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Found 16 results

  1. The following scholarly article may shed light (pun intended) on the concept of using low-temperature (cosmetic) medical lasers to remove adhesive residue and pigments from wood when repairing and restoring musical instruments made of solid wood. This may augment the article I recently posted about removing/dissolving epoxy with lasers. I did not write the article. I post this as a courtesy for informational puposes only. I assume zero responsibility if you apply the information. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11702617/#:~:text=Three types of lasers are,black%2C blue and green pigments. Regards, Randy O'Malley RRT (ret'd) aka Randall The Restorer Ontario, CANADA
  2. In recent years I have had to deal with the resetting of two messed up necks (following M. Darnton's very well written explanations on the subject) and other various alignment issues. After struggling a bit (I am still very much an amateur at violin restoration) I have gradually evolved a method of being able to hold the body and neck in the position(s) that I require. A sort of "alignment cradle" if you will. While I have seen all kinds of helpful pictures and explanations on every subject under the sun here, I wondered why I have never seen much on the subject of how to hold a violin for initial alignment checks, accurate measurements, subsequent neck setting operations, or countless other "alignment sensitive" tasks. Or am I just obsessive/compulsive/insecure about how I do such things? Or just less skilled than most of you at this kinda thing, such that I need a fixture like this (ok, that is obviously true in any case )? How do the experts (or amateurs) on this forum hold the body of a violin securely when they have to repeatedly keep rechecking alignment and other such things, say when trimming the base of a neck? Does one eventually just get comfortable and good enough without such a "crutch", or are you guys holding out on me? A few pictures are attached of the method I now use to deal with my "dimensional insecurities". I have found it most useful in discovering where the outer edges of the bouts are relative to the endpin, base of the neck, scroll end of the neck, etc., etc. Basically this is just a good quality (dead flat of course) plywood board with some T-nuts installed in the back that allow me to adjust the maple supports that hold the body in exact position relative to the centerline marked on the board. On the board itself I pencil in all kinds of alignment info. I place the violin body in a position on the supports that seems to be the best centerline/string position relative to the centerline marked on the board. I note where the endpin is and where the base of the neck attaches to the body and try to figure out how to best align everything, be that moving the endpin, adjusting the neck (if really necessary), or whatever. By simply placing a small machinist's square or two in the right place I can find the position of the edges of any part of the violin relative to the assumed centerline/string path of the body. Still to be finished is a way to make an adjustable support under the scroll position and some other details. I sprayed it with cheap shellac to preserve the pencil notations. For me, the one disturbing thing about using a fixture like this is it becomes glaringly obvious how out-of-alignment many old fiddles were originally built. Apparently the common fiddle, as we know it today, is an admirable example of "fault tolerant" design. Am I the only "dimensionally insecure/obsessed" person here?
  3. Hi, I’m brand new to repair/restoration and I hope you all don’t mind helping me with a newbie question. I’m trying to make my first cleats to shore up a crack repair, and I am literally giving myself a headache trying to figure out how to cut them out of this spruce I got. The first question is - I need to cut my stock as in photo 2, am I correct, and NOT as in photo 1? And then, I mitre off (what is now) the end grain to a 45 degree angle, and then split off each cleat from what is now my long skinny stock using a chisel, and what is now the end grain becomes the TOP/bottom face of my cleats that I then have to chalk fit to the repair surface? I apologize if this is out there already, I’ve looked for videos and posts to no avail...
  4. Hope you´re doing great! I´m a Beginner Maestronet user, Beginner Violinist, Beginner Woodworker and future Violin Maker (not fair to call myself a Luthier just yet), so beginner everything... Today I come to your aid to help me restore this Violin Coffin Case I got for 5 dollars equivalent! in Argentina. The Case is well worn and needs a new lining and interior everything (which I´m not terribly clueless about but if you have any tips I will definitely appreciate them), the main issue it has is that is doesn´t close flush on the left side, it stops way before it would be acceptable to me at least(maybe the side wood panels are bent outwards?). I´m new at this so any pointers are awesome! Greetings from the Land of Silver! PS: should I refinish the exterior with varnish or wax or just leave it as is? I intend to use it as a regular case.
  5. Here is a really interesting Winterling violin that I had restored. It retains its original fittings, which is particularly cool because Winterling developed his own style of peg. I couldn't get the photos of the restoration to upload, but they can be found here.
