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Looks like somebody found a sale on cleats . . .


Beaux Eau
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Ok, I am amazed. Here are my straight up lies. 1. It was done in support of a crack prevention program. 2. After sanding the top to 1 mm thick, it was decided that the cleats were needed to build the top back up. 3. Each piece of cleat is resonantly tuned to a musical note. 3. The violin was placed on a tire balancer and this is where the weights were placed to adequately spin the instrument on the tip of a finger. 4. If you look at the inside the top for a long enough period of time, you will make out a picture of the space shuttle.

-Wes

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If the violin had lots of cracks, I don't see that the repairman had much choice -- whether amateur or professional. Actually, looking at the top, the violin looks pretty solid. Bet it will sound great. Mittenwald, early 1800s is my guess, although the c bouts are a little peculiar. Any other guesses?

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My first thought (fwiw) was maybe a vernacular baroque fiddle. Haven't we seen a lot of fiddles like that made by somebody in a village for use in church? Lots of woodworking skill, and good musicians, but no real access to models. So they have to do it all by memory and they end up with a well-made fiddle that looks "off".

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Somewhere I've seen a photo of the inside of some famous violin where the great number of cleats made it look like Frankenstein's monster. The closest I can come is this pic from the Alf Studio, showing just one section of a Guarneri top: http://www.alfstudios.com/Shop.../process_img/dg19.html . The cracks comes with age and use. I guess the trick is not to avoid cleats, but rather to make the cracks invisible on the outside.

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I think most restorers are in agreement that over applicaton of cleats isn't a desirable thing... Some nice instruments collect more than their fair share over time. How many is actually too many must be applied per case... but sometimes the sheer number used is overwhelming. Below is a link to an old patch and cleat usage thread... and although I couldn't find it with a quick search, Michael D had a great photo of cleat ovedose a while back as well.

Cleat & Patch thread

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