Shawn Elgaaen

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About Shawn Elgaaen

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  1. That’s a great suggestion!
  2. That’s a great suggestion!
  3. Thank you. The value of this project isn’t directly monetary. To me it is primarily the experience, the opportunity to learn and expand my skills. If I can make a little money on it afterword, that would be a bonus. Of course I can’t discount the thrill of taking something completely broken and making it whole again. I did find a thread that Ken Pollard started back in 2009 titled Integral bass-bar. This was helpful and fun to read. I am particularly curious about the dramatic difference in plate thickness from one side of the bass bar to the other. What would have been the reason for this? Would there be any advantage to this? Was it intentional or perhaps just a mistake, bad eyes or carelessness on the part of the maker or technician?
  4. Hello Folks, So, I’ve got another puzzle I’m working on. It’s an old Strad copy violin made in Germany. I don’t know it’s actual age but, if I were to take a guess based on where it came from and the type of hardware on it, it could have been made in the 1920’s or 30’s, perhaps before. One of the questions I have has to do with the way the bass bar was carved in place as part of the top plate. I’ve seen this before in other violins of similar age that were made in Germany and Czechoslovakia but this one is different. The plate thickness between the f holes is significantly different on one side of the bar than it is on the other. The plate on the bass side of the bar is about double the thickness of the treble side. In addition to this, the bar itself seems to be too small in both length and height. My hunch is that this is part of the reason for the dozen or so cracks in the top plate. Along with repairing all of the peripheral cracks in the top plate, I need to repair a major crack associated with a previous bad repair that runs from top to bottom along the bass bar on the “thick” side. Given the absence of stiffness and structural integrity the current bass bar provides, I am considering removing it and replacing it with a fitted, modern length and modern height bar. However, before doing this I want to learn more about why it was made the way it was and what the perceived benefits were. Also, the re-graduation of the top plate through this area would be critical. Any insights you all could offer on why the bass bar and top plate were made the way they were would be greatly appreciated.
  5. Thank you for all of your insight and suggestions. I have learned a great deal. Well, it is glued together. The repair didn't turn out as perfect or as invisible as I would have liked but I believe it is structurally sound and fully functional. This instrument belongs to an elementary school and has other areas of damage and repair which it has accumulated over its 41 years of life. So, it’s more my pride than anything that is affected by the less than perfect outcome. The school is simply happy to have it back. I did cut a counter form for the scroll and a wedge for inside the pegbox and attempted to dry-fit the pieces with clamps. Because of the unwieldy size or bulk of the double bass and the counter form, I found this approach extremely awkward and unhelpful so I abandoned it. An extra set of hands, a much larger work bench and perhaps bench-mounted clamps probably would have done the trick to make it work. What I ended up doing was sliding several heavy rubber bands onto the pegbox so I could easily pull them into place once the glue was applied and the parts mated together. I then took a deep breath and proceeded to apply fresh hot hide glue to both pieces, rung them together then held them in place for fifteen to twenty seconds before pulling the rubber bands into position. Then, after checking the alignment of the parts on all sides the best I could without moving the bass, I wrapped a good length of 3/4” wide elastic from my wife’s sewing supplies around the joint like an ace bandage. Fortunately my wife donated the elastic voluntarily. Then, as a few of you suggested, I forced myself to walk away and leave it undisturbed overnight and most of the next day. If I run into a repair like this again, I believe I will invest more time to crate a way to position and hold the parts more securely and apply uniform clamp force more quickly. I also need to get me some fish glue to experiment with. The idea if longer working time before the glue sets is appealing to me. Best wishes to you all!
  6. This is great info. Thank you all. I’ve decided to to go ahead with the hot hide glue. Worst case, if it doesn’t hold, I’ll have to clean it up and do it over again. I just wished I had more confidence in hide glue as a permanent solution. I agree that the position of the break should have very little impact on the structural integrity of the lower portion of the pegbox and peg holes. In fact, the strings were still under full tension after the scroll was broken off.
  7. Folks, I’m looking for insight from a few of you with experience addressing a similar repair challenges. I’ve got a double base that was knocked over onto the scroll. The impact split the pegbox along the grain at the upper peg for the D string. The break is clean and fits back together nicely. My dilemma is which would be the best glue to use. I know that hot hide glue is preferred; however, my experience is that hide glue doesn’t give much time for positioning and clamping with good squeeze-out of the excess glue. I am wondering if it would be better in this situation to use a Titebond II or Titebond III wood glue. Any words of advice?