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  • Violin Making & Repair

Found 22 results

  1. 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!
  2. Just Gonna Dive In!

    So, I'd like to thank you all in advance for potentially helping me sort through all of the general questions I have, and also welcoming me into this community(by allowing me to create a free account to quiz the people in the lifelong trade/journey about what I seem to have gotten myself into). Thanks again for reading. I am excited to become a part of this particular community!
  3. Hello, I am repairing a violin front with a few cracks. And some of the wood on top of these cracks are missing (i.e. varnish side). However, the bottom wood still remains.I was thinking to use wood filler or cut away the wood to insert a new piece of spruce. Does anyone have any ideas? Thank you! Top (varnish side): https://postimg.org/image/5kr0x6nr5/ Bottom: https://postimg.org/image/mwrdimh8h/
  4. I own a martin dx1rae its fairly new 8 months .... The other day i noticed a crack in it...i was stunned later found out that it was a center seam seperation its about 3 inches big below the bridge ...since im in india very few good luthiers here ..i gave it to the best person i could find .. They give it back to me after 20 days ...just a day ago ..... Saying they glued it and put some cleats on it for stopping further damage...but i can still see that stupid crack.... !! And i hate it... Have they done a good job ?? I thought after working on it the seperation wont be visible...but its still there ...as it was .... Any answers would be appriciated...
  5. Taking an OT topic discussion from here: http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/333748-soundpost-press-crack-repair/page-4 I am very interested in the when, why and how of repairing 'cheap' violins. If the option is fix to it cheaply...and use it for one more child, or season (or whatever reason) versus throwing it out because it is not worth repairing "properly"...I would opt to fix it cheaply - provided someone is willing to do the work. I started playing the violin in Grade 5, in a school-sponsored strings program, on a very cheap loaner. I graduated to a second very cheap loaner in Junior High, and then upgraded to my very own VSO which my mother had to save up to purchase for me. If I didn't have access to these cheap instruments...I wouldn't have had the opportunity to develop an on-going interest...which I finally was able to actually explore more fully once I was an adult. I also like to learn from the ground up. What can you do to do a functional repair? What do you use and why? What shouldn't you use and why? And...when is a violin worth a decent repair...and when is a violin considered 'trash' and only worth a cheap repair? Finally...when is the violin really past the point of no return and should be thrown out?
  6. Hello! I´m Espen, living in Norway and an hobby luthier. Mostly gluing back fingerboards on children's half violins and 3/4 cellos. But does some restoration, (German violins from about 1900). Last week I came in contact with an elderly man who had prepared his late mothers house for sale. On the attic he had found a violin. He had never seen it before, so he figured it must have been there for more than 50 years. Most likely another German fiddle, I thought. And since the last project is nearly finished, I asked him if I could buy it. First thing I notice is that this violin is in bader shape than I hoped. F holes looks like hell, someone has added a new varnish, but ok, it was a fair price, and at least I can learn something about fixing F holes. Second I notice is that the common 17xx label is NOT from Stradivarius og Amati, and there is a repair text and date. It says Johann Christoph Merz, Klingental, 1780, repairs 18 / 19 something and the text "in Geneva", hmmm... Promising? At home in my hobby room the inspection continues. The F holes witch looks more and more like someone has carved them bigger, has been added repair wood, why not make it look fine when you first ad new wood? And the top seems not to match the linning / bottom shape 100%. Can it be the top from another violin that is added at some point? A quick inspection inside tells me it looks like hell. The top has to come of. Inside there is no real corner blocks. A cheep German after all? In the corner there has beed added some glue / clay? to stiffen the construction. Never seen or heard about that solution. The end block looks like just another pice of wood, the head block looks more what I expected and it has been reinforced at som point... Glue mixed with wood shavings has been used to reinforce some of the innings, lots of glue has beed added around the headblock ... why? And the top has been repaired absolutely all over... using canvas and glue in sted of wood cleats. So what the h... is this? A cheap German, or a scoop from the attic? Pictures here: https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B025oqs3qmKU2P Espen
  7. Fellow luthiers, I have just finished repairing an old German strad copy, likely from the early 1900's. I got it for free from a junk box at the shop where I work, and it needed a lot of repairs to make it playable again. I have, (generally) in this order: -Removed the broken neck -glued and cleated a small crack on the edge of the saddle -glued the C-bouts back on to the sides -glued the top and bottom back on to the sides -installed another old neck (in good condition) -reglued the fingerboard -made and installed a new heel -fitted new pegs -fitted a new bridge -and fitted a new soundpost. When I played it for the first time, what struck me was that the upper strings sounded pretty good, but the G and D strings were muted and buzzing, sounding like those of a 1/2 size violin. I tried everything to fix the problem, including: -Changing out the strings, tailpiece, and end button (not all at once) -removing the chinrest and fine tuners -adjusting the soundpost -adjusting the bridge and nut grooves -checking the pegs for loose decorations -checked for loose purfling -checking the neck relief, string height, and nut height -and pressing the bass bar with a soundpost setter Yet the buzz and flat tone still persist. I kept the violin strung and correctly tuned for the past two days, and it still has a buzz, but the tone is nicer when plucked. My violin seems to have a thinner top and shorter sides than others, which might account for the flat tone, but the culprit of the buzz is still at large. If you have any ideas about how to fix this beautiful yet terrible-sounding violin, please tell me. Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/1oPhpr6bm9ddbvbd8 Thanks, A.T. Shamblin
  8. Bass top repair

