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Thread: Ibex Planes

  1. #1
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    Ibex Planes

    I recently purchased an Ibex violin plane. For the last couple of days I've been using it to carve braces for an acoustic guitar. Right out of the box, it's pretty impressive.

    Anyone here used Ibex planes and if so what's been your experience?

    And is there a better place to buy them than Amazon or Stew Mac, at least as far as price goes? I'm going to need at least one other size.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Moriarty View Post
    I recently purchased an Ibex violin plane. For the last couple of days I've been using it to carve braces for an acoustic guitar. Right out of the box, it's pretty impressive.

    Anyone here used Ibex planes and if so what's been your experience?

    And is there a better place to buy them than Amazon or Stew Mac, at least as far as price goes? I'm going to need at least one other size.
    I have the 28 and 18 mm planes, from StewMac.

    As you say they're very nice little tools. The ability to close the mouth down is very useful in a double-convex-soled tool, as it prevents the iron from "digging". The only thing that I have some trouble with is that I find it a little tricky to insert the iron without bumping the edge against the base casting when the mouth is set tight, so I usually let out the mouth adjustment when I hone.
    Last edited by Patrick Chase; 04-03-2018 at 6:19 AM.

  3. #3
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    Sorry about the double-reply, but...

    w.r.t. sources, Highland and Lee Valley have both started carrying Ibex at slightly lower prices than StewMac. Highland offers more of their line than the others, including flat-soled versions.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, Patrick. I've been doing some more looking around and found International Violin out of Baltimore. They sell the small planes (25-47mm) for about $20 less than StewMac. I'll give them a try.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  5. #5
    International Violin is just up the road a bit, and great place to pick up the Ibex planes, euro spruce tops, and both spruce and curly maple for archtops.

    Re: Ibex...we have several modified for specific jobs, with the 45mm (1.8") Ibex flat-bottomed plane mod'd for brace work with a 15 degree chamfer from just outside the mouth to 0.4" up the sides...the face of this chamfer rides on the plate to work the profiling closer to the base of the brace. Quick job with file or sander and there is enough metal there to keep things together provided the chamfer stops shy of the mouth. The machining on the interior of the plane is hit-or-miss, with a hump in the middle of the area supporting the blade a common issue...a little file work gets the blade fitted. I may salvage one of the 1/8" blades I have and make a thicker one for the Ibex to close things up, but unless the grain reverses (and on a riven brace, it should not), there is usually not much of an issue.

    Years ago, we made up a handful of shop-made planes to handle the same job, and they work as well, although the 45mm Ibex is a little more compact than the 3" long lignum bloodwood/B&W ebony planes, so works the tighter spaces well.

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    Last edited by Todd Stock; 04-04-2018 at 8:14 AM.

  6. #6
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    Todd, so you are a luthier?
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  7. #7
    Yes, along with a reasonable number of others here. Fun stuff. First acoustic, or first instrument?

  8. #8
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    First acoustic. I've made two Tele-types, two Strat-types and one Ric-type bass. All were from scratch and I was thinking that experience, especially making necks from scratch, would make building an acoustic easy. Then I began researching acoustic guitar making and quickly discovered there was so much more to learn. And it's been fun.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  9. #9
    Sounds like you are already an instrument builder, so while there is a lot to learn associated with any new category of instrument, you've already demonstrated the ability to get to string-up. If not already on some of the luthiers-specific sites with strong acoustic forums, you might consider establishing accounts to get access to archives and answers to questions not answered with a trawl through old topics. Good luck, and feel free to ping me via PM if you want recommendations on instrument-specific forums.

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Todd. I'm already on The Acoustic Guitar forum, though they don't have a section devoted to lutherie. Then I got an invite to Luthier.org. I signed up and am good to go but haven't had time to start a single thread there.

    As far as education, I subscribe to GAL magazine and have watched hours of their videos. One presenter worked for Gibson for a few decades and gave a mind blowing presentation on the R&D they did on soundboards. He made the standard bracing look like child's play and ended up with amazing sound, at least according to Andre Segovia. Pretty impressive.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  11. #11
    Might try Official Luthiers Forum - good support for new acoustic builders...probably one of the better places for those working through a first acoustic build; my repair tech/student posts there, and she says good things about the current crew of posters. Musical Instrument Makers Forum is very quiet these days, but the archives are pretty rich in subject-organized materials going back to the late 1990's. Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum's Technical Forum has a number of builders that are happy to answer questions. There are a few others as well if you look around a bit. Again, good luck with the project.

  12. #12
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    I have had a set of Ibex violin planes for many years. I find them very nice. I'vce also thrown together a number of small planes. Some thrown together more carefully than others. These were usually hastily made for a special purpose,and I didn't even get the file marks off of them. They work fine,too. Just make sure the blade is well made and properly tempered. Since I'm getting pretty old,and my hands not as strong as they used to be,and get cramped sometimes,some of my shop made planes have about 2" long stems coming out of the rear ends,with plastic balls on their ends. I've posted pictures here some time ago. Nothing to write home about,but they serve their purposes.

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