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I wanted to start this thread based on something Jacob S posted a while back ,about " repair not improve". Now lots of invisible lines keep popping up . A little back ground , Having made a few ....22 or so violin and viola , I was asked to do some trimming on a fingerboard and to cut a new bridge on someone else's violin, because they liked what I did with mine. That was a year ago and since then I have been repairing and to some extant "improving" a whole stable of relatively inexpensive student instruments. There have been a few in the 8-10,range but mostly not. Each project and method receives research and rehearsals to execute what I consider "best practice" That said I find myself the weakest link in the chain. It's been a real learning curve. Among the "improvements" , I have committed ...dishing straight fingerboards, removing squeaky poly from the neck , re bushing peg holes so the strings don't ride , re graduating a 7 mm top with a cracked bass bar,down to 3 , neck pull backs to raise projection, using abrasives to smooth down a rough dry ..very..bad varnish and then French polishing over that, to give some life, refitting 1/20 pegs to 1/30 tapers, All done with the owners consent and or request. All done to a standard I try to achieve in my personal work. Currently, The owner of a 1920 ish Roth is requesting the neck be made smaller . She loves the fiddle, everything about it ...except the neck. I believe I could do the work to a quality standard .....but should I? Or another scenario, A violin of unknown maker, probably late 17th early 18th century...Top is shattered, battered, plastered up with patches and on the thin side.....A New top at half the price that will last a life time ...or more duct tape and bubble gum ? I guess I'm not looking for specific's , we all make our own choices, But rather a discussion about how one goes about weighing some of these things. What guides you? What thought's come to mind when faced with these types of situations? What stories will you share? Inquiring minds.....