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Found 37 results

  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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....
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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!
  12. Just wondering what would be a good plan of action... I was given an 'old violin' and took it to a specialist string store to get looked at. Told it was definitely worth doing up (for my daughter). Took a couple of pics of instrument and label inside (best as I could) before taking it in. Got it back and the identifying label inside has had the middle third of it all scratched away - gone! The repairer made no comment to me about this when I collected the instrument and I feel so angry about this. Also, the wood under where the label was seems very roughly scraped. Would it be possible this was already like that- or unlikely? After speaking to professional players, noone seems to understand why this would have happened...and more over why it would not have been mentioned. The violin is a Strad copy, so not ridiculously wonderful instrument, but still good. Should I be concerned about this? And if so, what would you expect to be done about it? I'm assuming the part of the label that is missing is long gone.... I hate confrontation and I guess I'm thinking nothing can really be done about it anyway. Thanks for your opinion. I'm not a string player myself, but am a School Music teacher, so I do know a few bits and pieces. Cheers.
  13. The bow that came with my budget but old violin needs a rehair but also a replacement tip. It's seems to be a decent quality bow so is it worth paying the amount required to set this up for future use? Is it old or just used a lot - leather pad has perished somewhat? What material was used for the metal the internal metal parts? Looks like gold but surely not? Happy new year to all!
  14. Hello, I have a few questions regarding the appearance of my violin. I have been told it is probably German-made from the first-half of the 20th century. Please bear with me as I have no experience of wood-working or varnishing... Is the light-dark pattern of the back due to age and wear (light areas are worn more than the dark ones), or is it due to the way the wood originally took the varnish? What are the dark spots due to? I read that they are due to dings that happen during the life of the violin. Is that were true, wouldn't the varnish be damaged at each of these spots? It seems that the varnish is as smooth as everywhere else at these spots. Does the darkness of the back seem mean that it has been repaired? Thank you.
  15. Got a bow in for repair and re-hair from the local music shop. The wood of the bow I just discovered is cracked and the eyelet, which is slightly undersized has such thin walls that it does not hold when tensioning the bow hair. An new eyelet of the correct thread will not tread into the frog because the stem is also undersized by 0.2 mm. Easy enough (yes?) to drill out the frog to the right dimension for the new eyelet. A 7/64 drill bit worked well on a tes piece of ebony. But the width of the new eyelet needs to be filed down to fit the bow slow but at least 0.2 mm. Depth is OK so I can leave the height if the eyelet alone which is where the old eyelet failed. So my main question is is the bow crack an issue that needs to be addressed any other way that gluing with hide glue? Or would you use white glue? The store told me this was a $600 bow. I am reminded of the Pink Panther when Inspector Clouseau destroys this grand piano and the butler reminds him that is a "Priceless Steinway"... and Clouseau responds "Not any more"...
  16. 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!
  17. 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!
  18. 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/
  19. 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...
  20. 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.
  21. 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?
  22. 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
  23. 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?
  24. 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
  25. 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