspx?pid=321712#Recommendations

I have also made extensive use of really cheap knives. Given the number of really good Brazillian knife makers you probably would find it hard to get the Thai Kiwi brand I favour.

The most ridiculous thing I use is this vegetable peeler.
http://www.amazon.com/Kiwi-Slice-Peeler-Product-Thailand/dp/B00BT76LMO
I get them in every asian grocer around here for less than half that. It is ridiculously good for rough shaping necks before I switch to finer tools like this
http://www.hntgordon.com.au/gidgee-spoke-shaves/product/93-gidgee-small-curved-sole-spoke-shave-with-hss-blade.html


I am paraphrasing but Paul Seller's take on sharpening is that you get sharp at 200 grit and you get sharp and clean at 2000 grit. My dad, a professional carpenter and house builder for 60 years never sharpened with anything more fancy than the cheapest oil stone he could buy.

pointpergame
04-21-2016, 03:16 PM
I have debated for a while about responding to your post because I don't want to be contentious. But here we are.
I am a very serious "hand" wood worker with a large collection of chisels and planes. So, my view is skewed. There are a few absolutes, nevertheless.

1) Scrapers are very cheap and easy to maintain. You have to sharpen some of them quite often and some hardly ever...but it's so easy, there's nothing much to worry about. Buy several and learn how to put a straight edge on them and burnish them. Or make your own from thin spring stock. A hack-saw blade can be turned into a draw-knife sort of scraper.

Draw file the long edge of your scrapers with a fresh mill file, flatten them ( FLAT ) on your ( flat ) 1000 water stone. Learn how to flatten your 1000 grit water stone too. Burnish with a HARD, smooth rod held at a few degrees off perpendicular to the working edge. The shaft of a screwdriver ( near the bit ), the shank of a 1/4" drill ( epoxy the spiral part into a handle for the proper leverage ). Check the hook with a magnifying glass. Don't skip this step. try it out and experiment until you know how to do it. You could be there in less than an hour. You can remove a lot of wood with a scraper if you put a large hook on it and use both thumbs to hold a little bow in the middle.

2) While trying to be respectful of the previous poster...how to say this?...I don't think a 1000 grit stone and a chunk of leather are at all adequate to sharpen chisels and plane irons. A 1000 grit stone won't remove a nick or restore an edge. It takes a succession of stones to remove the groves left by the previous grit. If you know what you're doing you can put a secondary edge on an iron with an 8000 water stone after a 1000 stone, but everything has to be perfect. And perfect is some time in the future for a beginner at this.

I think your sandpaper and glass idea is an excellent way to go for your needs. It gets expensive for somebody who's sharpening ten chisels and 3 plane irons a day ( a common occurrence during a project ), but would be very cost effective for you. If you spend some time on the internet looking at the "scary sharp" method, and you use the sharpening jig you mentioned, that should be all the introduction you need to create really, really sharp tools.

3) For a chisel to become sharp, the backs have to be smooth. It seems counter intuitive, and if you look on Ebay you'll see chisel sellers who show a dozen photos of the front ( the bevel ) of their chisels and zero photos of the back. But it makes zero difference what the front looks like. That bevel is the part that grinds down readily. That's the trivial part. That bevel has to meet a smooth back to make a sharp, nick-free leading edge. Flattening / smoothing the backs is a terrible and tedious job. Very expensive high-end chisels ( like Lie-Nielsens ) are expensive because they come with smooth and flat backs. So: Look for chisels with the smoothest backs. This is where the risk lies in buying used chisels and plane irons.

4) For a neck, don't discount a good sharp whittling knife. I have a Chicago Cutlery carbon steel kitchen knife that gets razor sharp using just a kitchen grinder and a butcher's steel. It removes wood with decent control and it doesn't require a huge investment. I am always happiest with pure carbon tools, but they take special (dry) storage and they are like needy children come sharpening time. Stainless irons don't rust but they are generally much harder to sharpen and often want expensive stones. It's a trade-off between stainless and straight carbon steel but there are worse things than having to sharpen fairly often.

