Australia to Singapore

Posted by jerry on November 23rd, 2004 — Posted in Journal, Travel

After scanning the Moleskine page for the Wandering Moleskine Project I posted the moleskinskine No 8 to the next recipient. Then a final pack and we’re off on the first stage of our trip to Beijing – and Singapore has free internet terminals in the airport! Must dash 🙂


Wandering Moleskine Project

Posted by jerry on November 22nd, 2004 — Posted in Journal

A while back, on one of the Orkut Communities forums – dealing with the wonderful Moleskine notebooks – a suggestion was put out that several notebooks be sent out around the globe with each person contributing something on a page and passing it on to the next person. The project is called the ‘Wandering Moleskine Project‘ Ultimately these may be displayed in a travelling exhibition. Anyhow, mine arrived with a couple of days to spare before I head off to China – taking the band on tour. So I took moleskine No 8 with me to the Majors Creek folk festival and composed an entry, which I scanned this evening on my return – you will be able to see the scans via a link from

Moleskine notebook

It is an exciting and imaginative project – and one I am very pleased to be part of!


Fiddle case completed at last!

Posted by jerry on November 18th, 2004 — Posted in Journal

I mentioned a little while back that I was building a new fiddle case for the hardanger fiddle (hardingfele) and I showed you the frame… well it’s now finally finished! Just in time to go to the Majors Creek Folk Festival tomorrow and to China early next week – talk about cutting things fine! And here it is:

DIY violin case

Anyhow the case is clad in aluminium and has a lined compartment for the fiddle and a huge box area for the effects pedal, spare strings, rosin and shoulder rest etc,. It is designed to have a short footprint – so the bows run diagonally across the lid – like this:

home made violin case

And the box compartment opens like this:

DIY violin case

The trickiest part by far was the crushed velvet lining – and in the end I gave up and called for help from an expert – Sharon Boggon – who came up with the brilliant plan to cut a cardboard template and wrap the fabric around that and then glue it down. It looks great!

The finishing touches were to add a lid to the box compartment (complete with hinges), attach elastic across the lid corners for the bows, attach a strap (cut from the remnants of a $2 tie-down strap) to stop the lid from flying open and there it is – ready for the next gig – on Saturday night (er… that’s tomorrow night!)

Tonight I also made a camping table with screw-in legs in ten-minutes – but more on that one later!

time to get some sleep ready for a weekend of fun folk music and festival!


DIY – making a violin case

Posted by jerry on November 17th, 2004 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

Galvanised into action as it is only a week and a half before Majors Creek I have set about building a new fiddle case – a compact one – this one measures 70cm x 40cm x 15cm and will hold two fiddles. The length means the bows will sit diagonally in the lid – but it also means the case can be used on stage to put drinks on 🙂 as well as to be sat on during festival sessions – this will be one strong case. The sides and ends are from red cedar with full width dovetail joints. the top and bottom will be sheets of aluminium with a couple of wooden braces for the mid-top and bottom – it will be as strong as any flight case but hopefully will be fairly light too.

The inside will be lined with foamcore – a paper-covered polystyrene art board that is really strong and provides great cushioning. This will be covered in fabric – like a velvet or velveteen secured with spray adhesive.

I made the frame in about an hour tonight between other things – luckily the dovetail jig was finally set up right and the whole thing went together as though I had planned it! I had real trouble last week setting it up – then I downloaded the instructions to an Axminster dovetail jig of virtually identical design and suddenly it became much clearer – you have to picture the box or whatever inside-out when you lay out the pieces. And the offset between the pins and tails is exactly a half inch. The rest is in getting the right depth for the dovetail bit in the router – too high and the joint is loose, too low and the joint will need to be hammered together. After a load of test pieces using cheap pine offcuts I managed to get the height just right. So I’m pretty happy with the result so far.

With the frame built from Australian red cedar and the aluminium cut to size I need to assemble the box once the varnish on the timber frame has dried, and then put together the lining to provide a comfortable nest for the fiddles.

Here is the start of the process – I cut two sides and two ends in Australian red cedar, and using the dovetail jig dovetailed the pieces together and glued them on final assembly. Then I cut two cross braces and dovetailed those into the upper and lower sides. The lower brace has been shaped with a belt sander to accommodate the belly of the fiddle – the other part provides support for the neck join on the hardanger.

DIY violin case

I then cut a sheet of aluminium (3mm thick) to fit the top and bottom, and aluminium angle stock for the edges, so it will look like this:

DIY fiddle case

The cross braces will provide support in case the box is knocked on the top or bottom – I’m aiming to have it strong enough to stand on when it is finished! More on progress later – I’m hoping to have it completed in time for Majors creek Folk Festival – and then the China tour!

A quick tip on cutting the mitres in the aluminum angle stock – I used my mitre saw – but replaced the the saw blade with a metal cuttoff wheel – works a treat and keeps the angles neat 🙂

I then ran a bead of Tarzan’s Grip – general purpose building adhesive – around the frame and over the cross-braces and secured the aluminium sheet by holding it in place with the aluminium angle stock and drilling through the angle stock and sheet into the frame timber and screwing it down using bronzed chipboard screws. I then attached the corner protectors by drilling into the aluminium and pop-rivetting them to the aluminium.

With both sides clad in aluminium you have a closed box with no means of opening it, so I took it to the table saw and set the saw guide so that the blade would clear all aluminium bits plus the depth of the screws and neatly cut the box in half along its length – voila! a box with a lid 🙂

Now fit a couple of hinges and case catches – and of course a carry handle and the basic box is complete – ready to be fitted out for two fiddles (or photographic equipment etc as you choose). More on the fit-out in the next post. In the meantime, the case looks like this:

DIY fiddle case


Jerry – Americans apologise for inflicting Dubya on the world

Posted by jerry on November 11th, 2004 — Posted in Journal

In the wake of a number of ‘Sorry’ campaigns, whether over the ‘Stolen generation’ of aboriginal children, or churches over priests behaving badly, comes this site – Sorry everybody – for voting in George Dubya Bush as the US President.

Check out the gallery pages – this is huge!

I like the blurb:
“Some of us — hopefully most of us — are trying to understand and appreciate the effect our recent election will have on you, the citizens of the rest of the world. As our so-called leaders redouble their efforts to screw you over, please remember that some of us — hopefully most of us — are truly, truly sorry. And we’ll say we’re sorry, even on the behalf of the ones who aren’t.”

Regardless of which side of politics you are on, this site is a real innovation and a breath of fresh air – such a simple idea – well done guys 🙂