  6. Hello all! I was hoping to seek some advice from this community on an upcoming restoration attempt I will be beginning. As a long time violin player, I recently rescued a ca. 1920s-1930s German "factory violin" from the trash. I have always toyed with the idea of attempting to build a violin or guitar and this seems like an opportunity to get some "free" education and experience. I am aware that a violin such as this is essentially worthless and many professionals would say that it is not worth the time/money put into it, but I have the time and access to the tools to make me confident enough to attempt something like this and the learning experience alone would be worth it to me. My concerns regarding this instruments issues are the order of operations in which things might be approached. I've attached some images that display the many problems with this instrument, such as: -Split back plate -Warped ribs on the lower bouts and upper right bout area -Neck gap/detachment Would anyone have any advice on what to tackle first? I was thinking about removing the back plates first, planing and joining and trying to reattach the ribs correctly. After this I would remove the the front and reset that. Once the body is structurally back together, I would tackle the neck reset. Does this sound like a good approach? Am I in way to over my head? Any advice/comments/suggestions are appreciated! Thank you! Will Whaley - Rochester, NY
  7. Hello everyone, This is a photoset of my violin, an antique from 1880s Germany (or possibly the German-speaking part of what is now the Czech Republic). As you can see, it is rather large all around, with beautiful flamed-maple back and ribs and a gorgeous red varnish. It's extremely heavy, and I've gotten so used to it that some of my professional friends' violins feel like toys in my hand. Even my viola is significantly lighter. It's not incredibly obvious from photos, but the scroll leans back quite a bit further than a normal violin. The pegs are custom viola pegs because violin pegs ware far too small to fit in the peg box. It has a very warm and extremely dark tone, and loves warm strings like the Warchal Brilliant Vintage and Amber sets. It has great projection for being such a dark-sounding instrument, too. I was recently made aware of a maker named Maggini. The person who told me about these instruments said that mine fits several of the characteristics of a Maggini, whether it be a true Maggini, or a copy. The things it is missing, which may or may not make or break it, are the double purfling and the triple scroll. It is fully carved, and the purfling was inlaid by hand. Would anyone be able to verify if this is indeed a Maggini model/copy, and what it could potentially be worth? It is an heirloom that we got restored (all new hardware, including fingerboard and custom pegs/tailpiece) and there are no labels, stamps, or writing in it, so we know next to nothing about it besides 1880s Germany. To me, it's priceless because of the sentimental value, but I'm also interested in the potential monetary value as well. The luthier I took it to said it's a run-of-the-mill Strad copy, but it doesn't quite seem to fit the shape. I did the best I could with the tape measure, but I kept the higher end where it was when I measured with two hands. Thanks kindly, Kristen Stadelmaier
  8. It is strange that I am here in Japan where Japan paper is easily available in all forms but I never seriously thought about using it for restorations. Long time ago I heard from a restorer in Germany that in his opinion there is nothing better to reinforce cracked ribs instead of using studs or parchment. Any other uses? Anyone with experience? How does it compare to other materials?
  9. I always get asked what happened to my violin... and the answer is I do not know! It was like this when I bought it and it doesn’t bother me because I think it adds character and an identifying feature. No crack, just a surface abrasion of some sort. Any theories as to what caused this? I wish I knew because I am very curious of a person, haha. Is this damage anything I should be concerned about fixing/restoring? My luthier didn’t think so but I’m not sure if this can even be restored if I’d want to in the future? Thanks!
  10. Hello there, I'm a new member, but I've used threads from this forum as an information source many times before. I'm a Danish cellist with a lot of hobbies, one being restoration of old violins. I'm rather new to it, though, and have only repaired one violin yet with a nasty sound post crack, so I need to gain a lot of experience. I picked this violin up from a luthier's shop window in Schleswig, Germany. He told me it's a 200 or more years old violin from Mittenwald. I asked why the maker didn't use flamed wood for the neck when the body seems to be of rather nice wood and he said that it was probably made by another person than the body like some sort of production line, just like the trade instruments. After staring at it in admiration ever since I purchased it, I've formed a theory that the neck might actually be made later instead of a neck graft. I think there is lots of attention to detail in the body, but not so much in the neck, and the combination seems weird to me. However, I don't have much experience, so I would love if someone could help me identify it. I have taken pictures with my phone, and I've observed a few details: The fingerboard seems to have been too low on this neck and have been lifted with a thin, angled piece of maple. Is that normal? The fingerboard has grooves from the strings The upper right corner where the left hand might rest is weared down a lot so it has a curve down and is even cracked along the purfling. The back has marks after having a chin rest mounted for both a right- and left handed player. Maybe it's been a student violin and used by many people? However, it only has marks in the c-bout on the treble side. It has been repaired in five cracks in the top and one in the side. The stamp on the inside looks a lot like the one of Christian Wilhelm Seidel, but especially the d is not as swung. I can't find anything anywhere matching this font. Does anybody recognize this branding? I can't upload my photos from my phone, so they're on Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B0fyVNePhekSc2hsa2xxT3pTSWM My last question is one that I know has been asked too often: It's horribly firty with rosin buildup etc, how should I clean it? I've done my best with a damp cloth, but it's not really enough. I've heard turpentine should be safe on rosin varnishes (this should be dragon blood according to the seller), and it seems to work, but I don't really like how hard the turpentine itself is to get off the surface. I'm not asking how I should clean my instrument casually, but how I should do if I want to be the amateur luthier who enjoys making old stuff play again. Lastly, of course I won't do anything stupid to a really good instrument while I'm still learning, and it will under any circumstanced be taken to my luthier when I get home before I touch it. Sorry for the long post, but I hope someone out there can help me. - Tobias :-)
  11. I have finished cleaning and setting up and adjusting an old probably German/Bohemian violin (the one I asked help identifying in this other post), and now I'm debating moving to a more hairy task with it: Varnish restoration! The violin has some scuffs and dings, but two that concern me are the ones on the lower bout bass side where a piece of it is actually chipped off, and on the back where some very aggressive shoulder-rest use seems to have worn through the varnish (please see pictures). The value of the violin is inconsequential, this is a work of love and for the sake of the experience, so I'm not worried if I mess it up, although I do have professional experience with restoration/conservation of vintage and ancient jewelry and swords (not exactly related, are they? ), so I am familiar with the delicate touch required, and the rule that less is more. What I'm wondering and hope you folks can help with is: First of all, are those spots issues that should be addressed, or would they normally be left alone unless a very pedantic customer insisted on them being restored? I have heard that bare wood is a bad thing and should be touched-up, but one shouldn't be neurotic to the point of touching up every little ding, but those spots are quite big in my opinion. What would be the most common way of restoring a chipped spot like that? Just varnish it over, or make a patch and glue it in place and the whole nine yards from there? Is there some relatively easy way to test varnish, to figure out if it's oil or spirits (shouldn't be anything else in this case I think)? Was there any relatively standard varnish preferred in the Schönbach area around 1900 (assuming it's from there) or are they all over the place? If there's no way to know what varnish it is, what would be the safest bet to go with for repairs? Oil? Spirits? Shellac? Something else? Are they relatively compatible or are they like paints where you don't put certain types over others? Thank you for your input!
