lawrence furse

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About lawrence furse

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 01/15/51

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Interests
    Luthiery, outdoor activities, horses, black labrador retrievers, designing and flying rc model airplanes, vintage jeep wranglers, and target and skeet shooting.
  1. What would you charge to repair this violin top?

    I've done similar repairs for $500 and felt like I charged too little. $750-950 is more like it. I did remove the top, cleated cracks, etc. If that is just a cheapo violin you could loosen the top where the cracks meet the edge, clean the cracks as needed, then attempt to pull it all together using good hot hide glue, either several cracks at once or individually. Then glue the top back where it was loosened and do a bit of mild retouch if warranted (warning the customer that most likely with a cheap repair the cracks will show). That would be a minimal temporary/permanent repair, for which you'd just keep track of your hours and charge accordingly. I have honestly seen that type of repair on nice old instruments hold together with no problems until some clever dealer picked up the instrument for a song in a trade in (pointing out all the cracks etc) and then restored it, much to his profit.
  2. Equisetum

  3. Equisetum

    I've never tried it fresh. Dry is the way I use it. I cut it into two or three inch strips from a big bunch hanging on the wall and give the back and sides a good rub down with it. Does a very nice job of smoothing the wood. It's never occured to me that it might have sound improvement properties. Fascinating idea, sounds like alchemy.
  4. Applying Vernice Bianca

    I agree, and when I size the top I am careful to make sure that it only sizes it and doesn't leave a layer of glue on the top, just sinks in to stop the top from soaking up too much varnish. There are other methods, like a very thin clear shellac, and also egg white works, but why waste an egg when there's always some hide glue about. I prefer the water based sizing because it swells the winter grain of the top, leading to a better appearance under varnish.
  5. Lots of Books at T2

    The Guadagnini book on Tarisio looks like an original hardback edition, though I just did glance at the cover. The story with that book was that another violin maker (no, not me) checked it out from the U of U library in the early 70's and just never got around to returning it. So I was given the job to return it when he moved. I did-but after reading and rereading quite a few times and then forgetting about it. I turned it up in some boxes of stuff in the early 90's and so realized my mistake. By then we had the internet around and I did a price check on the price of that book used - was astounded to discover it was selling at some auctions for $500. So I left it in the book drop with a note of apology for taking so long. The book once again appeared on their shelves after a while-now with a nice new binding- and was almost immediately stolen - I don't think it ever appeared again. So I felt a bit dumb-I returned the book so I and everyone could access it legally-and now it's gone. Good to hear there are newer and less costly editions about. That particular book at auction-may or may not be a collectors item - I don't know. At any rate I am not a collector, if anything the opposite.
  6. Lots of Books at T2

    I noticed a lot of three with a very low estimated price that includes the Guadagnini book by Doring. I recall that book being quite valuable at one time, but in truth I don't think books bring the prices they used to, with all the pictures and information on the internet these days.
  7. Casa Stradivari

    I haven't read the article referred to but as for slanting the f's more in one case than another, I can recall doing that myself to cut out a small sap pocket in an otherwise nice piece of wood. So there are practical reasons why someone might make such a change.
  8. Applying Vernice Bianca

    At first I wondered if this wasn't the name of a rock star's girlfriend, like Bianca Jagger. I remember trying this and other under sealants decades ago (actually that was more than 40 years) but then ceased. I just size the top with a hide glue and water mixture to keep the varnish colors from sinking into the top causing a grain reversal appearance.
  9. Confusing eBay Violin

    Chinese with slightly Guadagnini-ish f hole. At these kinds of prices why sellers will buy, modify, and resell these kinds of instruments is beyond my understanding.
  10. Hargrave's imminent demise?

    Good to know you're still in the land of the living, I wasn't sure. I downloaded some info from your excellent website just in case. Your website is a real asset to the violin making community.
  11. Oh no!!

    Almost everyone did it in the first class of the Salt Lake violin making school. It's a beginner thing. Just make a button graft, it's an easy and basic repair.
  12. Forgive me father....

    No question about the neck, do it. The belly-forget it. Huge job that ends up being far more work than you ever expected.
  13. Violin Makers of the United States by Wenberg Book

    It seem that books just don't sell for much now days, but his does have the addenda.

    As the owner, or co-owner of three horses, horse trading tales make the violin business seem very tame. On the buyer side, my most annoying experience was to drive my wife hundreds of miles into Southern Utah to look at a horse that was "just right" for her, and would be an excellent trail horse. The price was reasonable and the horse looked good in the pictures sent (the pictures only showed one side of the horse). When we got there, the owner very proudly brought out the horse-and it turned out to only have one eye! It was a rescue horse-the owner was trying to find someone new to feed it-and so neglected to tell us of that simple fact. Not too good for riding on narrow mountain trails with steep drop offs on one side or the other . . .
  15. charging for stringing up?

    Good story, you better be careful or the locals will figure out you're a "nice guy." I do it too, little things like that for free, even though they can be time consuming , under the classification of " providing customer service".