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I am new to refurbishing violins and have just been working on cheap, factory models from the 60s (replacing mechanical pegs, putting in new sound posts, etc) for fun, but I really want to start opening up violins and fixing cracks, finish, etc. I purchased this Stainer(hopefully copy) for $10. It will need to be stripped, no getting around it the paint is about an inch thick. It will need a crack fixed on the f-hole and re joined at the center which is exactly what I’d like to do. I just want to make sure this is in fact a cheap copy and not something that I need to take to a professional. Thanks!
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