5) One of the handiest and classiest inexpensive tools is a 1/4" Xacto handle and a #11 blade. I guy a hundred at a time and have seen just bought a box of off-brand that are much cheaper and significantly sharper than the Xacto brand #11's. You can cut out sides, tops, and bottoms of from thin woods fairly easily with nothing more than a #11, though you might have to go around 6 or 8 or 10 times, depending on the wood. You can whittle thin material fairly easily. They can be dangerous...that long taper can pierce your finger to the bone before you know it. Something I learned from experience when I was in a tool situation resembling yours.

Building even one instrument is a joyous thing to do. You will always remember it and you'll always see the work of other luthiers with an understanding you can't get any other way. Good luck on your journey.

ruby50
04-21-2016, 03:53 PM
I agree that you should go through the mechanics of building one with minimal tools to see if you want to build more. On youtube there is a fellow making guitars on his kitchen table with no electricity. If you have a friend who will lend you a 1/2" chisel and a #3 bench plane or a block plane, you will learn a lot about what you want. You can sharpen without a jig by sticking various grits of sandpaper down on a flat surface (kitchen counter?) by dampening the back of a 1/4 sheet of 100, 220, 400 and 600 grit wet/dry emory paper with water. Remember that sharp is the intersection of 2 equally polished surfaces, so pay attention to flattening and polishing the backs too. I have a Windsor Chair instructor who sharpens all of his edge tools with a piece of wood with 150 grit paper stuck to it - adzes, planes, chisels, drawknives, spokeshaves, travishers, scorps, and scrapers. I use sandpaper stuck to plate glass and will go to 150, 600, or 2000 depending on the job at hand, but there is not a lot of difference in the finished product. A japanese or western style back saw along with a coping saw will cover sawing needs. Forget the #80 for now and just get a card scraper - you can use sandpaper on a block to sand top, back, and sides fast enough that the scraper won't speed things up much. A good, easy-to-read 6 inch rule in very important, as is a knife for scribing lines. Wayne Henderson, the famous rural guitar maker, uses a penknife for everything on his instruments. I find that a reasonable quality kitchen paring knife with the blade cut off short and re-shaped is great - long handle helps. I also use an Exacto with a #11 blade - the pointy one. Your workbench is a very individualized tool so I wouldn't make one yet till you have a better idea of what you need/want - you may end up with a couple of them. Thicknessing with a hand plane is fun but a bit tricky - you can order wood already thicknessed - come to think of it, building a kit might be an interesting first instrument.

I have spent 55 years building up my tool set and still find I can use something additional every now and then - don't go out and buy EVERYTHING right off the bat until you know what you need (unless, like me, you have a bad case of Tool Acquisition Syndrome - there is nothing like a Stanley/Bedrock 5-1/4 plane for guitar/uke sized stuff but it took me years to find one)

Ed

sequoia
04-21-2016, 07:25 PM
To me this is putting the cart in front of the horse: Get all the tools and then build the the uke. It should be: start building the uke and then get all the tools. You don't know what you need until you realize you need it. Ukulele building is not an expensive exercise in tool acquisition (see TAS or Tool Aquisition Syndrome, a debilitating, tragid disease), but the building of wooden acoustic instruments that sound good, look good and are fun to play. If you wait to get all the tools in place before you start you will never start because you don't have all the tools thus leading to a shop full of expensive tools, an empty wallet and no ukuleles (also known as UCS or Ukulele Constipation Syndrome). First thing: Get wood.

Michael N.
04-21-2016, 10:31 PM
You can put a very decent edge on any edge tool with a 1,000G stone and leather. I know, I do it. Not the ultimate edge but good enough to do high level work.

surdo
04-22-2016, 01:16 AM
Don't worry, I won't be going out and buying everything all at once and will get things as I need them. I moved countries 10 years ago and from an apartment to a house only recently, so I have little in the way of tools beyond things to hang pictures on the walls and kitchen stuff. So I will need some tools to get going!

