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  1. I think you should find a private, quiet place to let all that hot air out without embarrassing yourself.
  2. If you mean a stereo turntable; that question is major debate in audiophile circles. Generally listening to music on "vinyl" (as LPs are often called now) with a really good turntable and cartdidge may be as good or better than a CD, but it requires much more attention to care, cleaning, adjustment of the stylus, etc. Some say LPs have a warmth lost in digital CD's. One benefit is the availablity of tons of cheap used records at thrift shops (especially if you like Montovani or the Tijuana Brass!). Myself, I a prefer CD; more consistant quality, no pops and cracks, and no jumping up every 20 minutes to flip it. The "gramaphone", if a quality model, may be valuable to a vinyl fan. Check its brand and model and look on eBay or do a Google search to be sure he's not pitching a treasure in the bin. If, on the other hand, its a garden variety record player (e.g. RCA, Zenith) it has little value. [This message has been edited by dwpc (edited 04-07-2002).]
  3. I searched "strings", and the info is just too voluminous for a beginner to assimilate. I've been playing on a mixed set of Supersensatives and Dominants that are several years old (I know because the envelopes are in the case) and they're shot...tone dead and corroded. Its 50-50 whether the E will sound a note of just squeek regardless of what I do. I'd appreciate recommendations for strings that are stable, not very loud (if there is such a thing), and (hopefully) forgiving of my still quite crude bowing. I'm not concerned about getting virtuoso tone as long as they're relatively consistent with the other strings. I'm playing a 100+ year old violin and bow of unknown origin that are said to be pretty good. [This message has been edited by dwpc (edited 03-31-2002).] [This message has been edited by dwpc (edited 03-31-2002).]
  4. quote: Originally posted by dwpc: . Thanks. Its a start. My violin has no maker's name but Huska's card was in the case. His card had no phone number, I thought he would be earlier than that. DOn't know if he made it or repaired it. The case has a union-made label dated 1894 but I don't know if thats when the case was made or the union started. I've been advised by a couple good shops that its a pretty good violin. I was my Dad's, bought at a flea market in the mid 50's. Its still in excellent shape.
  5. I'm going on 55 and would like to learn the violin. I played the guitar as a kid, and later the bagpipes (don't ask!) but my musical abilities were never spectacular. I have my fathers old violin and bow, Chicago-made around 1895, and have been told by a couple professionals that its a pretty good instrument. I'd love to be able to play simple classical pieces. Some of my favorites are the Lanner waltzes as recorded by the Biedermeier Ensemble. I'd love to hear opinions from other "late bloomers" or teachers.
  6. My son acquired a 1960 vintage German-made plywood cello from which someone had stripped most of the original finish; to bare wood. I know this instrument student grade, and not valuable but I'd still like to refinish it. Can someone advise whether it needs a seal coat before the varnish. I plan to use Behlens Violin Varnish which seems to have the right ingredients for spirit varnish. Behlens is a top name in wood finishes, and I assume they'd make a goood product. Or...is it OK to use a good dewaxed shellac? Also, it has some heavy chipping at the edge of the top. Can I repair these with dutchmen (inserts) or should I just sand the chips smooth and leave it?
  7. Expanding on what Oded says; shellac is the product of stuff excreted onto trees by tiny lac bugs from Southern Asia. The stuff is refined by heat and other processes into a variety of grades. Since its solvent is alcohol, its compatible with both oil varnishes and lacquers (i.e., won't be affected by them). Non-toxic too.
  8. Or maybe he'd just be an Alfa Romeo mechanic??? [This message has been edited by dwpc (edited 04-20-2001).]
  9. Donuel: I wonder if yours was from an old batch. Shellacs (seedlac in Behlens) have a shelf life of only a few months once dissolved. Dennis [This message has been edited by dwpc (edited 04-20-2001).]
  10. I'm restoring a beat-up old Sherl&Roth plywood school cello. I found a reasonable replacement finish, Behlens Violin Varnish. Its a spirit varnish containing traditional ingredients. Behlens makes good finishing products and its much cheaper than traditional varnishes. Try woodfinishingsupply.com or Liberon.com
  11. dwpc

    refinish question

    Hi Lane: I'm in the same boat as you. I have an old laminated school cello that some one had partially stripped, and I had to finish the job. It had a spirit (alcohol-based) varnish finish that softened up quite easily with denatured alcohol. I found, though, that chemical stripper left a much cleaner wood surface since it lifted the old stuff, and scraped off more cleanly than the alcohol-dissolved goo. Any ground coat under the original varnish was undetectable so it either came off with the finish or never existed. FYI, since it's not a very valuable instrument, I'm using Behlens Violin Varnish to refinish it. It contains many of the classic spirit varnish ingredients; sandarac, mastic, seedlac. Its blasphemous to use a canned varnish, but Behlens has an excellent reputation for traditional wood finishing products. By the time I'm done, I'll probably regret that I didn't just buy my son a Chinese cello on Ebay, but this is the same instrument he played in the middle school orchestra ten years ago. [This message has been edited by dwpc (edited 04-12-2001).]
  12. I would appreciate any information that might help narrow down the origin of my daughter's violin. My father purchased it in Chicago in the mid-50's (seller is unknown), and it was already quite well used. The shop that set it up (Nick Rail, Santa Barbara CA) advised us that its a very good violin and bow. It has no maker's label, but there is a very old business card in the case reading "John Huska, Violin Maker, 1907 W. North Avenue, Chicago". Its notable that the business card apparently predates telephone numbers. The violin has a two piece back. For what its worth, the case is labeled "M&W-Warranteed-Registered 1893". The case is quite sound except for the leather strap handle. [This message has been edited by dwpc (edited 03-30-2001).] [This message has been edited by dwpc (edited 03-30-2001).]
  13. Michael: This cello, though structurally OK, is in very rough shape after 35 years in the middle school orchestra inventory. The stripping was already done when I bought it. The front and back were bare wood, and the ribs heavily blotched all around from the alcohol that dribbled over the edges. Who ever did it really slopped the alcohol on. Only the neck finish is intact, and I'm not touching it. The varnish I'm planning to use is a seed lac with mastic and sandarac. Toning it will be a real challenge. Though I've making and finishing furniture for 30 years as a hobby, I'm learning much here.
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