stringcheese

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  1. We've had many of these. They are acceptable student violins, but little more than that. We've typically sold them for about $500 or 600 once they were fully set up. A dealer might pay a couple of hundred for one as is. Incidentally, in the photos the bridge is about a centimeter out of place. That's a pretty good indication that it needs to be set up correctly.
  2. Guitars and violins are simply different animals. Yes, arch top guitars, either acoustic or electric, have tailpieces like violins do, but in just about every other respect a plucked instrument is different from a bowed instrument. And flat top guitars with fixed bridges are even more so. Yes, a truss rod controls neck relief, the little bit of curve in the neck that's necessary for the guitar to play cleanly (violins have it too). But neck angle is a separate issue. I could go on and on, but the main point is that you just can't think of guitar repair/set up the same way you do violin repair. The skills are related but far from identical.
  3. Merry Christmas to all the Canadians, and everyone else out there. I miss being able to come up that way. Maybe next year.
  4. Oddly enough, what I would have used at one time is Fiddlebrite. I wouldn't use it for much of anything else, but it actually worked on sticky stuff like old fingerboard tape on some student violins. Like anything, you would want to be careful and go slowly. I'd never polish a whole instrument with it though. I don't think it is available any more but if you have some lying around it might work.
  5. Those are cheap mechanical pegs from maybe 100 to 125 years ago. The recommendation is to pitch them and fit (well fit) wooden pegs. I probably have a drawer full of such things.
  6. Going back to the original post: William Stahl was a teacher, publisher and retailer in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I don't know that the Stahl branded one came from him, but it's a possibility. As for the family legend, it's a story that we hear regularly. It is usually not true, though occasionally it is. The fact is that most immigrants arrived in America with little more than the clothes on their backs. Once they became established, they would purchase whatever they needed or desired. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, violins were imported in huge numbers from (mostly) Germany, in every grade from stuff I wouldn't throw in the wood stove to really good, and everything in between. The majority of them were at the lower end of things, but some were quite good. The only way to establish a value on this sort of thing is to have it looked at by a knowledgeable dealer or appraiser.
  7. The phase that we use occasionally among ourselves (but not in front of customers). "Well, NOTHING will make it good, but ANYTHING will make it better."
  8. For a canoe paddle I wouldn't use Titebond either.
  9. I cannot agree with the above statement. China is today what Germany was 100 years ago in violins, building everything from stuff I wouldn't burn in the wood stove to first rate instruments. Probably larger numbers of the former than of the latter, but the same was true 100 years ago. It's just that many of the worst old ones have been binned by now (not all of them though, we see a few here from time to time). A decently made student violin that has been set up properly can be just fine regardless of when or where it was made. The goal at first is to get an instrument that you will outgrow for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. The lifetime instrument can come on the second round.
  10. I guess the point I was trying to make is that you can reheat glue, but the properties of the glue will change, and you'd better not expect the same results. I have to do some down and dirty repairs on student instruments, and I may try to get away with stuff that I wouldn't do on something better. If I'm working on something decent, it's fresh and prepared appropriately. The second heating (done carefully) will be strong but not as workable. The third will work in an emergency. The fourth, clean the pot and start over.
  11. I'll heat glue four times. First time for critical joints. It will have the best joint penetration, strength and the longest working time. Second time it will be thicker and shorter work time, so if I need glue that will fill a gap a LITTLE more. Third time I'll thin it and glue top seams. Fourth time I'll clean the glue pot.
  12. I probably have a box full of them somewhere if I haven't put them in the recycling bin. Not the first bad idea not the last.
  13. If you are indeed in Red Bank New Jersey, give Christopher Germain a call in Philadelphia. He is one of my teachers and is currently working on a violin of mine (I ran out of time) that has been reliably attributed to Louis Guersan. We worked on the violin together at one time but it's been in the case untouched for too long.
  14. Question: Which one is bigger, a violin or a viola? Answer: They're both the same size. The violinist's head is just bigger. Might tell us something about the OP.
  15. I use a band saw and a 1 X 2 piece of maple with a notch in it so I can rotate the peg, putting a groove in it before cutting all the way through. Then I trim the end on a belt sander, bevel it slightly and finish with 120 and 220 grit paper on a piece of rug. I get nice looking peg ends in little time. But then I'm working mostly on student grade instruments. Takes a bit of practice, but I've seen expensive stuff that looked a lot worse.