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Posts posted by arglebargle

  1. Hello!

    I would say that the top would have to come off.  A few of

    those have the potential for bass bar cracks. Yes, a can of worms.

    And a bad S.P. crack in the back is a deal breaker for me. Is this

    a job or a favor? A job? No. A favor? Let's see what we can do.

    In my opinion, you have to be enthusiastic about both cellos AND

    restoration to successfully restore a cello. You are clearly

    enthusiastic about cellos. If not so much about restoration, I

    would let it pass and maybe start on a smaller cello, like maybe a

    violin. Celli of a certain age tend to have all sorts of fancy,

    special, hidden problems not easily spied from without.

    If you are not excited about taking on a job, then that is a good

    sign that you shouldn't do it. If you are only nervous, then think

    a bit, have a drink or two, and either jump in or don't.

    From you past posts it is clear you could do this kind of repair.

     So drink up .

    Good luck.

  2. I would leave it alone. I like to remind myself that people were making fine violins during both world wars.

    Many of these instruments are well respected, as are their makers. Imagine making a violin in Italy, England, Germany, etc.etc.etc in the 1940's.

    Little nicks and dings seem a bit less tragic when the world is falling around you.

    Not to be overly dramatic.

    It really come down to aesthetics. Lots of good modern Italian violins have very noticable flaws, but they serve the whole, and are very easy

    on the eyes and ears. If you can live with it, so can I.

  3. In the violin making world I think there are a few aspects that

    distinguish a professional from an amateur.

    I don't, however, think that one of them is love of the craft

    or the search for beauty and artistic expression through it. I have

    never met a "professional" that is not an artist through and

    through, and genuinely moved by exemplary violins, no matter their

    origin. Maybe I am just fortunate in that regard.

    A professional in the violin world is some one who has the ability,

    knowledge and understanding to take care of a customer for life. No

    matter what needs arise, you will be able to help that person.

    A few examples.

    If you sell one of your violins to a customer, the professional

    will be able to help that customer step up into a better grade of

    instrument, either a better one of yours, or a higher quality

    antique. If you have limited ability or a limited access to

    instruments, then there may come a time when you will no longer be

    able to meet the needs of your client.Then what? You would have to

    send them else where.

    If your client breaks the instrument they purchased from you, can

    you confidently take on any repair that might arise? Do you have a

    large enough field of knowledge and experience to help make the

    instrument right?

    Be it a new bridge or a neck graft.

    When you accept money for a product you have created you are

    entering into a relationship with the other party. Like any

    relationship, a one sided one will usually end in tears. Or a

    restraining order. A professional in the violin world will

    confidently handle any and all aspects of the relationship with the


    In my mind, it becomes a very confused area when the amateur starts

    taking large sums of money for a product they either made of

    "found". To me, a large sum is 1000$, or even a little less.

    I do not mean to sound negative, or snooty, or elitist. I would not

    consider myself a professional, but rather one who is working hard

    every day to reach that level. I also feel that the judgment of

    professional or not is, in a large part, not entirely up to the

    person. It is a consensus reached by the community at large, often

    unbeknownst to the "professional" in question.

    Oh well. A bit convoluted, but just some of my thoughts.

    Good luck.

  4. That's a tricky one.

    Best case: All the violins are well set up to begin with and the

    players are respectful.  A check up once a year, a few hundred

    dollars for worn strings and rehairs... oh wait, most likely all

    your bows will need rehairs after a year.  A few this and

    thats. People do love to complain. Still well within reason,

    Worst case: 10 new bridges, 10 sets of strings, 10 broken

    tailpieces, 10 sound post cracks, etc...

    Only to say that anything can and does happen to instruments on

    loan. The safest bet is to assume major set up work for over half

    your "fleet" over the course of a year. A few instruments will need

    repairs, and chances are one will be "destroyed".

    This is assuming, of course, you are renting violins to drunk

    monkeys. If you are not the results could be better, or worse.

    The pleasure of putting a good sounding, well functioning

    instrument in the hands of someone that cannot otherwise afford it

    is well worth the effort and expense. When built wisely and over a

    long period of time, a rental program can be both rewarding and

    profitable. It's alot of work, but so what.

    Good luck.

  5. It may be a little late for now, but I found it best to always work on multiple violins at the same time. Espescially with my first efforts. I always did three at a time, and found the repetiton of each step very helpful. It was always gratifying to see that number three in the group was always slightly, or much, better the it's two earlier siblings.

  6. Tim, good work.

    I can't tell all that much about the arching from these pictures. A flat/side/front to back view might be more useful. That being said, there

    doesn't seem to be much re-curve around the prufling channel. I like to see a bit of flat right before I hit the perfling. Just a bit. A tiny bit.

    What I can see is that you need to spend a little more time easing the arch into the purfling channel. From these pictures I can see alot

    of break and chop on the approach to the purfling. Use sunlight and shadows to find these spots and eliminate them. These little imperfections

    are magnified instantly with the first coat of varnish.

    I think a new violin maker is well served by this sort of attention to detail. You might as well do it now.

    Either way, don't stop till this is finished, then start another right away. Then another and another and another and another......

    Good luck

  7. All the different ways to "suck corn" aside, maybe it would help if

    you made you're questions a little more specific.

    What do you want to know? Whether you know it or not, or even like

    it or not, you have access to some of the best minds in the violin

    making world today through this forum.

    I find the suggestion that the co-author of one of the seminal

    books on violin restoration and repair put in a shoddy soundpost

    when compared to yours laughable.

    I've read countless entries on this site, and I have found the

    people here to be more then generous with their hard earned

    knowledge and exceedingly kind.

    It seems that every question you ask is followed by a long rant

    about how you don't really need to know and any answer you get is

    something you already thought of and you could do it better and

    you're older and don't have much time and so on and so on.

    If you want to know the best way to take the top off a violin, just


    I, for one, wouldn't mind having Mrs. Shipman install a soundpost

    for me, or most of the violin makers who post here for that matter.

     We should all be so lucky.

    That being said, once again, good luck.

  8. With all due respect, it doesn't seem as though you care one whit

    for anyone else's advice or suggestions.

    So go for it.

    What can't be done through careful planning and reason will surely

    succeed through force, ignorance and luck.

    If your looking only for encouragement and applause, then here's

    some more:

    It's not that hard. Anyone can do it. The method and design are

    obvious. What's the worst that can happen?

    Good luck.