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Table refinishing


Paul
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I have a few student line rental violins which have numeruous surface finish imperfections some of which go to bare wood. What is the opinion of scraping the tables down to white and refinishing? If anyone can offer guidance on this approach I'd appreciate their help.

Paul

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Hi paul...refinishing the table will probably look worse than a touchup. Scraping is very bad...as is sandpaper...some folks use paste varnish remover, strip, wash and re-varnish...a lot of trouble for a rental quality instrument...most people who rent care nothing about the looks...just seal bare wood, attempt to color match with touchup and polish...

Best of luck,

Al

: I have a few student line rental violins which have numeruous surface finish imperfections some of which go to bare wood. What is the opinion of scraping the tables down to white and refinishing? If anyone can offer guidance on this approach I'd appreciate their help.

: Paul

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Hello Al and Paul,

...most people who rent care nothing about the looks...

I'm a string parent, and I see a lot of kids with abysmal-looking rental instruments, so I know they are not uncommon. However, the kids really DO care how they look. School kids are at an age where they judge most things on "looks." (See the preoccupation with brand names and the "right" shoes.) If their instrument looks beat-up, they often don't have much respect for it and contribute more scars and damage. A beat-up looking instrument, no matter how well-adjusted it is, gives a kid negative status. Just ask them! At my son's school, there are about a dozen school cellos. Every period there is a competition to see who gets stuck with the ugliest ones. The ugly ones get worse every year as more kids treat them cruelly. Kids also care about having a good-looking instrument case too, so their peers won't think they themselves are tacky.

When a parent comes to rent a violin, we wonder if we are getting our money's worth if we are given an instrument that looks like a beater. How can you ask your kid to take good care of an instrument that obviously has been abused by others? And don't adult buyers concern themselves with looks too? Reading sales catalogs, the descriptions are mostly concerned with the instrument's appearance.

So please touch them up nicely and throw out the beat-up cases. Put real hair on the bow, make sure the pegs turn easily, and admonish the kids and parents to keep it all safe, because it's special! A first violin is the door to a skill they can appreciate their whole lives.

Ann Brown

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: Hello Al and Paul,

: ...most people who rent care nothing about the looks...

: I'm a string parent, and I see a lot of kids with abysmal-looking rental instruments, so I know they are not uncommon. However, the kids really DO care how they look. School kids are at an age where they judge most things on "looks." (See the preoccupation with brand names and the "right" shoes.) If their instrument looks beat-up, they often don't have much respect for it and contribute more scars and damage. A beat-up looking instrument, no matter how well-adjusted it is, gives a kid negative status. Just ask them! At my son's school, there are about a dozen school cellos. Every period there is a competition to see who gets stuck with the ugliest ones. The ugly ones get worse every year as more kids treat them cruelly. Kids also care about having a good-looking instrument case too, so their peers won't think they themselves are tacky.

: When a parent comes to rent a violin, we wonder if we are getting our money's worth if we are given an instrument that looks like a beater. How can you ask your kid to take good care of an instrument that obviously has been abused by others? And don't adult buyers concern themselves with looks too? Reading sales catalogs, the descriptions are mostly concerned with the instrument's appearance.

: So please touch them up nicely and throw out the beat-up cases. Put real hair on the bow, make sure the pegs turn easily, and admonish the kids and parents to keep it all safe, because it's special! A first violin is the door to a skill they can appreciate their whole lives.

: Ann Brown

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