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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:03 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Hi Alan and Joe, I'm unfamiliar with the term "skew cut". What is that and how is it done? Thanks.

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These users thanked the author bionta for the post: matt jacobs (Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:57 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:32 pm 
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I'm guessing skew = riftsawn by the way it was described.



These users thanked the author Paul Micheletti for the post: Hesh (Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:55 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:54 pm 
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Skew is neither flat nor quartered but somewhere in between...



These users thanked the author meddlingfool for the post: Hesh (Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:55 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:10 pm 
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Rift sawn logs are cut this way and are pretty quartered...

Image

Skew cut is plain sawn picked out of the middle to outer 2/3 of the log excluding both the very outside cuts and the center cuts...

Image

Most of the time, a chunk can be re-sawn from scrap if it is big enough. It just looks like this: ////. The amount of skew depends on where on the section it's cut.

OK, I can see I'm getting into trouble again, so here's quarter sawn and one of the two ways it's cut (most wasteful). Due to an image posting anomaly, I cannot edit below this image, so, I will put it here. The best way to cut the quarter is to lay a flat on the saw table and cut the vertical side, then flip, back to the other side, etc.
Now many will look at these pix and say, "Well, there is a lot of off quarter there". This is true of a 1-1/4" log, but not a 20" log. Yes, you will get some off quarter or skew cut out of QS wood, but cutting QS is more economical than rift.
If you want to get all yuppie precise about it, yes, the best is the one center cut out of a flatsawn log. Now you know why that piece costs the most.
And finally, I call it QS. I'm an old man. "You" call it what you like, I don't care...call it uppey-downy as opposed to lefty-righty if you want. :lol:

Image

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Last edited by Haans on Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.


These users thanked the author Haans for the post: Hesh (Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:55 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:21 pm 
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Thanks. That helps. I like to follow along as best I can. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:21 pm 
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Thanks for the pics...


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:55 am 
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Duck Duck Go is your friend...

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:19 am 
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Just another side note about grain terminology.

On this forum we typically say "vertical grain".

I was talking to a sawyer and he used the term "standing grain" for "vertical grain" which I had never heard before.

Not saying he's right or wrong, but if that's what he calls it & it will eliminate miscommunication - don't know if it's common sawyer talk or just his term.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:42 am 
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depends on your source
Sawmills will use terms like standing or vertical also flat and cathedral
They will also use the term log run

as it gets into the sales area you start hearing the terms of quarter off quarter flat or face .

if you understand it is the same thing just a different term you will get it. Been around the sawmill business for 40 yrs.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:58 pm 
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I've always used 'vertical grain' to refer to cuts where the annual ring lines are close to perpendicular to the face. Quarter sawing helps maximize this. 'Skew cut' has ring lines at close to forty-five degrees. Local yards use the term 'rift sawn' for this, particularly when referring to oak. Vertical grain oak has large ray flecks that some people find objectionable, but flat cut oak is rather unstable. Skew or rift cut is a good compromise there. When the ring lines go more or less parallel to the face that's 'flat sawn'. They sometimes refer to this as 'cathedral' because of the arch of the annual rings on the face. As usual, any specialty tends to proliferate jargon, partly for precision's sake, and partly to make it harder for non-specialists to understand.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:09 pm 
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Alan, thanks, that explains something that was bothering me. I recently visited Downes & Reader and checked out their "Quarter and Rift Sawn Cherry" hoping to find a wide piece. (No joy.) Most of the wood in that bin looked like what you describe as skew cut. I always thought rift cut was more likely to result in vertical grain but they seemed to equate it to 45 degrees, as you mentioned.

So what would folks think of skew cut cherry for a carved archtop b&s?

--Bob

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:10 pm 
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Oh uh... sorry to hijack the already-too-long-for-sanity thread. You can ignore my question unless (like me) you've already gone 'round that bend.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:52 pm 
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bionta wrote:
Alan, thanks, that explains something that was bothering me. I recently visited Downes & Reader and checked out their "Quarter and Rift Sawn Cherry" hoping to find a wide piece. (No joy.) Most of the wood in that bin looked like what you describe as skew cut. I always thought rift cut was more likely to result in vertical grain but they seemed to equate it to 45 degrees, as you mentioned.

So what would folks think of skew cut cherry for a carved archtop b&s?