I liked twitchtheclown's potato peeler idea a lot(!), but also using a carbon steel knife for carving the neck. I have a sturdy pocket knife in 420C stainless steel - this one here in fact: http://facaexclusiva.com.br/site/shop/canivete-sg (i just discovered this site - it has some very top-end Brazilian made knives if you explore it) - I could use that as it holds an edge, but I know the type of steel you mean pointpergame, I had an old carving knife like that and it was super quick to get very sharp on a steel . Out of curiosity, does this knife of yours have a short blade? What is a good length for this? What sort of blade thickness - my old knife was pretty thin compared to chef's knives.

I was also thinking of using disposable scalpels for precise cutting, I've read about people using these. I also want to learn to do the violin purfling technique and apply it on the instruments that I make. There are special manual double-edged tools that can be used to cut a guide around the periphery of the instrument - or around the sound hole - and the maker finishes with a fine knife and some kind of hooked instrument (from a dentist's supply?) to lift out the ribbon of wood left behind. If anyone uses this technique and has some suggestions, please let me know.

Oh, and cutting the sound hole. Any suggestions there? An electric drill with a hole cutter?

Thanks for your responses

Timbuck
04-22-2016, 01:42 AM
Just to give you the other side, I don't own a chisel or a plane. Life's too short to be sharpening tools. ;)
I only use a chisel on shaping the ends of braces..but a knife would do it just as good..I mostly use my small blockplane just to make the odd shaving to shim a joint.;) Which i rarely have to do of course (Ken you are a big fibber you do it often):o

Michael N.
04-22-2016, 03:32 AM
The violin style purfling is usually a little different to the method done on fretted instruments. They don't use binding, fretted instruments usually have both purfling and binding. Consequently the method is a little different. I'm not stating that you can't use the violin method, you can. I've done it many times myself.
Some use a router, some a purfling cutter with a single blade, some a purfling cutter with a double blade. The tool used to chip out the channel is usually some kind of 'pick' and is available from the violin tool suppliers. I made my own from an old needle file, although I did form it by heating with a propane torch. Pretty basic tool although you will probably need some sort of grinder if you wish to make your own. I only had a hand crank but it's good enough.
As for purfling cutters and soundhole cutters. Hard to get any cheaper than this idea:

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g193/mignal/000_0003Modified2-1.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/mignal/media/000_0003Modified2-1.jpg.html)

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g193/mignal/sndhle1.jpg (http://s56.photobucket.com/user/mignal/media/sndhle1.jpg.html)

The 'trick' to using scalpel blades is to only have the blade protruding a mere touch, otherwise there is too much flex in the blade. As soon as you have a decent mark on your wood you can dispense with the guides and freehand it with a scalpel. It will follow the line that you've already 'marked' if you are careful.

Michael N.
04-22-2016, 03:37 AM
I like these model makers saws too:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tamiya-74024-Thin-Blade-Modeling-Razor-Saw-Craft-Tool-Plastic-Model-Blades-NIP-/350821790432?hash=item51ae9bb2e0:g:rEEAAOSwnDZT-vwB

Very thin fine cut blade, so only really for thin stuff. You get a spare blade too. If you buy one take it nice and gentle. It's easy to kink the blade if you are overzealous.

Flyfish57
04-22-2016, 03:44 AM
Just to give you the other side, I don't own a chisel or a plane. Life's too short to be sharpening tools. ;)

You're not opening your paint cans with a chisel anymore!?

