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Kev N

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  1. Yes, my apologies if I seemed to infer that the rest of the pegbox and scroll were also similar... twas not my intention. Like my absolute favorite philosopher Clint Eastwood once said, "A man has to know his limitations.", and this is not my area of expertise. By the way, Blankface, thanks for the incidental extra "identfication" indicators concerning French pegboxes and scrollwork. Some of them I had never really noticed before. Learning much here...:-)
  2. Nathan, FWIW, I did happen to post a fiddle here for ID about 5-ish weeks or more ago that seemed very clearly French in many respects. Your scroll flutes next to the pegbox reminded me of mine to some degree. Perhaps Blankface will remember it as he seemed to have the best handle on it. I had the top plate off, so everyone could see the corner blocks, cleats, etc. The body was reasonably well done, yet to me the neck and scroll seemed rather crude in comparision. In fact, the scroll was fluted much like yours in that it seemed to be hastily finished. It too had a French label (which seemed to have been replaced at some point, actually). At the time Blankface speculated that it might be Grandjon "school" in nature. Attached is a picture of the scroll fluting. I can provide much better pictures later if you like. Kev
  3. Yes, as I suggested to the OP, knowing about where the OP lives will help to know what the local folks will charge. Out here in "flyover" country a local violin place in Eau Claire, Wisconsin advertises on the web a $75 price to remove the top and do a minor (clean I assume) top repair. A few miles south in Chicago and the prices might triple or quadruple. As somebody said here, location, location, location.... Of course, I would have to charge even more to make a profit, and probably not do nearly as good of a job...:-) Kev
  4. Hi Doughbunnie, welcome to the forum. Looks like nobody (better qualified to answer!) has noticed this post, so I thought I would at least mention that some repair prices I see posted for removing the top plate and fixing a simple top plate crack seem to run around a hundred bucks. That probably has a lot to do with where you live though, as well as the nature of the crack. If you mention the region that you live in, perhaps somebody here can identify a decent local repair shop for you with a good reputation. Personally, I know little about your violin other than the fact that it is probably a common student violin. Kev
  5. Thanks for your thoughts guys. Nathan, maybe the story on why I first made it will help a little to answer the question, I hope.... I guess I didn't really mention it, but the way the jig came about had more to do with a few complicated rebuild/alignment situations than simply mounting a neck on a "normal" or new violin. It happened several years back when I ran into an old lower-end German instrument (roughly turn of the century) where the bouts were not at all symmetrical, the end pin was off, and the neck was also badly off in 3 axis (height, angle laterally and vertically due to a previous "repair") as well as the pegbox being badly twisted making it hard for her to tune or so she felt. Her leader (who she says played a Strad, but I wonder) apparently called it a "planter" . Well, every great violin has a name, right.... Anyhow, she was under no delusions as to it's value, but wondered if I would be able to do anything at all with it since it was worthless as it was. All this despite the fact that I had never even touched a violin before (although I should admit that I have spent decades doing all kinds of fairly precise woodworking and engineering work, etc.). So, there I found myself trying to figure out exactly how to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, so to speak, and get the strings to somehow "split the difference" with all these problems and at least feel more functional. That was where all the setup advice offered here was truly invaluable. Thanks..... I realized that the best way for a noobie like me to visualize the string path and all my options with neck adjustments, end pin changes, etc was to be able to both hold everything in the desired new location, use a long straight line to take measurements and check alignment between the F holes, end pin, all along the fingerboard, etc, and try to at least balance those with the asymmetry of the bouts. That was where I realized how much a fixture of some sort could help an inexperienced amateur like me in such a difficult situation. Thus the fixture. I won't say that in the end the job I did could put any real luthier's job at risk, but at least she was amazed at how much better it sounded (do I have to mention that the bar was pretty low by that point?). It was a blast though, but I have always enjoyed being in over my head a little. And it led to an addiction, fixing the occasional violin......
