Re: Embossing and other questions

Howard Chandler wrote:

> Tinkering harpers,
> What is embossing?  I've heard this term a few times on the web.  I get the
> impression that it's a way of narrowing the gap betwen slot edge and reed.
> Does this technique involve burnishing, or deforming the slot edge?  Perhaps
> someone can please explain how this is done and what tools are needed?
> Also, can someone suggest a source for small machine screws?
> Oh, one last thing.  The method of sealing Marine Band combs involves diping
> them in hot melted beeswax?

Rather than trying to seal your Marine Band comb which is dangerous and 
not entirely affective have a go at making a new comb out of plastic.
	I really like the size and feel of marine bands and the sound of 
course, and for months I have been wishing some one would make a plastic 
comb that could be substituted for the wooden one. I have previously put 
MB plates and covers on a Special 20 comb but it's not a tin sandwhich, 
it works fine but it was not what I wanted.
	I was pondering this the other day and my brain accidentally slipped 
into gear and I thought "bugger it I'll make the damn thing myself"
	The choice of material was easy it had to be some sort of plastic,so I 
got a 30 cm square of 6mm thick PVC from a local plastic supply. They 
actually gave it to me, so if you try this ask if they have any offcuts.
	Next I clamped the wooden comb onto the sheet of PVC with the teeth 
lined up along one edge and I carefully traced around the comb with a 
razor blade so I had a clear outline on the PVC,undo the clamps and put 
you wooden comb aside.
	Now the fun part,cut the teeth out first with a fret saw,don't try and 
cut it to the correct size just remove as much material as you can 
without cutting into the comb part, this makes a hell of a mess,
when you have done this get a small file and start to file it to the 
correct size, use your wooden comb as a template and check often to see 
if you are on track.
	When you are happy with your comb cut it out of the sheet of PVC,
try and cut it nearly to size you just need to leave enough material to 
remove any saw marks and pretty it up when you are finished.
	If you are happy with what you have done so far put your reed plates on 
the comb one at a time to make sure that the reeds don't foul on the 
comb,then it's just a matter of lining up the reed plates drilling holes 
for nuts and bolts for the reeed plates and covers.
	When you have got to this stage it's just a matter of tidying up
I round off the ends of the teeth and make sure they are very smooth.
I have only made one comb so far but it works fine and the snow white 
comb looks pretty funky as well, Ill certainly be making some more of 
these combs for my other MB's.It is a bit time consuming but the 
satisfaction of making something like this that makes your instrument 
better is worth it.
	And for all the material debaters out there it sounds just like a 
Marine Band with a wooden come (to my ears anyway).

					Have A Nice Life
						Chris Brunner


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