Timbuck
04-22-2016, 05:35 AM
I like these model makers saws too:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tamiya-74024-Thin-Blade-Modeling-Razor-Saw-Craft-Tool-Plastic-Model-Blades-NIP-/350821790432?hash=item51ae9bb2e0:g:rEEAAOSwnDZT-vwB

Very thin fine cut blade, so only really for thin stuff. You get a spare blade too. If you buy one take it nice and gentle. It's easy to kink the blade if you are overzealous.
Can you please not put links like this on your posts Mr Michael N. :stop:..Co's it starts up my TAS problem again :drool:..and God knows I dont need anymore tools:old:

Michael N.
04-22-2016, 06:56 AM
Yeah but it's only 11 odd. Yesterday some idiot (on another forum) posted a link to a plane that cost 150. I've visited the site 8 times since, nearly hit the buy button several times. I've only got 30 odd planes. Why do I need another?
It's just ridiculous. I'm thinking of setting up as a therapist, so that folk can seek help with any form of acquisition syndrome (I have plenty of experience). Folk win because they don't spend money on needless rubbish. I win because they have to pay me for the therapy. Everyone's happy except for the folk who sell needless rubbish. I'm thinking of setting up as therapist for bankrupt businesses as well.

mikeyb2
04-22-2016, 07:18 AM
Yeah but it's only 11 odd. Yesterday some idiot (on another forum) posted a link to a plane that cost 150. I've visited the site 8 times since, nearly hit the buy button several times. I've only got 30 odd planes. Why do I need another?
It's just ridiculous. I'm thinking of setting up as a therapist, so that folk can seek help with any form of acquisition syndrome (I have plenty of experience). Folk win because they don't spend money on needless rubbish. I win because they have to pay me for the therapy. Everyone's happy except for the folk who sell needless rubbish. I'm thinking of setting up as therapist for bankrupt businesses as well.
the added bonus is that the therapist fees you earn will pay for that new plane!

surdo
04-22-2016, 07:55 AM
The 'trick' to using scalpel blades is to only have the blade protruding a mere touch, otherwise there is too much flex in the blade. As soon as you have a decent mark on your wood you can dispense with the guides and freehand it with a scalpel.

Thanks Michael. With the purfling cutters, are the scalpel blades glued down to the block with super glue or something? And is it just a case of running this around the edge twice with two different jigs to get the desired purfling width? With the soundhole cutter, how is the blade secured, just by the tension of the blades insertion in the wood?

Here's a picture of the instrument that I want to copy. The outside purfling looks like a single black strip and not dark-clear-dark like on violins. The soundhole purfling looks like two violin purflings laid down one inside the other

90467

Michael N.
04-22-2016, 08:09 AM
Yes, superglue. I also wrap a bit of thin cotton around it, add more superglue on top. You will need two different width cutters although maybe you could glue two blades together with something between them. The blade on the soundhole cutter is held by the wood. If it feels loose, put a dab of superglue around the blade.

The purfling on that instrument might be ink (maybe not)- sometimes this was done. I have an 18 th century Cittern with purfling that was inked on, it has two lines. it looks convincing from a short distance. You probably want a line 1 mm wide. I've never done it but less than 1 mm and it might be difficult to do.
The soundhole lines are pretty good on that instrument. Thin black, wider white (Cream) very thick black, wider white, thin black. The different widths gives a slightly more complex look. Two violin purflings might do it although you can make your own.

surdo
04-22-2016, 03:50 PM
Another quick tool question. I wonder what you think of this German 110 block plane by Corneta Weyersberg Solingen. I can find no other plane like it on Google and the name Weyersberg only pulls up nazi paraphernalia in the form of swords and bayonets. This plane looks like its had a quiet life. The seller will sell for R$150, about 1/2 the price it'd cost me to import a Stanley 110 priced at US$15-20:

http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-720172009-plaina-antiga-alem-corneta-wyeresberg-sollingen-n-110-_JM

According to the announcement all parts are originals. Worth it?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
04-22-2016, 07:02 PM
You're not opening your paint cans with a chisel anymore!?

