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milkpowder's Achievements

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  1. Thank you both for your advice. I'll let my brother know.
  2. Merry Christmas everyone. I've had the pleasure of playing on my brother's wonderful Leahy bow from the mid-2000s today - it's a really great playing bow. It's also been heavily used over the years and the mother of pearl has become rather discoloured, and become a bit flaky especially on the audience side. Like many, I've also played on bows where little care would have been taken to keep it in tip top shape, however have never encountered this degree of discoloration to the pearl. What is the general consensus about replacing mother of pearl parts regarding the impact on value, say if Gary were to do it himself? His bows seem to have increased in value significantly over the years, and for good reasons.
  3. Thank you both. That's really helpful and I learned something. Given the number and length of the cracks on the top plate, I'm not surprised if the violin was either subject to severe humidity/temperature changes during the course of its life, made of younger/not fully dried wood, or both. Incidentally, the internal repairs are of the inlaid variety and look cleanly executed. The same can't be said of the cleats under the wing cracks, nor does the bass bar look anywhere near refined as the the one shown in Roger Hargrave's 'Fitting a Bass Bar', but who am I kidding. Curiously, the inlaid patches do not go under the bass bar so there are four separate patches of varying size on each 'quadrant' of the top plate. The violin will remain as is, apart from minor adjustments to increase its playability, and probably given my daughter when she's a bit older if she continues to play. Thanks again.
  4. How does it work, the gum/weight under the fingerboard trick? Does the extra weight effectively shift the (wolf tone) overtone frequency? To be honest, I never even knew the fingerboard contributed to the production of sound. Would a weight under the chinrest/tailpiece also have a similar effect?
  5. Hello all! My parents recently gave me the violin that I learned to play on during my early teens. It's rough around the edges and looks to have been repaired (?made) hastily. The sound is sonorous but a bit unrefined. However it did see me through my grades before 'graduating' to my current violin. I was intending to have a new bridge made - string height is a tad high, bridge feet don't fit properly, and has an incorrect profile; change the tailpiece/chinrest mainly for aesthetic and comfort reasons - the tailpiece is missing its fret and somebody has increased the size of the string holes. Hope you don't mind my photo dump - label included for what it's worth. A few questions: 1) when and where was this violin was made? 2) the peg bushing looks terrible. Is it a case of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it', or is it a cause for concern? The pegs don't fit particularly well so may get them replaced/refitted. 3) the rib corners jut out and the lower bout ribs are right on the edge of the purfling - is the table original, or have the ribs swelled at some point and not shortened when the table was taken off for repairs? 4) the scroll looks on the small size 5) regarding the repairs, I've had a look at the underside of the table with a mirror, and there are sizeable patches of wider grain wood (same direction as the original) on the underside of the table on either side of the bass bar at the upper and lower bouts. Presumably these were put in to strengthen crack repairs, but why not use cleats? Thank you in advance and I really appreciate your opinion.
  6. For my education, why would one antique their instrument to this extent? It doesn't simulate natural wear pattern, unless there are those who like to rub around the f-holes or clutch the violin tightly and rub the bottom of the belly with one's thumbs!
  7. What a nice interview! Thanks for sharing.
  8. I also use a Hill style E adjuster (think it's made by Wittner) to maximise the afterlength and keep it relatively constant across all 4 strings short of using a tailpiece with integrated adjusters. I wonder if you, like me, use a string protector (https://www.thestringzone.co.uk/protective-insert-x8-for-hill-or-english-type-e-adjuster) to reduce the chance of string breakage at the hook? In the Warchal article, they interestingly point out that the better made loop adjusters utilise harder metal, and even though the edges are rounded, there is still enough tension at particular points of the loop to potentially cause problems down the line. On the contrary, cheaper loop adjusters use softer metal which allows the string to cut into the metal thus better distributing the string tension. It kinda makes sense. Either way, Warchal suggest a string protector. They're a pain to put on without tweezers (or just sometimes pure luck), but I haven't yet had a string break on me since switching to loop end Es last year.
  9. Although I haven't had to cut my strings to length, this is a neat trick!
  10. Indeed! I've had the violin for so long that I'd gotten used to it. Quite refreshing now that it has been removed. Here is a photo taken with the last set back in January. I believe it's not original to the violin. Wonder if you or anybody has any thoughts on who may be the most likely maker of the violin. It's been attributed to BS Fendt for the last few decades, but recently felt to be more likely a R Tobin. Someone English 1820/30s, possibly related or traced back to Betts! I welcome any advances!
  11. In January, I posted a thread asking for your opinion about re-touching the varnish on my violin, and thanks to your advice and recommendation (cheers Jeff), I have received my violin back from the restorer. I thought I'd show you her handiwork as I think it's a job well done! The problem areas were essentially where you'd expect wear and tear from playing - the treble side upper ribs and edges had little to no varnish remaining, and the top and bottom corners sustained a chips from my careless bowing. The varnish was retouched and the tip of the bottom corner replaced as it already had a previous cap on it. We decided not to replace the top corner so as to preserve the original wood so it was retouched. It was also noted that under UV the varnish appeared to be all original, with the exception of a rather heavy handed retouch on the treble side upper ribs so this was removed. All in all, fairly trivial work for a skilled restorer, but I'm really pleased with the result.
  12. Thank you for the lesson! It's interesting that the water content in wood will be similar the same RH at varying temperatures. One would assume that because there is a higher AH t in the atmosphere at 50%RH 70°F than 50%RH 0°F that the wood would also contain more water. Is it not the case that eventually, the water content in the wood would go up if going from 50%RH 0°F to 50%RH 70°F. I am under the impression that the change in water content in the wood is the reason why instruments which are suddenly placedfrom the former to the latter atmosphere, or vice versa, would experience swelling/open seams or cracking due to the wood contracting or expanding at different rates.
  13. I'm going to read this over and over again until I understand it! I don't know how digital hygrometers determine RH, but will the number shown be a fair representation of the actual dew point if placed indoors, or am I conflating RH and dew point... For the time being, I've bought a couple of digital hygrometers and an ultrasonic vaporiser (~6L capacity + built-in hygrometer) and left it running 24/7 aiming for a RH of 50%.
  14. Fantastic advice, exactly what I was looking for. When the situation in the UK improves, I'll embark on looking for an experienced restorer. Dwight, it's unlabelled violin that came with a 1950s receipt from Beares stating it is a BS Fendt circa 1830s. The scroll is by another maker. I've taken it to a local(ish) dealer with quite a bit of experience in British/H&S violins who was supportive of the attribution and dating. I couldn't tell you very much else, only that there were some physical clues (numbered markings/bridge) supporting it having gone through Beares and possibly Hill & Sons over the course of its life. I'm quite fond of it.
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