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About HongDa

  • Birthday 01/01/1961

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  1. I've found that the one for violin also works for cello posts. Just spread the ends a little and then it'll slip over the post and just grab it.
  2. Some quick pictures to demonstrate using a dental mirror for a better view. The first picture shows how to get a view of the far side. The second picture shows reflecting extra light to the near side.
  3. A quick way to aggressively get a lot of repair grains if the person before you was just as aggressive in removing a top and passing the work on down to you. Then use a chisel or plane to get the grains off. I lay out various pieces on a towel to choose from while working.
  4. It does seem to have gone full circle now. I'd just like to say that I've mentioned several times on this thread that on cheap school instruments I have done quite a few soundpost crack repairs to backs and tops by just gluing the crack and putting a few cleats above and below the soundpost area to allow for post movements..... and I've seen them years later still holding.........longer than I or the customer ever expected. As terrifying as it may sound I've even glued the cleats (on backs) in through the f-hole using gentle pressure to glue them in place with a soundpost (On shorter cracks). Again....it's definately not my usual practice but if it's a matter of life or death of a cheap school instrument I've done it. I wonder if any others here have tried it and what their observations were. I'm happy to see this post getting into alternative possibilities. One thing I'm curious about is how much pressure the soundpost puts on the back. On a package of Dominant violin strings on the back of each envelope it gives numbers in kg and lbs. I assume this means what the string pressure will be on the bridge? The total for one set = kg 21.8.........48.3 lbs. If this means that much pressure is going onto the bridge......then how much of this pressure is absorbed by the top and how much by the back? And therefore how much rigidity is needed if one decides to cleat? Again I've had success with maple cleats and from my experience they were to my surprise.....enough. So I'm very curious how much pressure the post puts on the back.....is it alot less than we would expect? I've actually come across a few instruments people played for years with no distortion to the top AND no soundpost at all nor did the players know that such a thing excisted. Does that suggest the top takes the bulk of the string pressure? Do any of you have the capability to measure the pressure? I thought someone here mentioned some type of thin pressure measuring device. And again I 'll mention I've just cleated areas like this with much success before but felt some extra wood between closely fitted cleats ,as near the post position as possible, would help because the back is much thinner than what I have done on other instruments. Then you suggested your larger patch idea which I like. If one were really concerned that such a patch would still flex enough to open the crack.....would it make any sense to also put cleats on the patch as near the post position as possible? Or even leave the upper and lower sections of such a patch thicker?. It wouldn't be a pretty sight but in any case this isn't going to win a beauty contest As for Jacobs advice to just glue it....interesting and daring but the climate I'm in makes me nervous. I think I have an instrument of my own though that I may try it on to see what happens. Just looking up at my rack now...there is another customer's violin with a full length repaired back crack that had a post patch put in it many years ago as well as cleats.....it's developed into a hairline crack and it seems he played it like that for quite some time not even realizing it ever had a crack. It's been hanging here months as he's too depressed over the fact he was suckered into buying it......and can't afford to have the repair done properly which would be a new patch, cleats and removing the dark stripe of varnish over the original crack. Since he played it in such condition for a period, perhaps he'd be willing to just have me glue it and see if it works. Worst case scenario is the hairline crack reopens and he then takes the strings off and waits until he decides to do a complete repair in the future.
  5. The only thing I stock in that price range (Price range of what would be in Western countries) are decent Chinese factory instruments with correct set-up, good strings etc... which would cost more than what I'm charging for the repair. I could refer him to another shop that sells European instrument of that price and age range but where I am it would be about 3 times the price as one would get in the West and it would be almost guaranteed to have a stop length of 200mm, in need of a neck reset or neck graft, new pegs and quite likely complete bushing work including the end-pin hole. The only problem this violin has is the back crack---everything else is ok. People all over Asia travel to Europe and the States or shop on Ebay to get these instruments because the value is quite a bit higher in Asia-----simply because many players want an older European instrument that doesn't cost too much. Sometimes these instruments are completely repaired with new pegs, correct neck sets, etc.... but often they are sold as is and the customers don't know what problems they bought until bringing it to someone like me. I have an American factory violin....I guess about 90 years old...no flame, painted on purfling and very old looking, it also sounds pretty good. I sometimes take it down for educational purposes......show it to a customer who is in the market for an older instrument on a budget...I explain it's a 90 year old violin and let them play it.....many times they become quite interested and ask how much it is and I tell them it's 2,000 dollars. They are quite suprised at how cheap it is until I tell them to be very careful when shopping because even if I sold it to them for 150 dollars I'd be ripping them off. It's usually a good eye opener for them My main point is the value of instruments in Asia is different than that of Western countries. And the violin black hole of China is just beginning to open. Prices of old Ebay level instruments are all over the place there
  6. I'm staying away from my proposed repair subject . But I find it very interesting about the different ideas of sentimental value between different cultures. I've contacted a few people on MN concerning verification in the past but yours was the most intersting being that of a son and father....If I remember correctly, during some internet searches,........it was made the same year you were born............thus making it your sibling......and therfore you should have some sentimental feeling towards it Just joking of course but I hope this makes for some interesting perspective for everyone. It's a pleasure seeing and hearing it each time it comes to my shop.
  7. That's not the case here. I'm certainly not in the league of Jeffrey who has earned his weekend cottage as well as other restorers/makers on this board who are at a much higher level than most of us (and a thanks to all who have shared on this board over the years) ........but I do have a waiting list with plenty of work ranging from cheap school instruments to dealers who give me long term projects that can be a few thousand in repair/restoration costs. Later I'll tell of my latest predicament concerning a 1/2 violin repair request.