--Bob


Bob, I used to make F5's and H5's. Most all the time, you bought viola wedges and cut them down the center. One time I cut a red spruce wedge that was pretty far off quarter, I'd say maybe 30 degrees or so. I flipped and rotated the pieces so as to orient the grain (yea, I know, lotsa runout) like this: \\\\\/////.
Considering it is an arched top, my thinking was that it was quartered somewhere along the arch. Turned out the finished instrument sounded just as good as any of the rest of them.
I've used skew sides/ribs with good success, just watch out for stuff that runs into flat. Never had much luck with flat sawn ribs. For an archtop back, I always used flat sawn for Loars, but I see no reason not to use skewed.
You are probably looking at 4/4 lumber, probably not going to find 16"+, so you will have to use a slip joint. I used to take 10" flat sawn and saw it in half, slip the joint a little and glue it back together for Loars. If you can find 8/4 good, you will have a better look. Far as tone, yea, they are a little different, but not in a bad way. Not sure, but L5's may have had flat sawn backs too.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:37 pm 
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Thanks Haans. I like your observation that it’s gotta be vertical grain somewhere along the arch. Sorta like, it’s gotta be 5:00 somewhere. [BEER MUG]

The lumber yard had some 8/4 cherry, shew cut, but nothing very wide. Maybe on my next visit.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:18 pm 
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Garrett Wade 202gf PVA based glue. Recommended to me by someone in the repair business for decades. Anyone here done any tests on it?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:21 pm 
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I got a lot of good wood at D&R when I lived in the Boston area, and I still get by there once a year or so when I go down for the NEFFA festival in Mansfield and stay with a relative in Stoughton.

Haans was right; you can get 'close enough' to quartered across the top that way in many cases. With 8/4 wood, cut not too far off the quarter, you should be able to re-saw it with a central cut somewhat closer to the vertical grain plane, and then get wedges from there. A lot depends on the arch height you want, of course.



These users thanked the author Alan Carruth for the post: Haans (Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:38 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:01 pm 
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My suspicions were correct. Not only did Loar L5's use flat sawn (really don't know if they all did, I suspect not), this one, #81273 is so slipped it looks like a completely different board!

Image

Hard to say because of the amateur photo and considering the thickness of the plank, there can be a lot of change in a couple of inches. Gilson was famous for just grabbing the next one off the pile though. I've seen some pretty mismatched backs and tops too. Many times even with 4/4 stock, a full length slip joint is a possibility with a good even board.
Again, sorry about hijacking the thread, but felt it was important to try to answer the question. Hope it helps your situation.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:05 pm 
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Alan Carruth wrote:
I got a lot of good wood at D&R when I lived in the Boston area, and I still get by there once a year or so when I go down for the NEFFA festival in Mansfield and stay with a relative in Stoughton.


Yeah, I like that place. I've bought some very nice Mahogany there for necks. This visit I picked up a pretty nice piece of 4/4 Q/S cherry that will also make good necks, I think. It's pretty wide too so I might try to see if I can get a nice looking back out of it. I also grabbed a 6' length of Q/S walnut, too narrow for a 2-piece guitar back but great for fiddles. I gave that to a fiddle-making friend (who you know - Adam).

Alan Carruth wrote:
Haans was right; you can get 'close enough' to quartered across the top that way in many cases. With 8/4 wood, cut not too far off the quarter, you should be able to re-saw it with a central cut somewhat closer to the vertical grain plane, and then get wedges from there. A lot depends on the arch height you want, of course.


I did something like that with some "mast and spar" spruce I bought there and got some fairly decently quartered tops, by tilting the bandsaw table. My resaw skills and bandsaw are kind of marginal though so I don't want to try to get too fancy with anything very pricey. I'll keep watching for an 8/4 piece of cherry that's wide enough, now that I know I can favor the dimensions and worry a little less about being perfectly quartered. Archtop sets seem to cost an arm and a leg (and sometimes a neck...) and as a beginner I'm not ready to spend big bucks. For $100 I can get enough wood at D&R for a guitar even allowing for a failed experiment or two, and I'm sure I can still use the "mistakes" for something.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:11 pm 
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Haans wrote:
My suspicions were correct. Not only did Loar L5's use flat sawn (really don't know if they all did, I suspect not), this one, #81273 is so slipped it looks like a completely different board!


Wow. Just looking at the lower bout it almost looks like they mismatched the sides after resawing it for book match. Got the left side mated with the right side.

Haans wrote:
Hard to say because of the amateur photo and considering the thickness of the plank, there can be a lot of change in a couple of inches. Gilson was famous for just grabbing the next one off the pile though. I've seen some pretty mismatched backs and tops too. Many times even with 4/4 stock, a full length slip joint is a possibility with a good even board.
Again, sorry about hijacking the thread, but felt it was important to try to answer the question. Hope it helps your situation.


Yes, that helps a lot. Thanks!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Hesh wrote:
Wow that's a lot of bridge failures.

Sure is. Welcome to the world of cheap guitars. The sad part is those that buy the Spanish label guitars (even with the famous names) and think they are getting something of high quality. Even the Spaniards build some so-so products.
Hesh wrote:
What's your climate like so we can see if RH issues may contribute to such a high failure rate?

