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Why are luthiers so crazy?   You are logged in as Guest
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estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

Why are luthiers so crazy? 

Must be the drugs they take.

Rosewood dust, don't get started snorting it unless you want your life to go to hell in a hand basket.

You have been warned.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 3:29:19
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1604
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

All the time spent alone in the shop focusing so hard on little details. Who but a crazy person would do this?

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Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 4:15:13
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

I main line Doug fir dust myself......

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\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 4:21:07
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

Be sure to add CA glue fumes, bone dust (god forbid if the shop is raided by a CSI team), ethanol, and a host of machines that drone at hypnotic frequencies.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 9:21:51
 
machopicasso

 

Posts: 901
Joined: Nov. 27 2010
 

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

C'mon, Stephen. You don't have to go out like this, man.

Think about what you're doing.

Both to yourself and to all the people who love you.

Seriously, man, get some help...

xoxo, brah.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 9:52:07
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3387
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Must be the drugs they take. Rosewood dust, don't get started snorting it unless you want your life to go to hell in a hand basket. You have been warned.


This morning's Washington Post has an article about Maryland recently banning the sale of all 190 proof liquor, including the colorless liquor known as "Everclear," in an effort to stem the rise of binge drinking among university students. The article suggests a possible link to the subject of this thread, as it states that the ban adversely affects luthiers who make violins. I have quoted below:

"While the ban’s intended audience, binge-drinking college kids, has an endless variety of alcoholic substances to consume, violin makers in Maryland depend on 190-proof grain alcohol to create varnishes used in making and restoring their instruments.

"It works like this: When a violin is chipped or broken, a new piece of wood often is used in the repair. When attached, the wood looks out of place because it has not been varnished. To make the violin look untouched, the new varnish must exactly match what already is on the violin.

"The violin maker must dissolve a coloring substance called resin to paint onto the wood. The craftsman dissolves the resin in Everclear because, with its high alcohol content, it dries resins quickly, so the already tedious process can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time. It looks good, too."

The next time you see a luthier running down the middle of the highway waving his arms and yelling that he is really the "Naked Cowboy" of Times Square, it may be that he has used his supply of Everclear for more than just varnish.

Bill

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And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 14:36:00
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

Many guitar makers use Everclear as the solvent for shellac. I think that is what the article as talking about. Spirt varnish is alcohol based- violin varnish touch ups are often done sometimes done with it. Spirit varnish alcohol and shellac with some other softer tree gums mixed in, usually elemy.

The awesome thing is that people don't use Xelene to clean fiddles anymore. That stuff is bad for you. But lots of shops used to use it because it flashes off faster than alcohol and it would evaporate before it solved the varnish.

Now all the Maryland violin makers and French Polishers will have to trek back into the woods of West Virginia and find some old boys eating picked eggs and making 'shine.

_____________________________

Sir, what do you do for living?

Why I'm a French polisher, by golly.

Well that is curious. I always thought the French were a pretty smooth people.

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OK I'll be until Labor Day- Two shows a night and a matinee on Sunday = Don't forget to tip Tio your lovely bartender.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 15:12:17
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1604
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to BarkellWH

Fortunately they can still order various kinds of denatured alcohol via Amazon.com, like I do and pay as much for the shipping as for the product, such as:
by Richard Allan Scientific
Reagent-Grade Denatured Ethanol (Anhydrous) [ 1 Ea.]
2 customer reviews
List Price: $49.63
Price: $34.95 + $33.95 shipping
You Save: $14.68 (30%)

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 15:19:39
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3387
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Now all the Maryland violin makers and French Polishers will have to trek back into the woods of West Virginia and find some old boys eating picked eggs and making 'shine.


Where they will find that the college frat boys will have beat them to it.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 15:22:08
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

I used t go buy a gallon of denatured at Ace Hardware for 15 bucks. Seems to work just fine. Now I use an alcohol sold here in Japan that is for small lamps, it works fine too.