  8. That's pretty much the situation. We went over it at least three times. I'm not charging big city shop prices either. If he didn't want it done for sentimental reasons then he could get a decent Chinese factory violin with a correct set-up, good strings, a case, shoulder-rest, rosin and a bow.....but that would cost a fair amount more than this repair. On the other hand.....because this one is European and slightly old.....if he were to take it to China it would be worth more there than it is in a Western country. Such instruments are often sold up to 3 times their Western value once they get to Asia. I often have old European flea market and Ebay instruments come through my shop.....the last one had a badly broken scroll and pegbox that had been very badly repaired. I told the customer it was useless to try to re-repair it and the best option was a complete neck replacement with antique varnishing. I gave him a price on doing that but suggested he just send it to his Chinese maker friend for a much cheaper price. He sent it over and the Chinese maker liked it so much because it was old,.........that they ended up doing a trade that I think my customer got a much better deal out of. Everyone was happy in the end.
  9. Luckily I don't run across these situations often. But as you suggest, I will probably write something on the receipt to have them sign if it happens again. But even then I'll be careful of who I make such arrangements with........some potential customers are just best to be avoided.......and even with a disclaimer they don't have to show or tell others that they signed it. I once had a cellist bring in an instrument for a tone adjustment. I asked if I could check and re-set the post and she agreed. I began to release the string tension when she then started instructing me on what to do and not to do. I just tuned it back up, laid a straight edge across the top and pointed out that the tone problem was because the top was sinking in.....this was a new Italian cello. She asked what she could do and I told her to take it back to the maker for a new top which should be free of charge.....and in the meantime to discuss with her teacher about using different strings that may temporarily give a better tone result. She never returned and her teacher stopped sending her other students to me and instead go to the chit shop.
  10. Is it the sensible thing to do with all cheap school instruments? Shall I tell the kids at the orphanage that all their instruments are eventually going to be trashed and they better pray someone donates stuff that is better?
  11. Thanks Doug.....with the mention of rotating the patch.....I'm warming up to the idea. ....................................................................................................................................... As I've said in other replies.....I've glued post cracks on quite a few cheap school instruments along with a few cleats. I've had many of these instruments return years later and the cracks held........just as I mentioned several people here have screwed, doweled and pinned broken cello necks on school instruments....usually with success, and I doubt with any guarantees. I explained carefully the risks to the customer and even tried to persuade him to save the money for an upgrade. He knows well the value of the instrument. I'm not charging him thousands of dollars for this job. It's probably less than half the cost of his plane ticket where he flies home from for school holidays twice a year. It requires gluing the crack which goes together quite easily, top removal, a few cleats and possibly the patch. I think a bridge also and of course a new post. It's not a button restoration job or a neck-graft.
  12. Is that what he meant? I took it differently. And I doubt it will ever turn out to be a Strad. If there were any chance of that I'd be PMing a few different people on this board asking if they'd do or recommend the right person for the job.
  13. The player put some kind of thin dehumidifier pad inside the case and then the instrument on top of the pad. It was left like this for a few months and when the case was opened this was the result. The moisture penetrated through the varnish all the way to the inside of the instrument. Difficult to see in the pictures but it's slightly swollen inside also. The entire area is .5~.75mm thicker than the surrounding area.
  14. They are sold as different blanks
  15. Thank you Mr. Pasewicz, and I have done quite a few soundpost patches on backs, your advice of a breast patch obviously sounds like the sure fix in this situation and with the financial level of this customer's family I'm sure I could have convinced them to do it that way and gotten them to lay down a nice fat deposit for the job......which would be at least double the value of the instrument. Initially I told the player (he's not a beginner, just hasn't played in a few years) it would require a sounpost patch but that I myself wouldn't do that on his instrument because of it not being worth it even considering sentimental value. When I then checked the thickness and realized a patch would probably be pointless he asked if there was any alternative. I spent well over an hour explaining the situation to him but he was quite determined. So I told him the only alternative (of which I charge quite a modest fee for) is what I do on very cheap school instruments and that's just gluing the crack and cleating. He asked if this method would work and I told him there is no guarantee but it has worked on the instruments I have done it on. I do periodic volunteer maintenance on instruments for an orphanage orchestra with terrible instruments and I often have no choice sometimes but to do repairs like this just so they can keep playing. Anyway he's a decent person and he fully understands what the risks are and decided to do it. Worst case scenario is the crack opens again, he then uses it as decoration and memories and upgrades to a nice instrument which I beleive is his future intention. As for owning the crack; I understand what you mean. I always stand by my work but there are just sometimes cases such as these that all I can do is persuade against it and explain the risks if a customer is determined to give it a try. In the case of this customer he seems decent and understanding enough that if it fails he isn't going to turn around and blame me. As an example.....there is a very long thread on here about pinning, dowling, screwing, broken off cello necks of school cellos. A lot of advice on that thread and several of the methods were said to have held well. From that thread though I didn't get the impression that anyone using these methods would stand behind and guarantee such repairs. .......................................................................................................................................................................... In any case I didn't think this post would stir up such a hornets nest and give me a nice good clobbering. I suppose from now on when a customer with an instrument with sentimental value enters my shop and wants a repair done even though the instrument isn't worth it......I'll just refuse and let them take it to another shop that will likely charge more than me. And then they can tell all their friends what a mean person I am for not fixing their instrument and telling them it's worthless. I've actually done that before and the customer went to another shop and is constantly online recommending them. My apologies to everyone for making this disturbing post. I will now go out on my balcony and give myself 20 lashes with my Cat O' Nine Tails made of cello strings.
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