We get humidity and temperature swings so it could be a contributing factor, though I will say I don't see cracked tops with these corresponding bridge failures (just for more feedback). But honestly, as I mentioned prior, poor construction is the most obvious cause. There may be some exotic epoxies that withstand higher sheer, but when it comes to glues, sheer is sheer and they are not made to deal with that. And I'm sure the cheap Chinese guitars don't have esoteric glues as the sole high quality item in an otherwise bottom-rung bucket of parts. There are a lot of $600-$1,200 Cordobas out there; a good example of the failures I frequently repair.

The lower price-point guitars are difficult to repair at an effective cost point relative to their value. On the one hand I don't care to do them, on the other hand I appreciate the 12-year-old child 6 months into music lessons and the desire to put them in a $600 instrument (not $6,000), so I strive to get them fixed at a reasonable cost. On the cheaper guitars I almost never rout the bridge patch (to keep costs down). I have found that HHG 300g strength with a proper routed chamfer on the bridge, will hold just fine even with some tear out from the bridge lift (guaranteed runoff on the top!) ... at the end of the day getting the student classical back in their hands is priority one - with 300g they never return.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:22 am 
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We don't have any returns either.

Regardless of if we are getting mouse nuts from Taylor who we don't do warranty work for anymore since they were not even worth a 1099 to us we do the very same bridge reglue process regardless of price. This makes it not worth it for us (and some clients) but we won't compromise methods and quality for a lower fee. On Martins we accept less payment than we charge on the street but do the same repair as we always do which is costly with our methods.

The chamfer that you prefer is not what we do, we rabbit. Lots of ways to do lots of things, ours don't come back either and we have been offering a guarantee for our repairs in writing for some years now.

On rare occasion we may not use HHG if the top is highly suspect and if the repair is appropriate for the guitar.

Regarding getting the guitar back to the student we book orders at full price (and quality) or nothing at all and this may mean we donate the repair because of someone's situation. We do a lot of charity work for Vets, the homeless and poor students. We are well known for this now too but regardless of if we are paid or not everyone gets the very same high quality work and methods from us also guaranteed.

It's not uncommon for our local universities, six of them... and 50,000 students to bring us "fleets of Cordobas...." feel the Corinthian leather...;). Initially we set them up when new and then we repair cracks and once in a great while a lifting bridge. Again we don't see a lot of lifting bridges on classical guitars which represent only a small fraction of our market.

Our climate can drop to RH of 10% in our winters and many school guitars live in class rooms with no humidifier at all. In both classical and steel string instruments many of the bridge lifts that we see and repair are accompanied by cracks that start near the bridge and go down the lower bout.

I'm interested in high gram strength glue but we have never had to redo a HHG bridge repair with the 180 gram strength stuff that we have always used. But I remain interested in what others do and works for them, thanks for that.

We also do work for special schools for autistic kids and although I enjoy working for a A-list super star which we do I find myself feeling like nearly $4, my best days....;) when I help a little girl and her teacher have the instrument easier to play. We specialize in some tricks of the trade to help seniors with diminishing hand strength as well as that little developmentally disabled girl be able to play easier and better because of special set-ups and special strings.

I would estimate that nearly 5% of the work that we do is donated to the community in some manner and the community donates instruments to us to repair and repurpose for the homeless and Vets. We have a large VA hospital here hence the high number of Vets.

Regarding doing repairs for less we stopped trying to make the economics work. We consider ourselves fortunate to be skilled in a manner that can help people so as mentioned we do the same high quality work regardless of what we receive in return.

We call ourselves Luthiers without Borders..... (and happy CPAs...)

Lastly we refuse to accept third party payers (insurance claims and renumeration...), shipped in work (we get requests every day...) or to work for music stores or known flippers. Our unique methods of doing business and they are truly unique since I used to teach customer service to over 10,000 business professionals in my former career require face to face, direct contact with our clients. We only launch if there is a defined beginning, defined ending and mutually agreed definition of success. Working through third parties including the staff of music stores makes for lots of misunderstandings and we won't go there. We have worked for up to five music stores at once before but we ended that proactively requiring direct contact with the clients or use someone else since ultimately it's us who's reputation is at stake.

Lastly some of our clients are aware since we have been spotlighted before of our charity work and they may donate additional funds to help us help someone else. We had some guitars that were not being picked up because the students lacked cash. We offer to donate the repair to them as we do because I just want it off the books so we can move on and we like helping folks too. Some of our clients have been known to pay some or all of the bill of other clients in an effort to be great human beings too. It's pretty cool to be a part of I have to say.

Because ultimately everyone deserves to have great music in their lives. Great to hear about other shops and what you do and encounter, thanks Andy.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:26 am 
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I certainly don't sacrifice quality. These guitars don't come back with issues and are guaranteed out of my shop. That's the measure that doesn't lie. They often sound better, too, because the bridge is actually mated to the top! Pretty simple, actually. At the end of the day, creativity is an American virtue - the solution is cost effective to the situation and the results have proven well. 'nuff said.

