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Everything posted by viola_license_revoked

  1. Yeah... I should have one on standby for myself too.
  2. Understood. It'll take a while to get thru the stiff hide glue and some other stuff that won't dissolve or soften in alcohol or acetone. Haven't tried vinegar. But can confirm a hot knife will work as a last resort. I'll have some progress to show hopefully by next weekend Thank you kindly
  3. I need to come up with a game plan sorry pics not in any order. Too tired to organize any of it. But it's all there. Thank you all
  4. Ok I stared at it for an hour and realized there is no Craig Tucker to offer witty encouragement anymore so I took the fiddle apart. Here's where I'm at:
  5. I know... I know... I'll try to do it on the cheap. Can't do anything about the skill part tho... Thank you for heads up! Should have dove deeper into that dumpster... But it's really cool to be the first time owner of a Saxon something. Thank you kindly sir.
  6. Caution: amateur content. Greetings to all I acquired a fine fiddle from the dumpster the other day and I'm going to try and fix it. If you'd like to comment or offer any advice, I would really appreciate it. I present my latest acquisition: "Viola". Named after an ex I wouldn't mind finding in a dumpster. I'm keeping vampire hours again and will probably pull the top to have a look-see before sunup Many thanks and appreciation in advance! Ray
  7. Hi Jess!! Your unique creations have always been inspiring to me! I haven't made any vso's in a decade because life... Hope to get back to it before the year done run out. Yes of course it is silly of me to assume soundpost settings adhere to any preconceived notions I'll eyeing for an apprenticeship at a string shop. The owner doesn't seem too thrilled with me but I figure I'll sweep floor for a couple of months and see what happens!
  8. Apologies if I uploaded this reply twice, please let me start over if I may What are the well known effects of: 1) moving the soundpost towards or away from the bass bar? 2) moving the sp towards the end block vs neck block? 3) tighter vs looser fit? 4) stiffer vs softer stick? If I mess up like I usually do, I'll cut another sp or bridge. It's ok Thank you all Ray
  9. Hi folks Not too bright amateur here... What are the some of basic things you would recommend i do when my set up is just about complete and I want to adjust the sound post, work the bridge etc? Some basic/general rules to follow? More about violins and violas perhaps. Maybe cello too. The double bass is beyond comprehension for me. Thank you all! Ray
  10. hello glebert its not a dumb question at all. i'm the amateur instrument maker, its my job to ask the dumb questions! i'll try to answer based on what i know. in repairs, the philosophy i'm suppose to follow is less is best . in the last 16 years or so, the main ways i've used to repair broken sides are: 1) cleats. you start by gluing the crack together and afterwards, glue tabs of wood at intervals along the length of the crack for reinforcement. 2) fabric reinforcement. silk or other really fine and light cloth is preferable. once again you glue up the crack and then you over lay the crack with a strip of silk. wetting the cloth with hot glue causes it to cling to wherever you put it, so no clamping is required. fabric is flexible and light and along with hardened glue, will not dampen resonance. 3) grafting or doubling new wood onto old ribs. this is very invasive, irreversible and should only be used in extreme cases. basically you glue up what disintegrated parts of a rib section you have left, support it against a outside form or mold and proceed to thin the affected area out to anywhere around half its original thickness. you then overlay a new bent piece of rib, and with the help of tailor made clamping cauls, you glue the new material onto the back of the old. you then reduce the new material to appropriate overall thickness. 4) combination or variation of the above. the question is when to do what? i think that depends on many things, including: a) the skill of the repairer. some know exactly what to do and can see into the future and predict repair results and consequences. some will never seem to have a clue. b ) the value of the instrument. you won't catch anyone with a $20,000 viola coming to me for rib repairs. on the other hand, a true restorer will not have time to look at some broken ribs on a $500 plywood cello. c) appropriateness of the repair. a simple cleat repair won't do it for someone who needs to play at an outdoor cafe on a balcony 15 feet above a massive grill, 4 hours a day 5 days a week in the tropics. ( i did that for 2 years). on the other hand you would not double the ribs on a violin kept under strict museum climate control only to be played a few times a year. that would be butchery. it is important to always remember that no repair can be expected to last forever. longevity of any repair lies in the proper lifelong care and maintenance of the instrument. repair technique is always changing and improving. what restorers did 100, 50 or 25 years ago may not be first option today. likewise we are all confined to our own present abilities. hopefully we'll ask "dumb" questions and not be too proud to learn from those who know more. so that's my "quick" answer. greetings r
