Reckotch

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About Reckotch

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  1. Hello! I am in the stages of repairing a violin for the first time, purchased cheaply at an auction simply for the joy of learning. The violin is about 100 years old and was caked with dirt, I have lifted off the worst with cotton sticks and saliva. I will attach a photo of the current state of varnish, pictures taken with flash to better show the contrasts. The varnish is mostly matte, and chipped off or scuffed in many places, and dirty in others. I have come to understand that spirit varnish is mainly used in repairs, but I have not been able to tell yet if the original is oil- or spirit based. My question is: is it best to apply new varnish without any further big preparations of the current state? Or is it better to lightly sand down the worst scuffs to a more even structure and cleanliness before applying new varnish? Some scuffs are basically down to the wood, how would a base coat react to the varnish around it? My first plan is to leave as much as possible intact and only lightly sand the surfaces before applying varnish, but I am unsure how well it would attach on top of "dirt". The goal of this violin is not to make it look brand new, I would very much like to have it show its history but to be protected. Please give me your thoughts on the steps how you would restore the varnish
  2. I noticed when I opened it that it has been built without top corner blocks. Is that common? (Almost hoping I can skip mine on the one I am building, I keep messing them up :p)
  3. Thanks, I do have access to that book, I'll go through the notes again
  4. What do you recommend to use for cleaning? I have read many different options, and basically all of them has someone saying "omg don't use that!"
  5. I am building violin crack clamps after blueprints, but if that goes to hell I'll just cough up the money to buy from overseas. Yes, I am using hide glue for the violin I am building as well so that is already home and ready.
  6. I have a violin i purchased at auction from a home where the owner passed away. It is in dire need of repair and I want to learn by doing. I have some contact with a luthier but he is retired and may not have the energy for tutoring, so I am on my own here gathering knowledge and resources and joy of trying to figure things out. Aside from all the external parts missing the violin is a bit grimey (I am carefully cleaning some parts using saliva, which I read about on this forum) but the cracks and scabs are the main issue. THE DAMAGE: There is a deep crack that goes through the purfling up to the f-hole, and a small crack above the f hole. Risk of the entire side falling off when top is opened I fear. I am thinking of somehow securing these parts before opening? (Despite the crack running wide, it goes together neatly when I try to press it together, I have hopes it will close well once the pressure is off.) There's a crack on the left side as well in the top, it reaches the f hole but not as deep as of yet. Purfling intact but crack continues on the other side of it. There is a minor crack just shy of opening in the middle from the tail nut. Purfling has risen on both sides of the neck. Sides are scuffed and needs filling in. An outer corner piece is chipped. Finger board has wear, replace or not, I am undecided yet. MY CURRENT IDEA: lightly secure the big cracked pieces externally (such as a removable, undamaging postage tape) before opening the top. Then open the top carefully and see how it would align the cracks without pressure from the ribs. Begin gluing the big crack, then reinforcing from below with spruce, and continuing the same way with the other 3 cracks. Put the top back on and repair the side scuffs using spruce. I am unsure how the 3 different purfling statuses affect the cracks to close. MY QUESTIONS; is this a good order to start with? What should I do about the purfling situation? Should I first try to close some cracks using the moisturing method? I greatly appreciate any recommendations on how you would go about this.