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Dunvegan

fingerboard replacement?

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can anyone describe for me what is involved in replacing a fingerboard? I have found an old german violin that I am considering buying. it currently has no fingerboard.

I am interested in knowing what is involved

with the process and what it might cost to have this done.

thanks

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Is the fingerboard with the instrument? Are all the other parts included? Paying for labor is better than parts and labor....Maybe you could take it to a violin mechanic before you close the deal for an estimate? If the seller isn't willing to let you do this I would wonder why.

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The old board has to come off--not usually too hard, expecially in your case :-) --then a board blank has to be shaped to fit the space where the old one was, and the top reworked so the overall thickness and shape is right, the underside hollowed out correctly, the new board glued on, and the edges shaped to fit. Then you'll need a new nut, and probably a new bridge. That's the minimum, if everything goes right. Depending on whom you deal with, this will cost between nothing and $600 or so, and I wouldn't even hazard a guess on what local cost or quality level (which could vary between unspeakable and great, based on actual examples I've seen in the real world)would be in your case. You realize that this would be very much of a pig-in-a-poke deal for you, right? For all you know, the neck's in wrong, and the violin is junk and will sound like a tin can. . . . or not.

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I think Michael meant that $600 would be for 'best' work. A local repairman might charge a third of that. It IS a bit more work than intuition says. The blanks are much oversize, and must be lightened, dressed, and scooped. The nut must then be reshaped and buffed. If I'd had to charge for my time on the couple I did, I'd need to charge about $200, sans bridge. (And the result would probably not satisfy a demanding player who used the higher positions.)

Mark_W

[This message has been edited by Mark_W (edited 03-02-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Mark_W (edited 03-02-2001).]

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Dunvegan, I have replaced many fingerboards on violins and there is quite a bit more to fitting one correctly than the average player might realize, however, I would have to agree with Mark_W as far as the approximate cost of having one replaced in my area. I charge anywhere from $180.00 to $250.00 to replace a fingerboard (with nut) depending on the particular instrument and the quality of the fingerboard blank I use. Of course I do not have a large shop where I have a great deal of overhead because I do this work out of my shop at home. I recommend that you first do your homework and shop around. You will be surprised how many different quotes you will get from various luthiers/repair shops.

Joseph

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thanks everyone for the information. there was a lot more involved than I realized.

I really don't think that particular violin

would be worth it...I just wanted a " cheapy" to take on camping trips and such...I think I will look further.

THANKS GUYS! laugh.gif

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