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About FiddleDoug

  • Birthday November 28

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    Hilton, NY

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  1. I would beg to differ! Most of these tops were made by cottage industry "craftsmen" who only made parts, and never handled the final product (so much for the "skills of the original makers").These were mass produced commodities that were never meant to be great instruments. Calling them "historical" is a bit questionable. If I find a roughly gouged top 5mm thick, and reduce it to a proper thickness, I'm removing a ton of mass that can only damp the sound.
  2. I don't really need to see anything. Most old, "neglected" violins need peg work. The fingerboard appears to be dyed hardwood, and trying to plane and redye them often turns out poorly.
  3. " It’s also quite likely to be very roughly carved on the inside of the top, with a very roughly carved integral bass bar. " Just as I expected. Are you going to go the full route and take the top off, smooth/regraduate (watch out for spots that are already too thin!), and do a real bass bar?
  4. Don’t even think about that! You might as well smear dung on the inside. Large fitted patches have been used, but it takes a very skilled luthier to do it properly.
  5. The cross clamps are easy. I've made some with threaded brass rod, Delrin blocks, and wing nuts. I made up one double rod clamp like the ones you pictured, and four other single rod clamps of various configurations to cross clamp from both the front and back. Other than a saw and files, the only other tool needed is a tap to fit the bolts on the block in the center. The edge/crack closing clamp is a bit harder. With good metal machining skills, and a milling machine, you could do it, but probably a tough go with hand tools,
  6. I would also say better quality trade fiddle. The varnish is in terrible shape, but don't consider revarnishing it yourself! A good luthier might be able to put on a thin layer of of a shellac type sealer to protect what appears to be bare wood. The fingerboard look to be ebony, which fits with better quality. The pegs may need attention at some point. The two fine tuners need immediate attention. It looks like they might be digging into the belly.
  7. Perhaps MaryS will get back to us and let us know the state of the inside. Brad has been at this for decades, and has seen thousands of instruments.
  8. As Jacob said, it’s Markneukirchen area, cottage industry type violin, in quite rough shape. It’s not a Hopf! The through neck type construction can be a real problem if the neck angle is too low. It’s also quite likely to be very roughly carved on the inside of the top, with a very roughly carved integral bass bar. So, worst case, to do things really correctly, you might have to rebuild the whole upper block/neck root area, and do a neck set. Also, regraduate the top, and put in a new bass bar. A new fingerboard and pegs as well. All in all, not trivial repairs.
  9. Don't knock them until you've used them. I've installed Wittner pegs without any problems, and I like the way they operate. Just make sure that you ream them to the exact size, so that the threaded portion digs in correctly, and remember that the A and E string pegs have left handed threads.
  10. I have a similar one around the shop, but the frog is white, as an imitation ivory. These frogs are generally made out of celluloid, and the quality of the bow sticks are generally not that good. Not worth the cost of a new grip wrapping and rehair.
  11. It needs some work, so a few hundred $ at best.
  12. Reptile lamps at pet stores have a lot of UVB content.
  13. I once asked Hans J. Nebel the exact same question. I started in this field quite late in life, and his answer was pretty much: "Get in a time machine, go back about 30 years, and work for a major violin restoration shop. Work under a talented Master, and handle, and work on thousands of violins. After that you will know"
  14. If you really want to do decent restoration work, I would highly recommend taking some of the summer workshops that are held at various places. I have attended the one at MCLA for many years, and if they open it back up next year (Covid), I'm sure that I'll attend again.
  15. There have been reports of things coming apart when this glue has been used.
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