*hick* *hick*

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 15:57:48
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1604
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

The hardware store stuff around here is mostly methanol, which makes me blind and dead.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 16:02:55
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3263
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

One of my college room mates was a biochemistry graduate student. We sampled the 95% ethanol in the lab, but it tasted like the acetone used to get the last 5% of water out of it. The 90% was much better.

My always-enterprising friend Don L. devised a use for the 90%. A big punch bowl with a block of ice, Welch's grape juice, a little lemon juice and a hefty spike of 90% ethanol was the centerpiece for some memorable parties. You couldn't taste the alcohol, and the effect on sorority girls was nearly instantaneous.

Don named his concoction the Partial Panther, since another of his recipes was already called Panther P1ss.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2014 22:42:14
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3387
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

My always-enterprising friend Don L. devised a use for the 90%. A big punch bowl with a block of ice, Welch's grape juice, a little lemon juice and a hefty spike of 90% ethanol was the centerpiece for some memorable parties. You couldn't taste the alcohol, and the effect on sorority girls was nearly instantaneous.


Spiking the punch bowl with high octane alcohol has been a tried and true device for college students since time immemorial. Regarding the effect on sorority girls, that, too, has been part of the plan since time immemorial. Today, however, colleges and universities have taken the tack that girls who drink too much are not responsible for subsequent activity, and the guys who may think they have the girl's full consent for what follows are liable to be charged with "sexual abuse" and worse. The current ethos seems to be that the girl is absolved of all responsibility, while the guy is totally responsible. One more sign of "Political Correctness" run amok.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 22 2014 0:56:56
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1604
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

We sampled the 95% ethanol in the lab, but it tasted like the acetone used to get the last 5% of water out of it.


Maybe you mean that you tasted the absolute (100%) alcohol and it tasted like the benzene that was used to remove the last 5% of water from the 95%. That's how it's done: benzene forms a low-boiling azeotrope with the water allowing it to be distilled off.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 22 2014 4:17:12
 
Flamingrae

 

Posts: 218
Joined: May 19 2009
 

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

Well you guys are on the right lines. There is probably a formulae for this and it could go something like this:-

(%artist x %craftsman x %scientist x %musicianship) x Alchohol absorbsion = %craziness

% = a variable figure which is why we are all completely different? - possibly
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 22 2014 9:07:59
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 3002
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

quote:

Maybe you mean that you tasted the absolute (100%) alcohol and it tasted like the benzene that was used to remove the last 5% of water from the 95%. That's how it's done: benzene forms a low-boiling azeotrope with the water allowing it to be distilled off.


Ethan, with your chemistry background, I'm curious what you think of the idea of adding acetone to shellac to make it dry faster. A few years ago I heard about Brian Burns doing an entire French polish in a 24 hour period using this technique. Supposedly the right amount of acetone creates an azeotrope (I think that was the word) with something like 5x the evaporation rate of alcohol alone.

I pulled my hair out trying it but I never got close to those results. Also the fumes are nasty and you have to make sure there will be no sparks or flame in the area, and wear gloves...

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Andy Culpepper, luthier
http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 22 2014 12:22:36
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1604
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Andy--

A few years ago--perhaps at the same time you tried it--I heard the same thing from Brian Burns, and I tried it. First of all, I couldn't find any reference in the chemical literature to such an azeotrope (water/alcohol/acetone). Moreover, I had the same trouble with the fumes--and I am not sure I saw an improvement in drying time. I noticed also that shellac does not dissolve completely in acetone alone.

So I don't think it's a good method, at least not in my hands. There are other ways to speed up the process, which I'm sure you know, such as spraying or brushing on initial coats, or using an extra concentrated shellac solution in alcohol. For that matter, using anhydrous alcohol, which certainly dries faster than alcohol containing 5% water, though you have to suffer with the vapors of the denaturants (and wear gloves), as I do.

Sources of ignition are a concern with alcohol vapors in the air too, of course (even with wood, grain, or aluminum dust, for that matter). I work in my cellar where there is a gas furnace (with a pilot light going all year) and a gas water heater, so I try not to allow any big spills....

