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Everything posted by luthier

  1. 130 bucks for a $35 bow, shipping included. Unfortunately there are numerous sellers on ebay doing this. Sometimes the prices realized are sickening, well beyond this example.
  2. Looks like a bargain, even so the violin pictured on the certificate isn't the same one in the listing.
  3. Actually it would be easier to paint on some automotive undercoating. The darkening is original and varnished over, so it can't be removed unless you take the finish off. ...been there, done that
  4. Since we're drifting away from the OP's thread, I'll put this one in the mix. (see post 44). Looks just as good as Martin's find.
  5. From my experience grain spacing in spruce has absolutely nothing to do with stiffness. The stiffest piece of spruce I've handled has a grain spacing of over 1/8", and was used as packing material for some guitar tops I purchased. I've had some tops that had 30 to 40" grain lines per inch that were too floppy to use. Guitar tops are thinner, of course, and are much easier to flex..
  6. It seems this person is reading MN. The carpet is gone for this one...
  7. Here's yet another example. He's been doing this for several years to my knowledge. What astounds me are the prices he's getting for junk. Who was it that said "there's a fool born every minute"?
  8. Greetings everyone, Offered are seven aged spruce (picea abies) tops for violin, purchased from a closed shop in Germany several years ago. These tops are semi processed, with plenty of excess still to take off. It is fine quality, strait grain, ready to go. As far as I can tell, there is no runout, so they were probably cut from a split billet. These will be sold individually, or multiples. There are 5 in this add, more to come. I'll probably never get around to building violins myself, because I restore and repair. If there is interest, I have maple and more tops to put together for sets, all very well aged and ready to build. The maple isn't wildly flamed for the most part. I also have a few pre and partially carved scrolls, neck blocks, ribs, etc. Contact me if interested.
  9. Throughout history violin labels have been used to create an illusion or to deceive. Some makers use a label of a famous maker to designate the model, or whose model is being copied, such as Blah...Blah.. made in Germany. A German violin modeled after Kloz with an Italian label is pure deception and fraud. There are many millions of these fraudulently labeled violins circulating around the world. A label is worthless in determining the provenance of a violin, except ..blah..blah..made in Germany, or France, etc., or those rare truthfully labeled ones.
  10. I have claimed half the kitchen counter top.
  11. I can't see the corner miters on the picture, but what I do see is no delta on the back of the scroll. I also read Jocob's tutorials on identification. Ruben, a big help in finding the origins of your violin would be the fluting that goes around the back of the scroll around the top and into the throat. Does it go to the very end or stop at around 6 o'clock, when viewed vertically?
  12. To my eyes, this looks much better than "dutzendarbeit". It is probably Mittenwald school. There are violin makers scattered throughout Germany that learned their trade in Mittenwald. Kleingemund is a small town close to Heidelberg on the Neckar river. It looks like it was made early to mid 1900's or a little later. If you are not sure about the set up, take it to a good violin shop to have it checked. They will all tell you it needs a new bridge, new soundpost, and maybe new or different strings, regardless of if that's true or not. They will probably also know a little more about where the violin was made than pictures can tell, if they are good at what they do. The top of the bridge should be around 1.3 mm thick.
  13. This is for advanced makers and should not be tried by the uninitiated.
  14. It is presently a buyer's market on ebay, and the winner of the viola tonight did very well in spite of the mislabeling. I think the market for violins is extremely saturated, compared to demand. What I cannot understand is the plight of the honestly represented violins of good quality, sometimes labeled, which don't have bogus Italian labels, selling for less than peanuts or not at all. The majority of the Italian labeled violins are antiqued new Chinese worth 300 max, or old German/Bohemian/Czech trade fiddles worth the same, more or less, and yet they sell for several times what they are worth, and go into the thousands in some cases. I sometimes think the buyers deserve what they get. On the other hand, I feel sorry for their lack of knowledge. If ebay buyers would take the time to get educated about what they are buying, a whole bunch of the scammers would be out of business. There are several with multiple ID's, and have been scamming for several years. There are even well written buyer's guides on ebay for all to see, but apparently have very little impact. It's sad to see the honest sellers not getting squat for their wares, and the scammers making extremely huge profits off crap.
  15. Looks like all 3 were signed by the same person as well. Maybe the maker moved around a lot and changed his name at every new location.
  16. The running ink is from an inkjet printer.
  17. Why is it offered at this price when any auction house would get a minimum of 1/2 million or so? (You don't have to answer this)
  18. I found a very reasonable source for parchment, strait from the horses mouth, so to speak. I've ordered some, and will report back when it arrives.
  19. Hello Julian, I don't know if you got the PM's I've sent, they appear in my inbox. I'd like to have the journals. maybe you can PM me? Thanks
  20. This sounds interesting. I just might try that on one of my worthless Schoenbach boxes that I've regraduated and stripped. What did you use as a solvent, Martin?
  21. Hello Banzai, The best judgement as to what needs to be done should be made with the violin in hand. That being said, one approach for the top would be to use Citristrip to remove the varnish and crud from the area. If it's been stained with an oil stain, you won't be able to remove that. On the otherhand, a water based stain will wash out to a large degree. There is a citristrip remover that you can also buy, but there is alcohol in it, which will soften the varnish you don't want to remove, if you are not very careful. Let the wood dry out overnight, and put a coat or two of a thin clear shellec varnish on the bare area without sanding first. Once that has completely dried, sand it with a 320 paper just enough to smooth the fuzz off. Now you can use micromesh to buff the area down to a dull gloss, up to 6-8000, dry. I know I'm putting myself in front of the firing squad here, but hey! it's a trade fiddle. The original varnish wasn't exactly the best to begin with either, and had already been removed by someone else. Now it gets a little more complicated. You'll need to invest in some alcohol soluble aniline dyes. You'll need yellow, a true brown that doesn't turn out red, and a reddish brown. With these 3 you'll be able to match most colors of violins. I mix that with a thin, clear or blonde shellac prepared from flakes. I like the mix to need 3 coats before the original color is matched. That way you'll have room to make adjustments to the color if needed. If the violin seems to have a yellow ground, that's where you start. Use a scrap of spruce to test color by going through the clear, yellow, etc. I use an artist brush with a fine point to apply the color coats. Apply very thin coats, with the brush barely wet. Once you have a good color match, you may need to scrape with a razor blade (most effective when completely hardened) or sand down the high spots in the varnish. If you are adept with french polish, you can make a pad and use alcohol with no varnish to buff the finish to a sheen. If you don't have any experience with french polish, this isn't the place to learn. You can really mess up a finish in no time flat. The second option is to polish the area with micromesh, rotenstone with oil or water, or a polishing compound. If there are adjustments needed to the color, do it with a gloss on the finish. Once the color is right, 2 or 3 coats of clear finish are needed. After the second coat, sand lightly with a 400 grit paper, and clear coat again. Then you can buff out by whatever means you feel comfortable with. If you get the finish work done within 2 days, the varnish will shrink, leaving a slight valley between the grains, and blend in well with the surrounding wood. Also important! All color work should be done in direct or indirect sunlight! Only natural light will reveal the true color. I once did a lot of touch up on a fiddle that looked great, until I took it outside. It was one of the first lessons I learned with color.
  22. For whatever reason they were inscribed into the top, and not a natural phenomena.