  11. THANK YOU very much for your instructions. i will be sure to follow them as closely as i can. good luck to me trying to make the repair look nice... but i will try. thank you
  12. that's a lie. why would anyone take the trouble to open a bass and not close a seam? you can see from the pic attached that there is glue creep around the edge a cleat that pulled away. please look closer before posting lies. sorry... thank you for your suggestions. you got me thinking that if i pulled the block right now, i would end up with two halves of lower sides flopping around... yes of course, i should pull the whole thing back to some proper shape before continuing. i think the ribs are not doing so good... but i'll get a better idea if i force them back to place first. thank you! i'm going dumpster diving tomorrow to see if i can find a thrown-away warehouse pallet or something to take apart and make a clamping caul of some sort. yes i saw it and agree totally that glue failure was the root cause of the collapse. if the last repair date is anything to go by, i would hazard a guess that the joint probably held well for 10 years. i agree the epoxy had nothing to do with the initial problem, but now it's in my way one thing about Miami is that it is about 73% humidity almost all year round. the school where this bass came from also has a leaky roof. the instructor tells me that when a work order is put in for the leak, maintenance guys would come over and paint over the water stains. that's about it... also the A/C gets turned off over summer for the most part when it's the wettest. matter of fact, this bass and a few other instruments have mold growing on their bridge, fingerboard and inside their pegboxes, cloth case, leather pads on the band horns, warped cloth bound books etc... you get the idea. instruments require periodic maintenance to spot and prevent damage like this but there hasn't been any money in the school system for this sort of thing in more than a decade. so maybe in a few years another dude will be posting on maestronet about my shoddy amateur repair from 2016. i suppose it never ends. total time committed so far: sat and stared: apprx. 45mins pull top: 1hr and 12mins. with tea break. "clean" gooey stuff: 1hr 46mins typing typing typing: 55mins prep for seam closing: 1hr 42mins. ------------ apprx 6 hrs 20mins
  13. hmmm... good question. i don't know myself and will have to learn as i go. but as long as there is a google, there is a way. i'll post if i ever fix those bows.
  14. clean-up halted temporarily to think over. will ask for time extension. i can only work on this max 2hrs a day. i have 24hrs to decide if i should pull or destroy the existing end block. i could probably replace the entire lower bouts and varnish to match for a few hundred dollars and do it quicker than picking through broken bits and trying to rebuild mr bonfire-humpty-dumpty, as wiser people with architectural knowledge type knowledge have pointed out. so why bother with time consuming expensive repairs? other than because my life is worth less than a few hundred dollars anyway. why is there another bullet hole in my foot? again? should have just stuck to drugs... do i repair? yes no sure...why not? its your funeral. fake sudden death. have friend deliver broken back to high school.* if yes repair, is bass really really expensive? yes no fake sudden death. have friend deliver broken 1) use hide glue for top, use AR everywhere back to high school.* else** 2) forget trying to save end block. save time and replace instead, also thus no need to clean. 3) thin out broken sides and double. forget saving. 4) close and splice where ever necessary *will be awkward when i run into orchestra instructor at community orchestra rehearsal next week. ** because Florida. also mold-covered-leaky-roof high school with broken A/C. there were 3, maybe 4 types of glue used in previous repair. hide, gooey epoxy (which is strange considering last repair dated Dec 1998). hard epoxy and then there was a smell of peanut butter mixed with AR. "clean-up" tools included knives, pliers, torch, scrapers, heat gun. denatured alcohol and alcohol, 80 proof. i have a nice hunk of spruce from 15 years ago, plenty big for a replacement end block, but i'm saving it for my magnum opus viola when i hit 75. emailed Mr Preston instead to see about spruce chunks. he always have awesome good stuff. was too late to call international. i think they close at 4:30pm. total time committed so far: sat and stare: apprx. 1/2 hour pull top: 1hr and 12mins. with tea break. "clean" gooey stuff: 1hr 46mins typing typing typing: 45mins ------------ apprx. 4hrs 13mins suggestions anyone? please? hungry. need ramen. r