No, I think my wife borrowed it to dig weeds out of the flower bed. At least it's being used! :)

Michael N.
04-22-2016, 11:58 PM
The German plane is a 110 clone. I've never heard of the make before. It's probably OK, most planes can be made to work. The 110 is a bit of an odd size for Uke's or guitars. A bit large as a block plane, a bit small for a smoother. I'm still astonished at the prices.
If you are willing to pay postage I can send you a few wooden planes that I have. A little Mujingfang block plane and a wooden smoothing plane. Both are set up to work as well as they possibly can. The Muji is ideal for Ukes. It's just a matter of becoming accustomed to using and setting them, which really isn't that difficult. I need to make room for a new plane anyway. Don't know what your Brazilian government are going to do to tax them, no doubt they will find a way.

surdo
04-23-2016, 12:49 AM
That's very kind of you. I actually bought the StanleyBailey#3 last night. But if you can spare the block, that would be greatly appreciated, thank you. I'll get in contact via your site. Here is a rosewood mujingfang plane with a price that will make you hair curl:

http://www.hobbytools.com.br/plaina-de-jacaranda-para-polimento-de-8-1-2-pol-mujingfang.html

A value of 307!

Michael N.
04-23-2016, 01:31 AM
Something has gone wrong with the world. . . or at least with Brazil. Even their football has collapsed. :rolleyes:

The Stanley No.3 was the best plane of all that were shown. It might need a bit of work to give it's best but it will also maintain a certain value. It's also from an era when they were making the better quality planes. If I buy an old Stanley or Record plane I always look at the top of the blade for the square corners (the later blades had rounded corners). That usually tells you the plane is reasonably old, unless someone has changed the blade. I also look at how much the blade is projecting above the frog, which kind of tells you how much life is left in the blade.

lauburu
04-23-2016, 11:28 AM
Here is a rosewood mujingfang plane with a price that will make you hair curl:
My Portuguese is not the best but the first sentence of the sales speil roughly translates: "Furniture manufacturers in Australia and SE Asia prefer this type of plane for planing solid wood"
I'm sure this would come as a surprise to the majority of Australian furniture manufacturers.
Miguel

ruby50
04-23-2016, 12:13 PM
Judging by the features of the lever cap, the Stanley #3 was made between 1929 and 1932 - a very good era. All you would have to do is to run the sole over some 100 grit sandpaper on a flat surface (table saw, kitchen counter) until 3 areas are abraded - the very front of the toe, the very back of the heel, and just behind the blade - the more the merrier, but that is all that is needed. Then do the same to the back of the blade, then go through the grits and polish the back of the blade (the last 1/4" is all you need) and angled bevel on the front of the blade (again, the last little bit is all you need). Try a 30 bevel to start with and that is easy to get because at 30, the length of the bevel is twice the blade thickness - get it close, don't obsess, and a sharper angle won't hurt.

The Brazilian #3 is of a type that Stanley never made in the states. My guess is that if it were your only plane you would be frustrated as the tiny blade is not bedded well and not held down tightly enough.

The green block plane is a copy of Stanley's cheapest and could certainly be made to work, but again, if it is your only block plane would be frustrated because it is harder then necessary to adjust blade depth (I will sell you one in good shape for $8). If you can, look for one with a wheel at the back for blade adjustment - either horizontal:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SUPERB-SARGENT-VBM-5306-KNUCKLE-JOINT-ADJ-THROAT-BLADE-BLOCK-PLANE-T1641-/222046448071?hash=item33b2ffe9c7:g:QgYAAOSwAuNW3rE 2

or vertical:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/STANLEY-NO-60-1-2-LOW-ANGLE-BLOCK-PLANE-/152064559450?hash=item2367c1095a:g:9S4AAOSwiYFXGsn f

and you get the bonus of adjusting the mouth - which you will probably do just once and fairly tight/small

I have examples of all of these that I could sell you at reasonable prices if you can research the postage from the north east coast of the US

Ed

Titchtheclown
04-23-2016, 01:04 PM
My Portuguese is not the best but the first sentence of the sales speil roughly translates: "Furniture manufacturers in Australia and SE Asia prefer this type of plane for planing solid wood"
I'm sure this would come as a surprise to the majority of Australian furniture manufacturers.
Miguel

Maybe not such a surprise to all of them.
http://www.hntgordon.com.au

To most of them yes. Most Australian furniture manufacturers would be confused by the lack of a power cord or a battery pack.
Not much call for hand planing melamine coated chipboard.