  6. In recent years I have had to deal with the resetting of two messed up necks (following M. Darnton's very well written explanations on the subject) and other various alignment issues. After struggling a bit (I am still very much an amateur at violin restoration) I have gradually evolved a method of being able to hold the body and neck in the position(s) that I require. A sort of "alignment cradle" if you will. While I have seen all kinds of helpful pictures and explanations on every subject under the sun here, I wondered why I have never seen much on the subject of how to hold a violin for initial alignment checks, accurate measurements, subsequent neck setting operations, or countless other "alignment sensitive" tasks. Or am I just obsessive/compulsive/insecure about how I do such things? Or just less skilled than most of you at this kinda thing, such that I need a fixture like this (ok, that is obviously true in any case )? How do the experts (or amateurs) on this forum hold the body of a violin securely when they have to repeatedly keep rechecking alignment and other such things, say when trimming the base of a neck? Does one eventually just get comfortable and good enough without such a "crutch", or are you guys holding out on me? A few pictures are attached of the method I now use to deal with my "dimensional insecurities". I have found it most useful in discovering where the outer edges of the bouts are relative to the endpin, base of the neck, scroll end of the neck, etc., etc. Basically this is just a good quality (dead flat of course) plywood board with some T-nuts installed in the back that allow me to adjust the maple supports that hold the body in exact position relative to the centerline marked on the board. On the board itself I pencil in all kinds of alignment info. I place the violin body in a position on the supports that seems to be the best centerline/string position relative to the centerline marked on the board. I note where the endpin is and where the base of the neck attaches to the body and try to figure out how to best align everything, be that moving the endpin, adjusting the neck (if really necessary), or whatever. By simply placing a small machinist's square or two in the right place I can find the position of the edges of any part of the violin relative to the assumed centerline/string path of the body. Still to be finished is a way to make an adjustable support under the scroll position and some other details. I sprayed it with cheap shellac to preserve the pencil notations. For me, the one disturbing thing about using a fixture like this is it becomes glaringly obvious how out-of-alignment many old fiddles were originally built. Apparently the common fiddle, as we know it today, is an admirable example of "fault tolerant" design. Am I the only "dimensionally insecure/obsessed" person here?
  7. I dont know if it would bear upon the decision, but I measure about 600 grams, maybe 20 oz of compression to force the bar back onto the plate face that it had lifted from (perhaps many decades ago?) when I try and squeeze the lifted end back down. I am a bit of a beginner at this, but that seems like an awful lot of force. Which makes me want to believe that the bar had warped for some reason in a way not originally intended? I assume? I do know that there has been discussion in the past by some that "preloading" a bassbar might have some advantages....but surely this would not be an early case of that?
  8. Thanks for the sage advice guys. Then a new, but identical (except for the warp...) bassbar it is.
  9. I few days ago I started to prepare this violin (using the advice kindly offered here) for the rib (re)repair it so badly needed. So, I began by cleaning off all the old glue crude with hot water, cotton swabs and small scrapers. I have attached better pictures of the four (now cleaned and hopefully more visible) corner blocks, in case anyone is interested.. One of the first things I discovered after the glue was cleaned away was that the thin "ebony pin" that I thought was located in the bottom block was not wood at all, but a very small little nail. Oddly, it seems to align with a place on the ebony saddle, not any place on the plate proper. I have attached a picture, just for kicks. Looking closely under the fingerboard at the top block, I think I see the remnants of a similar nail up there too. Not sure if that tells us anything other than a factory way of holding the plate in place while the clamps could be applied? So far I have decided to use what I believe to be, or what Blank Face seemed to imply, was the better method (perhaps not justified for a violin of lesser value than the ones you guys normally work on, but I am having fun with this one...). So I decided to try and do the 1" taper method to the rib and the replacement rib stock. I removed the linings from the damaged rib and loosened it up from the back plate all the way back to the middle of the C bout (the glue was very weak to this point anyhow, and needed to be redone). This gave me the flexibility I needed to bend the rib out enough to create the desired taper on the inner face safely. This effort was aided by the use of a simple wooden fixture that supported the now fragile rib while I shaved, sanded and scraped the desired taper into it. The other side of the broken rib was unglued from the end block and tapered also. I have yet to make the 2"-ish (new rib stock) piece that will connect them. The plan is to make a proper form to glue these pieces together in so that they will assume the correct finished rib shape and (more or less) thickness. However, I may let the block end of the repaired rib run a little thicker on the back side and simply notch the new bottom block slightly to accept it where it occurs. I figure a tiny bit of extra thickness here can't hurt much. The main question that I have run into has to do with the bassbar. It has a surprising amount of curve in the bottom end where it has pulled away from the plate by nearly 1/4"! What's more, this bassbar seems low and thin compared to what seems to be common practice in today's violins. The original bassbar (from the later 1800s we assume??) has a measured a thickness of .175" (4.4 mm). The height is .370" (9.25 mm) in the center, tapering in a fairly traditional manner to the ends, which are about .030" thick. These dimensions all seem much smaller thancurrent practice. Would I be well advised to use a replacement of larger dimensions? What effect would that have on sound, as compared to replacing this bassbar with a new one of original dimensions (minus the strange curl)? The restorer in me wants to keep it the same as it would have originally been, but not if the effect on sound will be too detrimental. Opinions? I assume that gluing in the original is out of the question due to the stress it would put on the glue joint, and that it would just fail eventually. Thanks.