Andy


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:18 am 
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Hi Andy. No one said that you did sacrifice quality but I did say that our process is no different on a donated repair, a discounted repair, a warranty repair or a full price repair. We repair with the same methodology that we always use, one trick pony so to speak.

Don't want to leave anyone unsatisfied with the tone of the thread but I also need willing partners in civil conversation.

Instead I was addressing your statements that you find it more difficult to repair some guitars with a lower price point for the repairs (and perhaps the guitars originally). You also mentioned that you don't route the bridge patch on the less expensive bridge reglues. That's all I was addressing.

I did want to ask you if you are meaning to say that HHG in higher gram strength is more gap filling? My understanding is that it's not and that HHG in any gram strength benefits from very well prepared joints and is not to be considered a gap filler. That's how we use it and when we use it on only very well prepared joints.

Now to be clear I am discussing methods with you and not being disagreeable since that seems to be how I am being wrongly... perceived.

Regarding routing the bridge patch. We don't do this and here's why. On new construction the chances are that the dome of the guitar is pretty uniform and likely pretty even in controlled RH. With a homogenous surface such as this routing off finish is more reliable. It's also more reliable if you are not flirting with the line of the perimeter where one slip and it shows.

In our repair world we often work on stuff old enough to have top distortion and using a small router base and either a laminate trimmer or a Dr*mel won't provide uniform results. That's our experience. We don't leave any finish on our gluing surfaces. This is a statement of what we do not an insinuation of what you do to be clear, again.....

Although initially when learning this a decade ago using an uber sharp chisel and scoring with a single edge razor blade had a high pucker factor at least for me these days it's old hat and I'm comfortable with the process and even more comfortable with the results. I do read the runout and favor certain directions with the chisel as a result taking it down to bare wood. I also scrape the bridge patch and bridge underside within a few minutes of applying glue and setting the clamp(s).

But I've never been able to get uniform and reliable results with older guitars routing finish so we don't do it. We also clear finish to very close to the perimeter making using a router rather awkward and cumbersome with some difficulty seeing where we are precisely because of the base being in the way. I usually score with the removed bridge as a guide simply moved over a tad from the perimeter. It works well for us in making our pockets for the rabbited bridge to "snap" into on the dry run and slide into once the HHG is applied to the surfaces.

Lastly for now you mentioned that the guitars sound better when you are through with them. This is a measure that we won't go near. Again not arguing with you just sharing experiences and methods.

It's our experience with the $25 capacitor that makes you sound like Clapton and the $10,000 Authentic that has you sounding like Tony Rice that they really don't and that our trade suffers WAY too much from BS claims and snake oil. At our gatherings with other pro Luthiers the conversation is often about how much snake oil is being pushed in our trade. Again this is not directed at you to be clear.

When clients ask us what something will sound like we very clearly let them know that we don't make any promises regarding tone and that what I may hear and what they may hear may vary. We instead are clear about the scope of work and expectations that are quantifiable in nature, specs, time frames, warranties for the repair and "professional standards" that we subscribe to and the resulting expectations.

Tone is so very subjective that we just won't go there. You want us to install the pups that you purchase elsewhere (we are not a store and don't sell pups) sure, happy to help. If your request, and I am speaking of the hypothetical and actual clients that we deal with, includes needing to make a promise as to what the results will sound like we avoid it like the plague....

It's such a problem in our industry that so very many people do make tone promises that are not realized by clients that we even go way out of our way to avoid a client who seems to need reassurances on what may result tonally speaking.

Even for our refrets now we do disclaim that rightly or wrongly some people do perceive a difference in tone on some instruments so be sure you want stainless if you ask us to use it.

Again not being critical but I am discussing how we address our work and the market and being both transparent and honest.

Between us I'm sure that we improve the tone of plenty of instruments and I completely agree with you that the idea that a more completely coupled bridge with HHG will likely sound better. I just won't guarantee it, attempt to quantify it, or offer it to a client, their mileage may vary and that makes it likely a sore spot with some people so we won't go there.

So much so that we have admittedly frustrated some of our clients mostly in the electric guitar crowd who want reassurances that what we do will make them sound better. We can't promise that and if you ever heard me play you would really understand why...;). I tell people I'm compensating for being a lousy player by being a Luthier....;)

Anyway that's what we do and it works great for us too.

Thanks.



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: Clinchriver (Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:45 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:47 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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That was a pretty fun read:)



These users thanked the author meddlingfool for the post: Hesh (Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:53 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:46 pm 
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Wouldn't that be cool if one day they made Text to Voice work really well. Then people could submit a voice sample with their profile, then you could just click play as you're working and soak it all in as your carving those braces!


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