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.