  10. Thanks for your knowledge and thoughts Blank Face, Brad and George. I appreciated it and am learning something from you guys... Kev
  11. I too had assumed that it was a BOB work, having read that bit on the subject, but then I know less than anybody here. I did discover something that may be of interest though. The label appears to be a fake. Color me stunned....:-) I noticed something hard like an old glue remnant or something from a previous label that I could distinctly feel under the present label. Upon looking much closer in the best light, I am sure I see the shadow outline of a previous label slightly off to the right and above the present one. Hopefully this picture will show what I see, as well as the telltale glue remnants just above the current label. Guess I didn't look close enough before... And the ribs to seem to meet in the middle, mostly, so I was wrong in my original post. Thanks for pointing that out Blank Face. Also, there is an ebony(?) locator pin visible on the bottom block. Remember that this violin was reworked (badly I feel) once before, so I would not if that was original. I would assume that the disparity between the quality of the work on the plates and the work on the scroll indicate factory work specialization? Would this be in or around the turn of the century Mirecourt? Thanks for all the help.
  12. ...and got a little bored today waiting for a customer to get back to me, so I went down to my shop and took the top plate off. This is what I found. Top plate with bass bar measures 64 grams for what it is worth. All surfaces inside very smooth.
  13. Hi Guys and Gals. Let me start by saying thanks to all those who have shared their expertise here. I have not posted often but have learned much from what many of you have contributed these last several years. Whether my skills have improved from it is yet to be decided...... I recently managed to pick up a possibly awful, but interesting (but maybe not awfully interesting) violin to practice more of my psuedo-restoration skills on. First, however, I want to make sure it isn't a Strad, just in case he made some violins while vacationing in France (like I have heard here that he did in Germany sometimes). I would love to know what it really is and what era it belongs to. Second, I would welcome any expert suggestions on the best approach to repairing it. The lower bout/rib on the treble side appears to have been very poorly repaired/misaligned at one time and needs to be pulled apart and properly repaired again. I assume that taking out the bottom block, shaving the ribs to about a 1/2" taper and splicing in a new piece behind them is the best way to fix that? The ribs could be much better aligned with the plates in this area too. Also, the areas under the bridge feet show what looks like, and feels like alot of wear down into the top plate wood. However, measuring with a makeshift feeler gauge under a steel rule only shows about .006" (.2 mm) wear in this area max. Should I be concerned enough to add any wood under this area when the top plate is off? It feels and looks much deeper than that measurement! What I know about the violin. ... The label wants to infer that it is French (Caussin Luthier, Neufchateau (Vosges)). It gives every impression that it had been used quite a bit and is very worn, almost to the purfling where the chin goes and the hand go. No evidence that I can see that a chinrest was ever attached (interesting). It has markings on it that make me wonder if it once was a school violin. It has an eight digit number scratched into the back below the button (school violin???). It also has a very small number (2778) stamped into the ribs near the end pin. I do not have decades of experience, but looking at the violin in person leaves me with the impression that the belly plate and the back plate have been made with noticably more care originally than the scroll/neck were. This is because what is left of the original plate edges, surfaces and purfling just seem more carefully done. The plates are smooth on the inside (however there are no cleats on the belly plate, even though it is also made of two pieces). Cleats on the back plate in the French style I think. Bass bar is a separate piece. It has 4 corner blocks and linings. From what I can see the corner blocks look like the wider versions that allowed more clamping area, like I believe was more common on French work? The rib miters seem to meet, best as I can tell, on the C-bout side. When you get to the scroll and neck, you quickly notice that the scroll is quite noticably out of alignment with the neck laterally. The scroll carving/fluting stops well short of what you would hope to see on a better violin. Actually, the location of hole for the endpin is measurably off to the bass side by a bit, so I guess that the scroll and neck are not the only things done a little sloppy. Some measurements...bottom bouts measure 203 mm, top bouts measure 163 mm, C bouts measure 106 mm, length of back plate (not including button) is about 357. Rib height in the C bouts is 32 mm. Top plate height is about 14.1 mm. Bottom plate height is 14.7 mm. The neck seems to have been cut a bit thin originally, being around 17.3 mm thick, including fingerboard, along most of its length. I cannot see any "embossing" effect on the label to indicate older printing methods, but then it is a little hard to be sure. No other visible labeling or marking inside that I can see. No "France" or "Made in France" labels to date it to the 20th century. No signs of missing labels I can see. The rosewood pegs look old, or at least show evidence of much handwork in fitting. The finish seems to be a thin feeling alcohol-solvable one. Thanks in advance for any help you can give..... Kev
  14. ...I will add that I have found Wenge to be very abrasive/wearing on handplane blades. Far more than Cocobolo, Rosewood, Ebony, etc. Like literally one or two passes and they were noticably dull and skipping over the wood. Ughhhhhh.