  15. Understood.I'm on my own. Starting with epoxy removal.
  16. thanks Mat. just as a pretend, what if this was a fine instrument with the same damage, what would a proper repair involve? i would really like to know. any suggestions for epoxy removal? thanks R
  17. thank you all. thank you Brad H. your advice was helpful and made me look harder before i did anything. it turns out there's more damage than i first thought... i looked at the block as much as i could and concluded it was difficult to straighten out from the outside as much as i really really wanted to. i also wanted to address that bass bar crack which turned out to be a non issue, or at least i changed my mind afterwards... there are multiple cracks on the ribs which turned out to laminated wood. it looks like the saddle portion will need rebuilding... the open center seam appears to have been cleated once upon a time without closing. the cleats are all intact and the glue marks seem to indicate that. the bass bar crack had already been addressed and is stable. the end block is plastered in place with fiberglass and epoxy. the cracked ribs are more serious looking on the back side. here's my tentative game plan as follows. please let me know what you think: TOP: 1. close as much of the open center seam as possible. splice wood into whatever won't close 2. splice wood into the hanger damage END BLOCK DAMAGE: 1. replace end block with something more substantial. make sure contact is good between it and the top when regluing. 2. double damaged rib section. have to torture teach now, i'll be back in a couple of days. thank you all again. greetings R
  18. hello all i volunteered my services to a local high school the other day, specifically to fix a broken bass and a few bows. i have no idea what to do with all those broken bows... but i suppose i will have to learn. the bottom of the bass where end block is has caved in at the top. the middle seam of the top is also open from the bottom up about 18 inches. the tailpiece hanger has crushed the saddle and cut about an inch into the carved top. the sides at this location is warped and caved in several inches at the top, left and right of the end block. the bottom of the block appears to still be in place, but has delaminated the ply back a little bit. there appears to be a bass bar crack about 6 inches long at the top of the F hole as well. peering inside (sorry i don't have camera to reach in to take pix), i can see this is not the first time the end block had been a problem. there is black/grayish goop all over it. i can barely read the label. i think it states "made in West Germany" so i assume the bass is probably more than 30years old. would anyone like to offer any suggestions on what i should do? i think i'm going to pull the top in the morning to get a better look inside. more pictures to follow. i think i have 3 weeks. thanks in advance for any advice! greetings R
  19. Hello Mr Trenchworker i would ask the young lady for the make and model of her electric and proceed from there. i'm going to make a wild guess that this may be a solid body electric with an on-board pre-amp. these fiddles seem to be everywhere nowadays. the $31 strings may just be overpriced $5 steel cores. the material of the strings really matter only if you are running less common pick-up systems. otherwise it's just a question of taste. i've just made some rather under-informed guesses... if you post more info as you find out, i may be able to help figure it out along the way with you and others on this forum. in the case of a simple solid body with built in piezo pick-up, just cut and install a regular bridge like any other fiddle and all is done. as long as the electronics work, we are good. if the innards are fried or blended in with green leaky batteries, we may be in a little jam. de-ox, plug it in and see. the low end electric fiddles come with zero product support and no parts. you could switch out the electronics for time-tested replacements if unsalvageable. in the mean time i'll share with you some of the amateur basics that i know. which isn't much, but will hopefully be of some use to you. electrics are to be amplified by an amplifier head and speaker cabinet or routed directly into something else, thus they must have a pick-up system. pick-up systems can be passive or active. passive systems route electrical signal directly to the 1/4" output jack or equivalent. more often passive volume and tone potentiometers are included. active systems include an onboard battery powered pre-amplifier stage for added effect(s) and EQ. the business of turning mechanical vibration into electrical signal is carried out by a transducer . the majority of fiddle transducers out there are piezo based. the piezo element can be embedded either in the body or the bridge of the instrument . there are many ways a piezo pick-up can be installed on an electric. a piezo element is a small little crystal that produce an electrical current when mechanically excited. both nylon and metal core strings do quite well with piezos. tear up a regular 5 dollar acoustic guitar pickup and you have 6 crystals to play with. tear up an old digital alarm watch and you have a metal disc piezo to play with. piezos are everywhere! if your pick-up is embedded in the body, it may simply take the form of a metallic piezo strip located in a holder that the feet of a regular violin bridge sit on. it could also take the form of a button sized element that you install