  12. I submit to you, my sister's cello. It has a couple open sound post cracks and at many places, the edges are flush with the ribs. I don't exactly know what will happen when the top comes off, but the thing obviously needs some work. It's a small cello, 7/8 size or a lady's full size. It has been hypothesized that it's English. My sister says someone once told her it looked like William Baker. In any case, it was purchased for not too much money. I suspect that a full restoration might cost more than the initial cost of the instrument. If you guys look at it and tell me it's a hunk of junk, I won't worry too much about who I recommend my sister sends it too. It'll probably be fine, and she just wants it to stop buzzing so she can play it again. If you guys look at it and say it's really cool and actually possibly a 17th or 18th century instrument, I'll make sure that it's someone capable of beautiful work. She loves the instrument, and others have complimented its sound. It's probably worth sending the instrument to someone really good regardless... Anyway, take a look, if you please:
  13. Hello, I am curious how much will it cost to do a arching correction,cracks cleaning and reglue, chest patch. Cause I have a violin that needs a professional repair. However, there isn't any workshop near to my place. Therefore, it will be great if i can get some opinions here. I have attached some images below.Thank you! http://i63.tinypic.com/28in6og.jpg http://i68.tinypic.com/2eol7hd.jpg http://i66.tinypic.com/i43jgw.jpg
  14. My dad brought home a 1/4 size bow for me from his trip to the Skinner's auction. It's an adorable little bow. I recently did a double chaval on the frog of a 2/4 size but this bow is even smaller. This one didn't need much work just a new tip, slide, wrap, thumbgrip and a ridiculous about on straightening and camber. To give you an idea of size I took pictures of the head and frog next to a quarter. Old tip New tip Frog had to have a new slide, and the ferrule reshaped. The button was covered in scratches like it had been chewed on. Doesn't it look better now? Now I just have to rehair, straighten, camber, wrap and thumbgrip. I'm thinking Teal and silver tinsel for fun.
  15. In light of the other thread in which Oberlin was discussed, I figured I'd start one about Oberlin by itself. Was just wondering who was going, and are you on the violin, or the bow side? Seems we always have a thread about it afterwards, but haven't seen one before. Maybe Jeff or David can chime in as to availability. I do know that the bow side of things has been a little sparse the last few years. If anyone is interested in bow restoration and repairs, then you should contact Jeff H. as there seems to be a world of knowledge over there. They actually put on little demonstrations for the violin side of things on rehairing etc. Kari Azure (from Joe P's shop) put on a great slideshow of a new technic in frog restoration last year. The violin side has usually been pretty full, but don't know what the numbers are like for this year. Looks like Andrew Dipper is back this year on staff, and Jeff is bring out someone representing the West Coast this year!! Joseph Grubaugh from the "Wine Country", you now what that means........... Christian Shabbon will also be teaching (from Ruening's shop). jeff
  16. Hi all, This excellent crack repair article really helped me out recently when a cello came into the shop with soundpost and bass bar cracks along the full length of the top. The repair work I do is generally guided by the Weisshaar book, so it was great to read some new (to me) material instead of the just referring to the same passage I've already read again and again. I was wondering if the maestronet community would be interested in compiling a thread dedicated solely to links of articles devoted to repair and restoration (of course only articles that are intentionally made available to the public via the author's personal website should be included). After all, this crack repair article was published in 2001, so I didn't have a chance to catch it the first time around (I was still in high school . . .). If everyone agrees that this is a worthwhile idea, then I think this may be a job for LinkMan! (at least to start it off.) “Hold on tight” The Strad Nov 2001 article on crack repair By Andreas Hudelmayer http://hudelmayer.com/about-me/articles/hold-on-tight-the-strad-nov-2001-article-on-crack-repair/
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