  15. Woodman...I have chosen to use small wedges of replacement wood in a situation where the neck joint had been badly repaired on a long ago previous occasion. They had used a permanent glue similar to epoxy and unfortunately set the neck at a far too low angle and had also left the neck short in the process. The bridge was actually 10 mm shorter than the normal 33-34 mm, on a belly around 16 mm high! There was much damaged and missing wood on the block from the previous attempt, with some of the voids partially filled with this abomidable glue that they had used. The violin was probably a low value (German maybe?) one that can be seen in my post a few days ago asking for help with identity (Neck Soup & Violin ID). Since I did not wish to go and rip the top off and try to make an entire new block, I chose to replace missing wood bits in several areas on the existing block after I had carefully chiseled out the old glue and cleaned up the surfaces to allow better gluing of the replacement pieces. So far the repair has held up to string tension and playing for the last several months and the violin seems to sound great to the owner/violin player that I know (I do not play the violin). It was actually my first ever violin repair (although I have had plenty of experience with a cabinetmaking chisel, which I am sure helped). Attached are a few pictures of the process... Kevin
  16. ...and of course, a picture of the "neck soup" simmering.... Actually worked well, except that there is a little cracking of the wood on the endgrain faces of the scroll as the core and outer faces dry out at different rates. Most of it goes away as equilibrium is reached over several weeks, but some tiny evidence of the cracks still remained.
  17. Hi Maestroneters... First time posting with pictures, so I hope I got this right... Earlier this year I was given an opportunity to restore (mostly for my education and fun, having never worked on a violin before) a probably worthless old violin in really bad condition. The worst problems were in the neck socket area where much damage had been done to the box by a previous repairer. The scroll part of the neck was very badly twisted/warped. The belly had been very deeply damaged under the E fine tuner, almost all the way thru. However, after several months of reading the sage advice to be found here (and in Mr Darnton's writings on setup) I finally was able to make it sound almost like a violin again. Enough so that the original owner decided that she liked it better than her much more expensive violin (muttering something about the nice sound of an older insturment I think...). Now, after pulling some finished pictures together of the final product (somewhat over-restored I am afraid in a few specific areas...but I will mention those) I am curious as to it's likely origin. This violin was first seen in the family around 1930 I am told...found laying around when they first moved into their house way back then. There is no label or marking of any kind. I have not had the top off, so I do not know about the corner block construction. Unfortunately, I do not have any clear pictures that show where the seam is at the corners. I no longer have access to the violin. It seemed like the top was glued up of 4 pieces, not the usual 2. The inside surfaces of the plates (looking thru the endpin hole) seemed to be fairly well smoothed and the bassbar seemed to be a separate, nicely shaped, glued on piece. A cloth tape of some sort was used (probably originally) to reinforce the center seam in the back plate on the inside. Tho difficult to see thru the endpin hole, I think I saw lower corner blocks inside. However, as the pictures show, the alignment of the plates with the rib structure is a "close-enough-is-good-enough" effort. The fingerboard, tailpiece, pegs and saddle are original to the violin as far as I know. The finish colors seen in the pictures are original. Many very bad dings were touched up (since it was of no real value and on it's way to the trash) and it was overall French polished when I was done. The original finish was definitely alcohol solvable. Unfortunately, I had already cleaned up and "improved" the scroll carving before I began reading here, so be careful interpreting too much from it. However, it was a bit more crude with the "6 O'clock" stopping point to the fluting, and a pronounced delta on the backside like some of the old German violins posted here. Plus, when it was originally made the scroll end was twisted/warped 8 degrees (!!) away from the vertical ...and apparently THEN the peg holes were drilled so that they were in the correct position! Since it was "junk" unless I could fix it, I actually boiled the scroll end of the neck for 40 minutes in a pot of water and then twisted it back into shape until it was dry (definitely not something you want to do to a good violin?). A friend of ours saw the picture and promptly said "Neck soup!". Is this the usual mass-produced German product, probably sold thru a merchandise catalog here in the US around 1900? Thanks for any help with this! Kevin
