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  1. Look at it from this point of view. "If nobody can do it cheaper and better" you have accomplished something. Very few things we do in this world that is worthy for a lot of money but people keep doing it for the sake of tradition. String instruments are something of culture accomplishments. By playing or making the instruments you get a lot of satisfaction that no money can buy. What good is a million dollars ? It is only a number in your bank book. Unless you really need that money. Otherwise it is siting there for your childern to spand it. I rather have them make their millions on their own
  2. If I have something to repair I would hope it will be functional first, invisibility second. The goal is to get both. Why we sacrifice anything if not necessary.
  3. Play a violin for sometime and make sure you like it before you decide to buy it. Let your friend or teacher play it too. There are good violins out there and bad violins out there. They all look the same. Labels and prices cannot tell the difference, but It adds the difficulty to find out. Go to a violin shop to try. They will show you some violins in your price range. Form your own opinions. Or take a few home to try a week or two. Even online, they let you return them if you are seriously thinking to buy one from them. Often you find out the same violin can make different sound, like a fast horse can run slow depends on who rides that animal.
  4. Ask the custom if you can put a deposit to insure that you will take the object back out when you leave that country. There is no business transaction involved just passing through. It makes more sense this way. Once I took a violin to Taiwan, the custom looked at it for a long time. At last he let me go free because it is a "used" violin. No value so to speak. Who would pay for an old violin like mine?
  5. Hello, I am glad to see you all after for

    a long while. It has been a communification problem.

  6. +++++++++++++ Look like " S " to me, not any Chinese character. If you say it look like Chinese, then it appears like a Chinese " Horse" then only partially .
  7. A good job requires frequent checkings and many extra work. All these take time.
  8. +++++++++++++++++++++++ Try a set of "perfection pegs" about $100 , to see how well it works. The idea is revolutionary. Its appearance like ordinary friction pegs and the gears are hiden inside of the shifts. You need to turn 8 times to get one turn of the peg. So, it won't get loose that easy. That is exactly what everybody wants. You can turn the string tight without loosing it back easily.
  9. +++++++++++++ Why worry about the cost? Never expensive. Only the work to do the varnish you should be worried. Preparing the surface, brush stroke, drying time, keeping the dust out, do not breathe the vapor.. etc. that sort of things. At a secend thought it might be expensive if you make mistake.
  10. Try a few different commercial varnishes on wood, choose one you like. Imagine at Strad time he did not have choices Violin suppy shops have them in bottle available too. It is a great time nowaday you can do as much by hand yourself. Go to a violin shop they will show whatever violins (finish products) you like , cheap or expensive,old or new. Chinese or Italian.
  11. I Use an electronic violin tuner. Mine has only A, E, D, G. I assume it was made solely for violin.
  12. Self taught? To say the least , it is not efficient. Having a teacher is the way to go. Good teachers are better too. Believe me. If you don't have the training you will pay more in time and your reputaion. I don't know any decent player without going throught some kind of formal training. Reading music (notes) is just one necessary item . Once I looked at a self taught pianist , his fingerings of notes on a piano were all wrong. He may just as well as using a single finger to play.It is sad.
  13. +++++++++++++++++ Do exactly as someone here said " The hold needs to be relaxed and stable. " If the size of your violin is not right for you or the bow is too long etc. then it won't be stable nor relaxed. Your teacher should find out why.
  14. ++++++++++++ Please take care and return to post as you can, hope soon.
  15. ++++++++++++++ Are you sure it was made in China?
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