    I'm Working on restoring an old bass, top has serious arching deformation, do to poorly repaired cracks in the past. Working on filing one spot where the original wood is missing in the lower bought and wondering if anyone had any thoughts, thinking of just doing a belly patch which feathers down to the edge. Link to a couple of pictures. http://s1060.photobucket.com/user/Mr-bubbles/media/IMAG0158_zpse4083104.jpg.html?filters[user]=143348490&filters[recent]=1&sort=1&o=0
  9. Saving a bow tip

    Is there a way of salvaging a bow tip that has a crack on the top of the mortise? The tip on the bow is quite nice, and I would rather not replace it. I heard some people put a drop of super glue to close it. Kind regards.
  10. Making vs Repairs vs Sales

    This question was sparked by a comment made by Mr. Burgess in the recent "Beginning Luthier" thread: How much time do you spend building new instruments vs doing repairs and/or sales? Which activity actually pays the bills and which of these activities do you like doing the most?
  11. I recently picked up a bow stamped "Grimm" and "Germany" that looked pretty good and I thought it might be a good playable bow for the price ($45 plush shipping), although it needed a little bit of work. It needs to be rehaired, needs new windings and a new grip. Now, I grew up in Spokane, Washington and there was a guy there who did excellent work on both violins and bows - he studied at several places, including some in France, and just did a marvelous job. His prices were great, too. I guess I got spoiled. Now that I'm down here in Naples, Florida I thought I'd check about getting the bow finished up at the local shop that does in-house work (with a luthier on-site). I figured it would be around the same prices.... and was literally speechless when the guy who looked at the bow was clearly completely uneducated about violin bows (and I'm no expert, so if I'm saying that it's pretty bad) and he wanted to charge $450 for a rehair, windings, and a grip! He then proceeded to insult my bow and tell me I was better off to buy one of the "beginner bows" they sold there, which (no surprise) were crap. Including fiberglass (which I am trying to upgrade away from). He told me that he personally had "no idea what [a stamp] means" when I mentioned offhand the stamps on it, and completely missed seeing them in his all-of-5-second inspection that he did right in front of us in terrible lighting. After speaking with him for awhile it became clear that he didn't play or know how to either, which concerned me. All of this together was a little alarming to say the least. I will clearly be shipping my bow to Spokane to the person I'm used to seeing about bows and violins, as you probably guessed. Just to put things into perspective, I got a quote from him while I was on the phone with him, and he said he could do everything for $125, which is a very reasonable price. To be honest, I am glad I'm sending it to him instead.... I trust the work that the guy in Spokane does and I know he'll do an excellent job with this. The joke of a "bow expert" I spoke with today would have probably botched the work if I had mindlessly given him that ridiculous sum of money after seeing how little he knew about bows. I'll tell you what, though. I bet he's sold a lot of crappy fiberglass bows this way.
  12. Repairing a cracked cello top