  18. Hi Carol, It is a truism that your most important tool is usually your vise/workbench/clamping system. Even though we don't usually give them much recognition (compared our handplanes, chisels and knives) a workholding system probably makes a bigger difference in the quality and ease of our work than any tool. They just aren't as glamorous. Your life will get much easier once that problem is solved. Oftentimes, in a pinch, if the piece I am planing is large enough I can just place one end against any solid wall or object, often with a knee(s) or foot to help hold it in place. Sometimes having a "spacer block" of something with a lower profile between my workpiece and the wall helps to give more clearancre for a hand plane to run all the way down the board. Also, if you happen to have an appropriately shaped clamp, it can be attached to the opposite end of the board from the wall , right down near the floor, to keep it from tipping. Perhaps you have already figured some of this out. In the end it depends on what type of planing you are doing, how large the pieces are, etc. But a good workbench makes life easier. As far as having been taught to use light pressure when hand sharpening with a stone (oil or water), that is correct. If you press too hard, especially when you are trying to get rid of the "wire edge" on a finer grit stone, it will tend to just curl the fine sharpened edge up under the pressure and make it difficult to get a truely sharp edge. Probably doesnt matter as much when doing a coarse cut to get your initial bevel/hollow grind or whatever. I would suspect that using high pressure on a strop is less likely to create a wire edge, so that is probably why they can get away with it. In the end the sharpening system you decide to use will depend on your personal situation, finances, the nature of the work you will be doing (how often you must resharpen...usually not as big a deal with small stuff like violin work) and just what you feel most comfortable with and take a liking to. Sometimes another factor is wether you can have a dedicated space where your sharpening equipment can just be left, or if it has to be easy to set up and take down. Also, how "dirty" and noisy you can afford to be. For most of us you will note that we have some sort of powered system to at least do the "rough" ginding to get the inital bevel or hollow grind (although these days I do use a hand powered bench grinder which I find convenient for smaller work). That is always the hard part. Once that coarse grinding is done, the finer sharpening that comes next can easily be done by hand (or with a blade holding jig) by any hand method. Particularly if you are only sharpening the very front edge of the blade (or a little bit of the back edge also if you use a hollow grind like I do). By the way, if you wish to avoid "powered grinding" as I believe you mentioned earlier, you might eventually consider a hand powered grinder for your rough grinding...although they do take a few days to get used to. Some really top end cabinetmakers (of the "Zen" type ...:-)....like James Krenov) have used them and have produced some incredible work. Unless I am mistaken, I believe that some pretty good violin makers use them too. But the down side is that they do take a little time to learn to use, since they usually have a 1" wide wheel and so a wide plane blade must be sharpened with a side-to-side motion. You get used to it. The other issue is finding a good one. I found mine on ebay and re-built it, although I do see new ones advertised. On the plus side, my shop is quiet, sharpening requires almost no shop space (they usually clamp to the end of any table or bench), there is limited up front cost, and it is the fastest system I have ever used that can meet those requirements. Although I have to say that those motorized Japanese waterstones are really sweet too..... Kev
  19. Hi Caerolle, As you are probably about to find out, there are at least several, if not countless perfectly good ways to get an incredibly sharp edge on tools like planes. Seems like (in the finer end of cabinetmaking at least) everybody wants to pick the method that they learned and swear that is the best way to do it....maybe luthierie is the same... Now that I have gotten that out of the way....the angle holding jig is a perfectly fine way to start. I even used to use one with a motorized Japanese waterstone machine thingy. Gave an incredible edge. I still have one and use it for some purposes, although not as much anymore. Eventually I just moved on to doing the rough grinding on a hand cranked grinder (about 6" in diameter) with a platform to support the blade at the correct angle. Then, I can do the finish honing freehand fairly quickly because, with that small