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  1. I bought a violin off Facebook Marketplace for cheap expecting a project instrument that I could use to keep me occupied. It’s a fully carved workshop instrument and honestly it’s kind of fine aside from the pegs. They are some old mechanical pegs (I’ll leave my personal vendetta against mechanical pegs out of this) and the E strings peg is broken so it needs to be replaced. I assume there is no hope for finding the same pegs now so I just want to remove them but as you can see there is this metal bushing set into the wood on the tapered end of the peg. I can’t tell if it’s pressure fit, glued, or screwed in but I’m not sure how to get it out. I’ve tried to pull and tap it out but if I use much more force I fear I’ll have to deal with a peg box crack on top of this. P.S. I am aware that there is a good chance I will have to fill the current holes and ream new ones
  2. I bought a very interesting violin at auction recently, about 100 years old. Really nicely made. Thing is, it has a soundpost crack (and several other top cracks). All the cracks are repaired very nicely. By that I mean, the cracks are perfectly level, no lips, and all are cleated on the inside. You can't even see the crack lines on the inside. The cleats appear to be pretty old. I'm basing that on the general amount of dirt and dust built up on them, the color of the wood the cleats are made from, and the color of the tiny bit of glue poking out from underneath a couple of them. It was still set up and under some tension when I got it in the mail, so presumably someone was playing it at some point. If I had to guess, I would say retail for this instrument, sold out of a shop, is somewhere around $5,000. My question is... Is it worth forking over the money for a soundpost patch or setting it up as is and seeing how it does? I can get a patch done locally for around $1,200 - $1,500. But I've seen a handful of old violins over the years with soundpost cracks and no patch, just glued and cleated, or even just glued, and being played on. Always seemed unbelievable to me, but they were holding just fine. What would you do? My plan with this violin is to play, hold onto it from some years, and then eventually sell it.
  3. My violin had a sick sound for a while, and I took it for repairs. The top was removed, and cracks on the top plate fixed with cleats. Some work was also done on the varnish. The sickly, weak sound is no more, and there are nice overtones on every string. The G sounds great, the D is fine, but the upper register and particularly the A.... it has become nasally. As if it has its nose clogged. This wasn't an issue before the repair. I tried moving the soundpost closer to the bridge, but that just made the overall sound harsher. I tried a different, longer soundpost, placed more towards the center of the violin, again no effect. I changed the tailgut, from kevlar to a nylon one, no real change. I also put a new A (thomastic dominant), didn't change much. Is there anything else I could try? Or ask for a luthier to check? Another thought I had, was maybe the violin just needs time to adjust after having the top reglued? It's only been a couple of weeks and I haven't been really playing much on it (due to the fact that I don't enjoy it that much anymore). Thank you
  4. This is probably a silly question, however it is meant with sincerity and no levity is intended: is it possible to add purfling to a violin that does not have purfling? Once again, if this is stupid (it probably is) I am so sorry.
  5. A fellow violinist recently noticed that a tiny part of my bridge had chipped off and was horrified that I was continuing to play my instrument rather than getting it repaired immediately. A cursory Google seems to suggest that this part of the bridge is called the kidney wing, but I may be wrong. It does not, to my eyes, seem to be crucial to the structural integrity of the bridge, but what do I know? Do I need to get my bridge replaced ASAP or is this not a big deal?
  6. Hello, Recently I had a bow's frog replaced (the original frog had a crack in the tongue) and a rehair done. I notice there is a gap between the stick and the screw when the bow is untightened. Is this a problem? The bow seems tighten ok (the gap dissapears) but it seems it takes more turns than is usually required. I've attached a photo.
  7. 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...
  8. Hi folks, I bought a 16-1/2" unfinished "white" viola from a Chinese seller on eBay over a year ago. I bought it because I loved the look of the tight grained spruce top, the beautiful flamed maple on the back, and especially the fancy inlay. I have never tried any kind of project like this before, but after receiving it I realized that I had gotten something that was going to be more work than I bargained for. The fingerboard had a big hump in the middle of it. I double checked that it wasn't just warped, but no, the bottom was flat and the just the top had a big convex hump in it. I put it in the closet and decided to buy a much cheaper white violin to practice on and learn from before risking my luck on this nicer project. So now, over a year later, I took it out to see about fixing the hump and I noticed something I had not seen before: the fingerboard also has a long crack in it. I hoped that it was just cosmetic and I started aggressively sanding down the hump. But the crack is still there even after removing almost 1.5mm of thickness. I had saved the eBay listing photos when I bought it, and I now see that they cleverly avoided any view of this section of the fingerboard. I bet "Master Song and his 2 right hand apprentices" knew all about the hump and the crack in it - and that is how it ended up as a DIY "white" viola on eBay rather than a finished instrument... Is there a way to fix it? Fill it with CA glue? Would I be better off to remove it and put a better quality piece on? I emailed the seller asking if it was just "tack glued" and he replied, "No, it be well glued." So that solution won't be easy. Maybe I should just ignore it?