    Hello everyone, This is my first post here. I am not a cellist at all - I'm a classical guitarist (and amateur luthier half way through my first classical guitar). I have a second hand student cello (Stentor Student 2) which I purchased cheaply on ebay for my kids. Sadly it was sent in a soft case and with the bridge up, and it sustained very bad damage in transit - a two foot long crack on the top, running vertically. The seller has refunded me and suggested I dispose of the instrument - he does not want it back. I'd like to have a go at the repair and assume I will need to remove the top. My question is how I do this. With a classical guitar, top removal is horrible because of the bindings and purfling, but from what I have seen on the internet removing a cello top is more straightforward, consisting of slow careful insertion of a knife to break the glue join. I assume that my cello will not have used hide glue or anything which will loosen with heat? Could anyone advise a rank novice on whether to top will come of on this cello in the manner I describe? Thanks very much, Sean
  13. Curious repair

    Hello all you knowledgeable people out there....I have recently bought an old violin because I liked the back and thought I would hang it on the wall. It is German and what I think is usually described in this forum as "the usual". It came with the top off (not very kindly removed by the look of it) but this has revealed what seems to me a strange repair. The back of the fiddle has been completely lined with wide but thinnish strips of a very soft, pale wood; the sort of thing I imagine a woodworm would go into ecstasies over. The repairer has stuck his label in on top of this. Why would you have this sort of thing put into the violin in the first place? Surely it would kill the sound stone dead and be a source of buzzing forever? I cannot see any damage to the back which it might be supporting in any way. Any ideas?
  14. really annoying viola buzz

    one day when I was practicing a noticed a slight buzz on my violas G string, open and fingered notes. I went ahead and checked the most usual suspects of buzzing ie the nut, bridge, strings, chinrest, tailpiece, fine tuners, shoulder rest, basically everything on the exterior of the instrument and could not find the source. I decided to let it sit for a night or two to see if it would go away. well, it did not. the next day I tried again and at first it sounded like the buzz had disappeared but soon after I finished warming up had it returned. this time, it buzzed not only on G but on C as well. I checked for open seams or cracks and could not find the problem. a few days later the buzz can sometimes jump to open D. I tried knocking my knuckles on the back of the viola and found that the knock sort of changes and I hear a slight vibration when I tap the back right side next to the right center bout. also when I knocked on the front next to the left corner of the fingerboard above the left f hole I got the same sound but nowhere else. after all that investigation I have no clue what this buzz is coming from. can anyone give me suggestions as to what it could be? I had been traveling the day before by plane, could that have caused something to unglue? sorry for the super long post but thank you!
  15. Question on Soundpost Patch

    Hi there, I have a fixer-upper violin that I bought a while back. In the soundpost area, there seems to be a very small hairline crack developing. The crack doesnt go all the way through the top (from inside to outside). If you were to place the soundpost, it wouldnt be directly on the post, but a tiny bit to the side. Next to where the soundpost would be standing. My question is, do I need a full soundpost patch? I know it is hard without seeing the violin first hand, and posting pictures wouldnt help since you cant see the crack with the bare eye unless you were to bend the wood. Can you ever use a smaller soundpost patch, to make it more time/cost efficient? Fitting a smaller patch would be much easier than fitting a large patch. Thank you.
  16. I'm repairing a lovely old violin with some major pegbox issues. There were several previous repair attempts (not by me) and there is now very little wood left to work with. I want to re-cheek both sides with full thickness at the A peg and half thickness with a lap joint on either side. But, I have no idea where to buy maple appropriate for this kind of repair, as most of the repair wood I've seen is spruce. The scroll is not flamed, so finding a relative match shouldn't be difficulty. Where do you buy wood of this type? So far I've only found maple for backs and ribs, which is either overkill or too thin for what I need since I'm going to need some extra thickness in order to carve the angle for the lap joint at the narrower scroll. Thanks in advance for the guidance!
  17. HI all, I just bought this lovely (I think) old fiddle from an auction and I'm hoping for some guidance. These are my pictures (took them this afternoon) and I do actually own this instrument and have it in hand. I have deliberately NOT shown the label, but there is one. The bow is fractional, maybe 1/2 or 3/4 and is unlabeled as far as I can see. http://flic.kr/s/aHsjUkk3Yu First, what do you think I have here? Age? Origin? What is the basis for your thinking? Second, I'm hoping someone can tell me what I'm getting myself into repair wise, and if it's worth doing. I have a fairly good idea of what needs to be done, but I'd like a second opinion from someone knowledgeable with no skin in the game. Thanks in advance. Enjoy the pix! MamaTorra
  18. How to Rehair a Bow???

