Friday, January 16, 2009

Brese 875 Smoother--"Check" this out

I don't have a sink in my shop. Which means I can't easily fill a humidifier. The temperature for the past few days has hovered around -10 for the high, and last night we hit an all-time record low of -29. The furnace is running frequently, and that's just to keep the shop between 50 and 60. So things in the shop are very dry. I knew better, and instead of keeping my ebony infill blanks in a more humid environment (a box with a wet rag inside would do, how simple, and how stupid of me!) I left them out this past week. My front bun blank has a bit of a check in it, and the glue lines on the wings of the tote have opened up at the corners. Lesson learned. Now to get on with it. I put the tote and bun blank into a plastic bag with a dampened towel. I have some hope for the tote, but I'm not so confident about the bun. From now on I'm keeping the infills in a more humid locale between shop sessions. One thing I also don't want to do is fit the infills in a very dry state. When summertime rolls around, they will swell and cause more problems. Infill planes and musical instruments really do share some of the same challenges.


  1. You do not want to keep your ebony in such a humid enviroment as it is sure to crack regardless of the season. In fact you want your ebony infill be as dry as possible. Konrad Sauer told me once that he uses ebony that is very old and very dry.

  2. Rich,

    Konrad is correct that old and very dry wood is an infill requirement. However, an extremely dry heated shop during the winter months can cause even dry wood to check, on end grain especially. A humidifier is almost a must, and a luthier's shop will generally have one. Dry air is also a concern to me in our own shop right now. At other times when the humidity is 50%+ we never have a problem with wood checking generally.

    Cheers, Bob


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