  9. This violin suffered from a fall and I am interested in how to repair it. Weisshaar goes into detail about a through patch for the top (table) and the process of matching grain lines. The two small missing pieces were found inside the violin so hopefully they will fit without having to match the flame. I am thinking about removing the back to do a plaster cast and a reinforcing patch from the inside. Can this repair be done by just removing the top and making a plaster cast with the back in place? I have done a brief search to see if similar repairs were done but did not find any. Suggestions and and advice would be appreciated,
  10. Greetings, In a recent talk with a Luthier friend, he shared with me that plate tuning could get very tedious, because of the difficulties at each step to know exactly where to carve so as to obtain the desired impact on the final frequency. Reading some papers, I came across a very interesting one, by Alan Carruth, a former student of Carleen Hutchins (attached carruth1991plate.pdf). In this article, the author gives a diagram with the impacts that carving might have on several different regions on the plate. I then compiled this information in a spreadsheet, where you can input the desired final frequencies for the plates, and then feed it with the current ones. Based on this information, the spreadsheet will show diagrams with the regions that could be carved in order to achieve the final desired frequencies. My friend liked it so much, that he encouraged me to share it to the Luthier community, so I'm sharing here with you. Please feel free to post any questions, criticism, and any feedback is appreciated. Thanks for your attention! carruth1991plate.pdf
  11. Lindsayb


    I have a Scherl and Roth 3/4 violin I am working on for a local youth program (charity) and am wondering if it is possible to replace a single Caspari-style peg (E string) instead of rebushing the whole peg box to return it to friction pegs. The E string caspari-style peg runs out of thread at an Eb and wont hold with fine tuner adjustments either. All the other pegs are working fine (despite being Caspari!) Any advice would be welcome as I'd like to get this instrument back into a student's hands quickly and cheaply.
  12. Hope everyone is staying safe and keeping busy. With the abundance of free time due to the corona virus lock down, I've acquired a few new repair projects. The question is, with the hyper competitive bidding of sites like ebay, the high fees on many instrument auction houses, and the endless sifting through listings of garbage German or Chinese factory instruments. How do most individual luthiers or shops go about acquiring "profitable" repair projects? I'm sure having a store front and the occasional trade in provides some source of decent instruments in need of some TLC. Any personal stories of interesting instrument acquisitions are welcome, I'm aware most traders or luthiers are not keen on idea of sharing their mystical instrument source
  13. Hello! I am looking for some expert advice on a repair venture I am beginning on a friend's cello. I am an experienced electric guitar builder but cello is a bit outside of my pond. I have a neck that is cleanly broken off from the pocket with only some minor chipping within. I have three questions: - Do I need proper hide glue or would some Titebond III do the trick? Any alternatives? - Would it be preferable to fill the chip-outs with a glue/sawdust mixture or do I need to look at replacing the block? - Should I remove all glue before a second glue-up? Any other advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.
  14. Hi everyone. My niece's student cello has a hairline crack at the D string peg hole (see pics). Any suggestions on how to repair? Thanks!
  15. Hi all, this is my first post. I just wanted to get your thoughts of the authenticity of this violin. Is it a Perry, Wilkinson, or workshop instrument? The violin shows its age both inside and out, and I do believe the label to be authentic, aside from someone trying to scribe ‘17’ over ‘18’. I have read there are German copies of Perry violins. The repair work seems to have been done centuries ago, lending credit to the repair inscription of 1841. Purfling lines are painted on, but I’ve read that is a characteristic of some Perry violins. Also, any general suggestions on repair of the neck would be appreciated as well. Thank you!
  16. Hello! I am in the stages of repairing a violin for the first time, purchased cheaply at an auction simply for the joy of learning. The violin is about 100 years old and was caked with dirt, I have lifted off the worst with cotton sticks and saliva. I will attach a photo of the current state of varnish, pictures taken with flash to better show the contrasts. The varnish is mostly matte, and chipped off or scuffed in many places, and dirty in others. I have come to understand that spirit varnish is mainly used in repairs, but I have not been able to tell yet if the original is oil- or spirit based. My question is: is it best to apply new varnish without any further big preparations of the current state? Or is it better to lightly sand down the worst scuffs to a more even structure and cleanliness before applying new varnish? Some scuffs are basically down to the wood, how would a base coat react to the varnish around it? My first plan is to leave as much as possible intact and only lightly sand the surfaces before applying varnish, but I am unsure how well it would attach on top of "dirt". The goal of this violin is not to make it look brand new, I would very much like to have it show its history but to be protected. Please give me your thoughts on the steps how you would restore the varnish
  17. 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.