    Just saw this video on how to rehair a bow. A bit shocking....
  19. Hi guys! So, I'm about to re-glue a top plate to a clunker violin I opened up recently. I noticed that there's lining/ chamfering that helps support the glue joint where the ribs meet the back plate. I also noticed that I might have cut through some kind of lining between the ribs and the top plate when I removed the top plate. My questions are 1. Am I correct in thinking that when a violin box is initially closed up construction, there is lining/chamfering (of willow or spruce) installed to re-enforce the connection of the top plate to the ribs? 2. If so, any tips for installing that lining? 3. When re-gluing the top plate, must I first do something to prepare the lining/ chamfering? Is is acceptable to not pay attention to the lining when re-gluing a top plate? (I'd rather err on the side of caution and *pay attention to it*, that way the repair is done as well as possible ;D ) Thanks for the help, guys! I really appreciate it! - Sarah
  20. Hey guys! I have an old trade instrument that I'm cutting my repair teeth on (don't worry, it was long gone as a functional instrument when it got to me). One of the things I'd like to do is to repair a couple of deep gouges on the exterior o the top plate. In some places, the gouge is about 1 mm deep and covers a surface area about the same size as a quarter. I was thinking that I could sand the area down and patch it, like one would do to make a soundpost patch on the interior of the top plate. But, before I did that, I wanted to ask if there is any existing, accepted method for an exterior gouge repair? Or does anyone have some war stories they'd be willing to share? Thanks in advance, guys! -Sarah
  21. Hey guys! I've been reading maestronet's discussion boards for about a month now, and I'm excited to finally be posting a question I'm a composer/ violist by trade, and I've decided to refurbish some abandoned violins as a summer project. They're trade instruments from the 60's that are in really bad shape, so I'm just using them as practice victims to learn some repair skills. I'm not too concerned about screwing them up, but I do want to do the best job I can on repairing them while getting the maximum amount of education out of the experience. As far as education goes, I've been reading the Strobel books, talking with local luthiers, reading boards like this and other luthier blogs, and watching videos on Youtube (especially Brian Lisus' video of building the Peace Quartet). With all that in mind, I have a question about how to best touch up the varnish on one of my patients. In some places, the varnish has been removed down to the bare wood (maybe gouged the wood a little too). There are also large areas of the finish where it's deeply pock-marked, like someone rubbed it against some gravel or concrete, but the color is still intact. I know that where I can see bare wood I'll have to replace the ground and varnish. But what is the best way to approach these other large areas of abrasion? I've heard that sandarac is good for filling in holes.... but is there a varnishing material that works sort of like polish on a car for getting out scratches in the paint? I've also heard of people "refreshing" varnish, but I have yet to discover exactly what "refreshing" entails (I suspect many different techniques....) Any suggestions/ guidance from the elders and my fellow enthusiasts is much appreciated! Thank you a bunch in advance -Sarah
  22. Hello all, Gotta raise some funds and need to sell my recently acquired Weisshaar & Shipman book. I don't think I need a lengthy explanation of what this book is or why you should own it here, but just in case, I'll do it anyway. If you want to repair violins as a hobby or professionally, you need this book. Period. Many consider it the benchmark for all repair and restoration manuals concerning the violin. If you don't think you need it, just go ahead to do a few violins on your own - you're bound to have questions that this book will answer (with pictures!) This is the 2nd printing, 1999. Anyway, this book has always been used gently and has no "shop patina" on it as many repair manuals do. It's like-new. I paid $325 + shipping new, but I'll let it go for a bargain at $290 shipped. If you want to pay by Paypal, please add 3% ($8.70) otherwise, a Money Order or Cashier's check is fine. Thanks for looking!