inside an acoustic fiddle. sometimes they can be just a thing you jam somewhere convenient on the body of your fiddle. i've done the usual suspects ranging from door buzzer piezo to piezo film. they all work to some degree. piezo bridges on the other hand can have anywhere from 1 to 8 or more piezo elements embedded in the wood of the bridge. the bridge might not even be wood, come to think of it... 1 element, maybe 2 are by far the most common. the most piezos i've ever managed to cramp and sandwich into the bridge of a build is 6, for a 6 string solid electric. other systems may include just microphones, or much less common are electro-magnetic based pick-ups, either coil-on-magnet like regular single coil electric guitars (i've never tried humbuckers) or "string-coil", which is based on the age old technology of ribbon microphones. electro-magnetic systems rely on strong magnetic induction and high gain amplification, especially stringcoil varieties, so solid metal core strings do better than nylon cores. electrics can be solid body or acoustic-electric. solids are just a hunk of wood with a pick-up system on it. they offer less feedback but sound a little dry. low end examples include Mark Wood and Fender solid bodies. sometimes i think i can make better solids with a set blunt chisels while tripping on percocet than they. but that's rather rude to say. but i've just said it... high end solids run the gamut. those makers would no doubt say the same about my diy electrics if they ever saw one. solids are great for effects because of their rather simple tone. acoustics are regular or like regular fiddles but fitted with some form of a pick-up. they have more character to their sound but feed-back can be more of a problem due to the resonance of a "live" body. this may be an issue at a live show. stick sponge in the f-holes, stand somewhere else. that said, i've played my string-coil acoustic electric at full gain and volume squatting in front of my amp and it only started screaming when i got to within a few inches. cheers RL
  20. I agree spruce a lot easier to rub join than maple. I don't know what sorcery causes the planks to hold but the two halves seem to suck themselves together like magnets. I dropped a large heavy maple back off the bench once the day after it was joined and nothing happened... I don't understand it works but it is awesome. Ray
  21. Yes Mat it worked! And I learned it on maestronet ... ray.
  22. hi Mat i am really intrigued... in the past i've tried wetting the wood down to just a few mm shy of the edge and waited overnight to see if that worked. i may have repeated that process a few times before clamping. i think the edge is less strong/compact than further in because it is free hanging, so it fanned out a little. over time the endblock may have held the edge together better than further in where there was pull from shrinkage and no endblock to keep the seam together. and eventually the end block pops. my main concern is that the problem may be partially not-so-good joining to begin with, and partially because this is how the wood really wants to be. closing the seam may only be temporary. but i suppose it could be a good many years before the same thing happens again. someone else can deal with it then. i remembered an extreme case with one of my ebay specials where i ended up trimming with a razor blade and splicing a wedge of maple into the gap. i think that's not the proper way to do it, but it's a $5 dollar fiddle and 6 years later it is still stable, so i'm counting that as a fix. i have also seen really interesting repairs where the entire back is re-joined with a thin strip of wood running down the entire seam. i wonder how bad the initial problem was to need that! ray
  23. true. i agree on all counts. i'm embarrassingly cheap... i had figured since the preamp on my cheap H2 was passable, that the M10 preamp would be much better. so why not save a buck and just buy a cheap phantom supply which is slightly cheaper than say a cheap Art tube etc. actually i dropped the idea of stand alone preamps myself and routed my cheap mixer/preamp directly into my obsolete m-audio 2496. but the cheap cranky motherboard in my prehistoric frankenstein "DAW" blew out for a different reason and i'm back on my cheap CAD, Berhringer and H2 (line- level). my only experience with a ribbon so far was a cheap borrowed R144 and i was underwhelmed. the output was low but usable. the design of the motor didn't look all that impressive. i took it apart and the ribbon was kinked, brand new out the box. very suspicious about the 1.8µ they tout. but i don't own a micrometer and shouldn't suggest otherwise. still, i would re-ribbon one if i bought it. the transformer i'll keep. the internet says a RMX1 (all i would be able to afford) will not improve it. in any case, i would put a Cloudlifter CL1 between a ribbon and a pre that doesn't push pass 60dB clean. on the other hand, if i was loaded, i would pick out a nice Royer R122 and never worry about output again. berhringer's reputation is dismal as of 2014. i wish i could afford better, but it's been cheap and ok for me in the last decade or so, thus i handed them my moneys and trying my best not to hate... i'm keeping my fingers crossed! i'm optimistic and i think Mr Bernie R can gain a noticeable increase in recording quality for around $200 as of 2014. lots of fun research involved and i wish him all the best. time to go practice joining a few cheap viola tops! r