  18. I live in a country where we don't have any good luthier. Moreover, it's a hard deal to find a good violin, there's no music shop with normal violin (only cheap fake ones).. So I don't have any option except doing it myself. I will do it this way or another, but dunno the steps. Please don't judge me badly hahahah))) 1. As you see there are minor cracks. What material should I use to cover those cracks? Is it necessary to cover them? (pics of inside & outside below) https://imageshack.us/i/po9jreixj https://imageshack.us/i/plY0MBn1j https://imageshack.us/i/plH2Zi2Gj 2. Most of the cracks are on the ribs, but ribs are covered with additional ribs, so should I remove them, or it's okay to leave them this way? (pics of inside & outside below) https://imageshack.us/i/plSIOz4Bj https://imageshack.us/i/po33wiqAj 3. One more crack is on the neck. I think no need to do anything with it, still I took photo just in case.. (pics of inside & outside below) https://imageshack.us/i/pmXujnWtj I'm about to receive hide glue soon for it, so far, that's the only material I have for now. Now, one more important thing. When I fix them and put the spruce back I need to varnish it. I saw in few videos I found that the luthiers put coating, then they varnish the violins. Or I might be mistaken. Just need to know what materials to buy to varnish violin, how many layers of coating, how many layers of varnishing. Actually I'm not aiming to make the violin shiny, would like to make something like this (link in the comment). I hope you'll share your experience, please....
  19. Hello, I am thinking of purchasing this violin. The seller says it's French from early 20th century. Can anyone tell me about it? There is a small crack on the backside, going up the middle from the chin rest, and the purfling is damaged. How much would this cost to repair? Thanks! Kristen
  20. Hello everyone, I am a violin performance student in his last semester. For the last couple of years I have been teaching myself violin and bow repairs and studying the historical makers. I was always handy with a knife as a kid, and enjoy working with wood. I bought several broken german violins and bows from ebay and have restored them as a way to learn. For the last two years I have been getting quite a bit of work at the university I am studying at, as there is no reputable violin shop close by. I have done rehairs, cut bridges, replaced bow tips, silver wrapping and thumb grips, fixed frogs and eyelets, glue seams, reset necks, dressed fingerboards, the whole shebang. The thing is that I have not made a violin yet. I really enjoy the restoration and setup aspect and frankly as a fulltime student I have not had the time. So that brings me to the question, what do I call myself? A restorer, repairer? Would it be presumptuous to call myself a Luthier? Some of my work: www.instagram.com/azevedoviolinist
  21. Hi. I bought a used Chinese made scherle roth violin. The original price was 300 USD so it's a low end instrument. The notes all sound fine except the A string's c sharp note. When I play it it vibrates abnormally with cross tonality. In other words imagine hitting c and csharp on a piano at the same time - that's how it sounds. This isnt a case of me putting any vibrato on the string through my bow or finger pressure. This isnt a case of accidentally hitting the E string at the same time. It doesnt occur on other notes or strings. Naturally I replaced the string and examined the head and bridge and soundboard for imperfections but cannot locate the source of the jittering sound. Any thoughts? Playing D or C sounds fine but the Csharp whirls like a helicopter sound when it takes off. Mark
  22. The photos are of an old bow that I have. The question is about what I assume is mother of pearl on the eyes, the adjuster, and the slide. I've never seen a bow where the MOP looks somewhat primitive like this. Is that just an indication of the age of the bow, or just amateurish workmanship? Since it is somewhat unique, is it worth having the MOP repaired when I get the bow rehaired? I've never had this bow rehaired, so I'm not sure if it's a good player or not. In fact, i'm not even sure it is worth rehairing, but just curious about the MOP. Thanks.
  23. Hi forum I Need some help, I think it was repaired with epoxi, how can I be sure of it? if so, does it have a solution? How is it best, go one by one or all the cracks at a time. Next, if it is reparable, will be remake the holes. What do you will do? The cracs go all around the pegbox, and you can open and close the gap a little, the inside have an ugly insert that is maintainig all the thing together. If you look inside the crack it looks like there is stalactites and stalagmites, could be expoxi not cured? How to clean tahat? The violin is a french one 70-80 years old, not so much value and good sound, and I have little experience repairing, I make my own violins I am now in my #5 and need help. Thank you for reading. @violintorre
  24. Dear Friends, I am new to cello repair and to this forum. Really appreciate all the helpful comments you posted about neck reinforcement. So I was thinking . . . . these cello necks broke about an inch below the point where the neck intersects the belly. The strings are exerting a strong pull toward the bridge and tailpiece. I believe the traditional method of repair is to glue the neck back together while still attached to the instrument, then install one or two dowels vertically. Would it be of value to install a dowel at an angle, top of dowel pointing toward the scroll and bottom of dowel pointing toward the top block? And what kind of glue would you recommend? Hot hide? Epoxy? Many thanks for your assistance, Fred
  25. I've recently repaired a couple of Srentor cellos with broken necks for a local music store. They were not broken completely off, but were retained by a small rectangular piece of wood inserted vertically through the neck. Made it easy to locate and glue. Easy repair with a couple of dowels. I am building a violin and wondering about drilling the neck at the heel and installing a dowel as reinforcement, possibly preventing a future break. Maybe that has been done before. Maybe it's overkill. What do you think? Thank you!
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