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valley restorations

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  1. Hello, Thank you for all of the constructive advice from all of the helpful people on the forum. As to the criticism, of course I have spoken to the client and no I am not trying to hide the repair. As a rule of thumb I just try to make any repairs that I do as unobtrusive as possible. As it it not a repair I have done before I would not just try it out on the instrument in question and hope for the best. I have plenty of other instruments to practice on. I will of course search far and wide for the correct timber to match the grain and do the best job that I am capable of. I actually do have somebody to apprentice me but unfortunately we have been separated by distance, flood and pandemic. Most of my learning has been merely verbal advice thus far but I am trying to get down for a personal visit for lessons in bow rehairing. I believe that I mentioned in my profile that I am just starting out and am learning from each job that comes along. As I have had no formal education in this trade my education has been haphazard. I understand that this is a very protected trade and truly appreciate the expected standards which I hope to live up to so I bare no Ill will to those who have put me firmly in my place. It is a journey that I am enjoying immensely and hope that one stroke of misfortune will not have me judged so harshly that I will lose heart in what I have come to love. Regards Brian Dillon
  2. O.k. This is the situation. I was given a reasonably simple job from a client, a Stainer copy that needed the fingerboard re-glued and shaped as well as a few cleats and a new tailpiece. Had the instrument glued and clamped, forgot to lock the workshop door and my two year old son decided to go in and knock the violin off the bench. Broke a tuning peg which probably needed to be replaced anyway but also snapped off the neck and took the button with it. I freaked out and re-glued the neck as it was however I have no doubt that it will eventually fail in the long term. The hide glue was a very strong mix but I know that it will come back to haunt me. I have a few old broken instruments that I can practice on to get a handle on the repair but if course I have not had to do a repair like that before. I have several old instruments to harvest material from and want to look seriously in to matching the grain as close as possible to the original. I have seen several examples of this repair but there seems to be some debate about the best shape re-patch geometry, T bar or scapular inlay .I understand that the idea is the get as much leverage as possible and some people add an ebony cover to the patch but I want to make it as unobtrusive as possible. Any advise would be very, very much appreciated. regards Brian
  3. Hi, The Xanthorrea varnish I made seems to be quite light fast. I test my pigments and varnishes by putting a sample on my car dash in full sun for a day or two, of course I didn't do this with the instrument. I have found that truly fugitive colours fade within an hour or so.
  4. Hi everyone and thank you for all the advice. I have tried out a lot my local resins, some are not soluble in alcahol, some flowers make good lake pigments. Others like Acacia and gums produce very strong tannins. I have tanned hides and dyed fabric with then but they are only really suitable as a stain. Interestingly though, Iron bark (Water Soluble) tends to re-crystallize when it dries. This resin may be worth further investigation. I am also making rosin. Cant wait to have a go at the oil varnish. Thanks again Brian
  5. Hi, I was given some beautiful Kauri gum today. Up to this point I have only made spirit varnishes with local resins such as grass tree (Xanthorrea) and stringy bark which gives a lovely orange color. I am very new to this and thought that this may be a good intro to making an oil varnish for my next project. Just looking for advice and perhaps some recipes. Have added pictures. I know my work is a bit rough but I was teaching myself and harvesting the products from the forest around me because I cannot buy things out here, also I like to make them myself. Regards Brian
  6. I am a teaching myself. Purchased a whole lot of broken violins and a cello, converted a biology and chemistry home lab into a Luthier workshop and, found a master to advise me and it has just taken off from there. Loving it and hope to learn as much as possible.
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