21GibsonA

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  1. Manfio, when you say Patina, are you referring to the darker brown buildups (when related to a violin)? I have no problem with patina. Just trying to get this thing in tip-top condition. Also, interesting comments about the violin build (naive violin). Yes, it does not have any corner blocks, and the neck block wasn't a traditional neck block. There were two slots cut into the sides of the neck block, and the ribs were inserted into the two slots. I am pretty sure they werent originally glued in there, just placed in (then the top and back were glued on, holding them in place). When i got the instrument, the neck had failed (i tried applying tension (ie. strings), and the entire neck would move a few mm)). It is stamped as Hopf, but as we all know, the Hopfs were almost as plentiful as the Brady Bunch! Guido and Violadamore. Thanks for the suggestion on the bridge. I'll admit. I have some instruments that have ALL of their work done by luthiers, and others that i try out myself. When i got this instrument it was in such poor shape, and i knew it wasn't worth thousands, so i decided to do the work myself. I did the neck reset, reglued parts of the top that had separated, installed a new fingerboard, installed a new sound post, tuners (ended up installing perfection geared tuners) (holes were reamed out pretty bad, etc). It didnt have a bridge, so i installed a new one. I got a curve that i was comfortable with, but havent yet gotten to thinning it (thanks for the suggestion. It is on my list of things to do). The tailpiece is not original (did not have one either). The woman found the violin in her dad's barn (and gave it to me, skeptical that i could make it play again). I have attached a few images (note, in the image i had a substitute chinrest, tuners, and bridge. Different from what i have now). Also check out the fingerboard. Looks like whomoever played it had serious fingernails. Also, hard to see in this image, but the tuners that came with it were definitely hand carved (very rudimentary). They were pretty worn out, and it only came with two of them.
  2. George. Thanks. I’ll look into simple green!
  3. The. Actually sounds pretty good. I am a novice (have built a couple mandolins and guitars). Still trying to learn the ropes. First time I set it up it had a very harsh tone. I played around with the soundpost and have gotten it to calm down a lot. Still looking to remove some of the harshness (next step is trying different strings). Any suggestions on mellow strings? I read somewhere that the D’adarrio Pro Arte strings are pretty mellow.
  4. Howdy. Recently restored an old Hopf violin that a woman found in her father’s barn. The top had partially come off, the fingerboard was more worn than anything I have seen before, the neck was loose, and I even found a wasp nest inside of it. I did all the work and got it back into great playing condition. Now I have a question regarding the top. There are some dirt/water spots that didn’t come off with water. Should I leave them, or try something stronger? How do I tell if I am removing varnish when I lightly scrub with a moist cloth? I do see grey dirt on the cloth, but sometimes also see a little brown or yellowish tiny. Is that varnish coming off? Also, portions of the top still have varnish, but other portions (especially in the area of the f holes) it is so worn that I am assuming the varnish is either gone, or minimal. Any steps I should take to add a layer of protection to the portions that no longer look to have nice, clean varnish. I want to maintain the originality, but also want to protect the wood. I know I could take it to a professional and have it done, but I find joy in working on these myself.
  5. Jacob, thank you for the references. Very very interesting. Do you have any books you would recommend for someone just starting to get into the history of violins? (I would prefer some light reading before getting in too deep). Yes, the fingerboard wear is very interesting! Thank you so far for all of the info. I am new to the forum (very active in mandolincafe.com, but new here). I'll bet people are always showing their instruments 'asking if they are worth millions.' I personally am much more interested in the history of these awesome works of art (especially the human aspect). My grandfather, born in 1898, was supposedly a pretty avid fiddler in Western Canada. He died when i was 9 so i never got to see or hear it. Unfortunately the family sold his fiddle at an estate sale around the same time. To this day I wish i had it. Next best thing is getting a fiddle from someone else's relatives. The fiddle in this post fiddle belonged to the father of an elderly lady that lives in my neighborhood. She found it in the barn with a ca. 1890s Buckbee banjo that she also gave me (Banjo has been reduced to an extremely worn out neck and rim). Pretty cool finds for sure!
  6. Thanks for the replies so far. Yes. The fingerboard DEFINITELY got used ALOT. Would you mind elaborating on Schonbach Dutzendarbeit? I come from more of a mandolin background so am just now delving into the histories of violins. Also, if it helps at all, the fingerboard is not a solid block. It looks like some sort of softer wood with the harder (ebony? Fake ebony) veneered on top (a couple mm of wood)
  7. Howdy. A kind woman in my neighborhood gave me an old violin that belonged to her father. I will come out RIGHT NOW and say that i am not expecting this to be an "original hopf." I gladly accept that it was made in a factory and labeled as hopf. However, i am curious if anyone can help me pin down some specifics, especially a rough gauge on the age. The inside of the back is smooth, but the inside of the top was very roughly done. Purfling is real. It has hopf stamped on the back button and inside, has a built in bass bar, no corner blocks, and a through neck. (I opened it up because the neck was extremely loose. I was not expecting to find a through neck on this one). Any guesses on trying to narrow down the date/origin? Thanks.