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 22 2014 15:30:10
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3263
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to constructordeguitarras

quote:

ORIGINAL: constructordeguitarras
Maybe you mean that you tasted the absolute (100%) alcohol and it tasted like the benzene that was used to remove the last 5% of water from the 95%. That's how it's done: benzene forms a low-boiling azeotrope with the water allowing it to be distilled off.


I was repeating what I remember my biochem buddy saying (more than 50 years ago) about the bad taste. I never sampled straight acetone or benzene to form my own opinion


Today's drinking/sex scene at college sounds a lot rougher than it was in the late 1950s, early 1960s. In those days it was bad form to take advantage of someone who was too far gone to be responsible for their actions. Indeed it was bad form to drink enough to be irresponsible yourself, although it happened often enough. And the date rape drugs had not yet appeared on the scene.

But I'm just going by what I read in the media, who are at least as much out to attract readers as they are to inform the public.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 22 2014 16:15:25
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3387
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

In those days it was bad form to take advantage of someone who was too far gone to be responsible for their actions.


I agree that during our university days it was bad form to take advantage of someone who was too far gone to be responsible for her actions. But I think the key to today's dilemma is how one defines "too far gone." A girl could be drunk in our day (at least in my university experience), and still be considered lucid enough to have made her own decision regarding bedding someone. We're not talking about "force" or "rape" here. By any reasonable definition, it would have been considered consensual sex, even though both were drunk.

I think we could all agree that someone on the verge of passing out fits the description of "too far gone." My impression, however, is that on many campuses there exist examples where both are drunk, the girl accedes to being bedded by some guy, later regrets it, and claims she withheld consent. Of course, in today's "politically correct" world university administrators are all too happy to accommodate her grievance. What may have been considered "consensual" in our day is to stand on dangerous ground today.

When I call it "politically correct" I mean that both in the case of today's campus sex and in the broader society's values, for several decades now there has been an overwhelming emphasis placed on rights over responsibilities. Everyone claims "rights," but few take responsibility for the consequences of their choices and actions that end badly. This attitude, by the way, applies both to individuals engaging in campus sex and corporations who invariably want to privatize profits but socialize losses (reference the "Great Recession" of 2008-2010).

A second, associated force driving the "political correctness" movement on campus and throughout society is the striving to attain the cherished status of "victim." Victimology runs rampant in American society today. Anyone who does not achieve his or her immediate or long-term goals automatically achieves "victim" status, thus entitling him or her to various "remedies" inherent in our system. Whether or not one has the initiative and ability to achieve such goals, if one falls short it is surely a sign that one has been "victimized" by (fill in the blank: society, the "system," etc.). Again, personal responsibility for one's condition is rarely acknowledged.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 22 2014 18:34:04
 
estebanana

Posts: 8672
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

Brian Burns told me about the acetone shellac solvent in about 2009 or 10. I tried and it works more or less, but why bother? Unless you have to do a rush job the alcohol flashes off pretty fast too.

The acetone is nasty, drinking it, rubbing it on guitars? No thank you sir. Save it for the those guitarists who go to the nail salon where the cute Vietnamese ladies use it to clean the nails before giving them the manly fake nails.

Re: Victimhood, it dovetails with an over emphasized or developed sense of entitlement. Which also runs rampant in some quarters today. There is book by an author I like that I have never read, Robert Hughes' 'Culture of Complaint' - about entitlement in the art world and how some parts of art culture reflect this indulgence in victimhood and a motivation to make art. I have been thinking about reading it for several years. Hughes is known for dispatching whiners cleverly and analyzing reasonably about this topic.

My complaint is that I'm being victimized by lack of libraries with books in English and this is my excuse for willful ignorance . HAHAHAH

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 22 2014 23:31:51
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 3002
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to estebanana

Thanks for the reply Ethan, sounds like you had the same experience as me.

Earlier I incorrectly remembered the luthier who I heard about using that technique, it was in fact Burns.

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http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 23 2014 0:27:17
 
tele

Posts: 1462
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

RE: Why are luthiers so crazy? (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Ebony dust is more potent than rosewood

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2014 17:07:59
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