hollow in the blade edge, it is easy to "feel" if the blade is flat on the stone (especially if you hold it really low). For me this system has made it much easier to quickly resharpen my blades to a very fine edge, rapidly, without spending too much time away from the work. I happen to use oilstones, not that it should matter. Very important to this method though is that the grinding wheel you use (hand crank or typical bench grinder) is no larger than about 6" in diameter. Otherwise the hollow in the business end of the blade will be too flat and make it harder to feel/sharpen easily freehand. I hope that helps. Then again, in a real emergency, a crude steelworker's hand held angle grinder with a metal cutting blade on it can produce a surprisingly good edge on a chisel or plane blade as long as your hand is steady....but that probably isnt something OSHA would like to see...:-) Kev
  20. My condolences to Craig's family. Even in my short time here, reading thru many old posts looking for helpful information, Craig's rational approach and knowledge has been a great influence. I can see why he was so respected. Kevin
  21. Yes. There are an awful lot of "aesthetic" qualities to both...
  22. Hi Guys & Gals, A violin restoration newbie and lurker here. Just wanted to say a BIG THANKS to all those who contribute thier experience and knowledge here at Maestronet/Pegbox, and those who maintain this forum. I recently decided to try something "completely different" and restore a rather badly treated old violin for a friend and her family. No label inside and probably a factory product from 100 years ago. The top/bottom plate corners were actually cut off flush with the rib corners in manufacture...I believe (Yuck!). Very pretty flamed wood on the back though. Seems to have a darker finish that reminds me of many of the German violins seen around here. Should probably post some pictures some time. Anyhow, having never done any violin restoration before, I have found the collective wisdom here on the site priceless. Where else would you ever find real (and accomplished!) violinmakers, sellers, etc willing to entertain the silly online questions of us amatuers? (I suppose I should also thank the silly amatuers for asking the questions in the first place so that I could learn from them without embarassing myself...? :-). After removing the incorrectly angled (vertically), badly twisted (about 8 degrees at the scroll...no kidding!) and glued (with epoxy?) neck, carefully rebuilding the previously damaged socket and making countless other adjustments and repairs, I am told by the owner that she cannot believe it is the same violin. Apparently it was in that sad state ever since her mother owned it many decades ago (the earliest remembered sighting of it was in the 1920s). At one point I even stuck the scroll/pegbox end of the neck into a pot of boiling water for half an hour so that I could "untwist" that 8 degree twist it had (neck soup?). After clamping it into position and letting it dry out for a few days, it actually held the new, straight alignment. Of course I then had to refinish the scroll end again to match the original finish. To her the violin now sounds incredible (compared to what it was at least). The lesson here is that even someone like me can do some of the basic repairs to a violin if they are careful to heed the advice here. I am sure a fairly extensive woodworking/hand tool background helped some, but that would only have gotten me so far..... I found the process so enjoyable that I even decided to pick up an old, decrepit Medio Fino (no reason to risk a valuable violin, right?) and restore it. Just recently finished doing a fairly "sympathetic" restoration on it, and it also seems to play well according to my violin friend. Now all I have to do is learn to play it, but that is another story. Thanks by the way to Martin Swan for sharing his knowledge on this type of violin over many past posts. I was relieved to hear that it sounded (to me at least) really nice for a low end violin, once restored, like Martin suggested they usually do. One funny realization did occur to me when I began doing the repairs on that violin though. At first I wondered why I felt so comfortable jumping right in and doing the work. Then it occurred to me. In a surprising number of ways, the actual nature of the physical work involved has a lot in common with, of all things, wooden model yacht building (which I have done a good bit of in years past). Thin, carved wood surfaces under a lot of stress...everything under tension and wires running everywhere. Symmetry and accuracy being so critical. Of course, we do sorta frown upon your preference for water soluable glues and fragile, textured varnish finishes though.....:-/ And I have yet to find a use for large quantities of lead or sailcloth in a violin..... Thanks again to you all! Kevin
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