Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

How many spool clamps for a fiddle?


bean_fidhleir

Recommended Posts

I did a search on spool clamps, but am not much the wiser for it.

The humidity loosened the glue holding the heel in the neck block of my old fiddle (nice enough German factory fiddle, ca. 1900), and so the string tension kindly rotated the neck a bit, nearly laying the fingerboard on the table. It's still playable, since I don't go above first position, but unlike a scab it's going to get worse rather than better if I leave it alone. But I can't afford to fee a pro to do it, which leaves selbstmord.

The main thing that makes me very nervous and hesitant to try was a comment by Michael about the ability of amateurs to turn a small problem into a big one. I don't know what to do about that problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd certainly want to here from the more experieced on this subject, however - glue isn't the only thing holding that neck block in place. My fear is that you are going to have othe issues as a result of this (open seams, rib cracks, distortion, etc.) I think it's going to need some professional repair work if you want any longevity out of it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sort of assuming I'll have to have the top off to do the repair, Andres. The heel has released from the button, yes. There's a wedge-shaped gap ca. 1mm at the widest point.

This happened once before, too. The problem just seems to be summer weather. It gets hot and humid, and the bloody glue liquifies just enough and long enough to let the string tension go to work on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by:
C.B.Fiddler

My fear is that you are going to have othe issues as a result of this (open seams, rib cracks, distortion, etc.)

That was my first fear, too, CB. But the humidity doesn't seem to have been bad enough to do what it did last time, which was to spring the ribs loose from the blocks and all. That was horrifying to look at. This time everything else seems to still be tight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well if the only problem was the glue (was this something other than hot hide glue?), it could be cleaned out and re-glued with little fuss, just making sure the FB is pointed right, without taking off the top.

If the joint doesn't fit, then the mortise needs to be thoroughly cleaned out, filled with wood, and re-cut for a proper fit, which is fussy work and requires retouching afterwards, but still without taking off the top.

Unless there is some other problem the top doesn't have to come off. Taking it off is part of an alternate approach to removing the neck (by carving away the upper block), but that doesn't seem to be the problem here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by:
Andres Sender

Well if the only problem was the glue (was this something other than hot hide glue?), it could be cleaned out and re-glued with little fuss, just making sure the FB is pointed right, without taking off the top.

If the joint doesn't fit, then the mortise needs to be thoroughly cleaned out, filled with wood, and re-cut for a proper fit, which is fussy work and requires retouching afterwards, but still without taking off the top.

Unless there is some other problem the top doesn't have to come off. Taking it off is part of an alternate approach to removing the neck (by carving away the upper block), but that doesn't seem to be the problem here.

I imagine it's hide glue--I can't think what else it could be. I mean, it wouldn't have given way if it were Elmers or something, I shouldn't think.

As to fit, I don't know whether it's snug or not. The guy who fixed it the first time didn't say anything to me.

So are you saying that I can treat it almost as though it were a dowel? Re-loosen it with hot water applied with a hypo, pop it out, slather on the glue, and shove it straight back in, sort of thing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by:
bean_fidhleir

So are you saying that I can treat it almost as though it were a dowel? Re-loosen it with hot water applied with a hypo, pop it out, slather on the glue, and shove it straight back in, sort of thing?

I'm not sure you'd want to use hot water, Michael Darnton has said it just make hide glue sticky and messy. He actually suggests small amounts of alcohol to dry out the glue, but this is in regards to removing a top.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alcohol?? eeegh...it feels like I'm slipping deeper into the swamp already.

And I can really do this without taking off the top? I haven't tried wiggling the neck to see whether the glue is completely kaput. The first time, I was advised to keep a corrugated buffer in between the table and fingerboard to prevent this, so I did but it didn't---the fb just squashed the corrugated when it rotated. When I pulled out the buffer yesterday, I heard some crackling noises, so is that maybe the glue telling me it's kaput, wants replacing, and won't resist me pulling the neck out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If hot weather/ high humidity is making that neck release, and hide glue WAS used, then, it's probably not the right hide glue, it very well may have been repaired with old or bad glue, or Franklin brand hide glue, etc., either of which can experience a number of problems, including, turning to a sticky mess in high huimidity or just being too old to work well (often the bottle glue will expired on the shelf in the store) it can turn to a sticky mess, let loose, things can shift and then it will often appear to seal right back up when things (temp or humidity) change. If that's the case, it may never hold correctly under tension.

Especially if f this has happened before, I believe I'd do my best to remove what's in there, insert some real home made quality hot hide glue, clamp it shut and then see what happens. If the fit is correct and the glue is right then it will not come apart.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"But I can't afford to fee a pro to do it, which leaves

selbstmord." - bean_fidhleir

================================================================

Pro would maybe use this clamp from Dick Fine Tools:

http://www.dick.biz/isroot/dick/Files/Abbi...ross/705820.jpg

Which is 50 Euros.  Yikes!

Maybe this is why you can't afford a pro.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps yes that clamp would not be used in this case, but

maybe, perhaps it may.  

From the sounds of it, there could be a whole lot more going on,

since a fingerboard that touches a top plate is not the ideal

condition to play a fully stressed instrument, which leads me

to wonder if the possibility of other things maybe going on,

 that do not meet the eye upon a casual inspection by an

untrained eye.

At any rate, the point I was trying to show was that there is a

good reason for the trained repair person to be doing these

repairs, and that the cost appears to be somewhat steep to the

amateur because they do not know the cost of clamps.  All one

needs to do is look at any clamp that Dick Tools sells for repair

work, to get an idea why the cost is high.  Then try

multiplying that by some astronomically high number, since all good

woodworkers know that you can't have too many clamps.

Sometimes it is better to "bite the bullet" , and have get it over

and done with properly.  Having an understanding of why it is

so expensive might help to lessen the shock.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...