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traveling with fiddle on vacation


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Well I confess I threw away all my precautions and went on vacation with the DW and kids up to GA and NC and TN first week in August. Problem is she insists on keeping the car windows rolled up tight at every stop. Usually I would crack the windows 1 or 2 inches to facilitate ventilation and cooling.

So I pulled a fiddle out that is antique strad but not really my favorite but sounds good. The neck fell from the glue giving way shortly after I got it. I love its tone and have played it on stage. So I had reglued / reset the neck with hide glue and strung with chromecore or some such.

Well I just played along with the summer heat thing when we stopped at various daytime sightseeing spots, campgrounds, museums, indian mounds, civil war battle fields, etc in the above states, with my fiddle in the back of the car, sealed in summer heat, while we shopped, sight saw, ate, browsed, etc. I was prepared to reglue, but this was a test. I would not do this with a "good" fiddle.

No problem. My fiddle stayed in a car sealed in the heat for several hours at a time with "no" ill effects. I'd give it a radiator badge.


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A customer of mine took his fiddle on a canoe trip a few years ago. The canoe capsized and the fiddle went in the river. He fished it out, opened the case, took out the fiddle, and turned it upside down to drain the water out of it. It suffered no significant damage and it sounds good.

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I remember Michael Darnton posting info regarding the fact that hide glue will not soften in heat unless there is some moisture involved. Of course, as humid as it's been in the aforementioned states this summer, there was surely moisture involved, just maybe not enough, since as temperature goes up, relative humidity falls.

From Brad's post, I guess we can infer that it won't soften with water either, unless there is some heat involved. Although I think if the violin had been in water for an hour, the outcome may have been different.

I have had some oil varnish soften in the heat this summer. Nothing bad, just a little case lining imprint.

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