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Two cents more: the rust is not the patina. The rust is product of corrosion and consists of hydrated iron(III)oxides Fe2O3·nH2O and iron(III) oxide-hydroxide - FeO(OH), Fe(OH)3. Patina is the rather stable layer which provide the protection against the corrosion and consists of oxides, carbonates, sulfides, sulfates, acetates, phosphates etc., but never hydrated. Vinegar is very often used for forcing the patina on new (non SS) steel products, i.e. carbon steel knives.

Two more cent's and bassclef can get a cup of coffee thirty years ago!

This ones on me....

IT all depends on what the definition of patina ,one is using , Two types , one is artificial ...fake aging , the other natural over time. as in the "patina" on ancient iron rails and gaits worn over the ages... I use vinegar a lot to completely remove rust and forge scale for iron / steel as a preparation for filling . 

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OK, more coins for BC's coffee: talking about definitions, I prefer to use chemical definitions if we talk about chemical processes. patina is continuous layer which prevent contact between oxygen from air and metal and, consequently, prevent the corrosion and rust formation. Rust is porous system consists of water, iron salts and oxygen and with steel forms a corrosion system. In order to defend the steel parts from corrosion, we have to remove all existing rust, very often using mechanical procedures, leaving the bare metal behind. So, if we want to protect it, why not force the formation of patina using vinegar? 

 

Maybe it's good to mention one more definition: Restoration: bringing a piece back to close to its original condition including structural and finish repairs (from Wiki) or: "Art conservation and restoration, any attempt to conserve and repair architecture, paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and objects of the decorative arts (furniture, glassware, metalware, textiles, ceramics, and so on) that have been adversely affected by negligence, willful damage, or, more usually, the inevitable decay caused by the effects of time and human use on the materials of which they are made (...) The term art conservation denotes the maintenance and preservation of works of art and their protection from future damage and deterioration. Art restoration, by contrast, denotes the repair or renovation of artworks that have already sustained injury or decay and the attempted restoration of such objects to something approaching their original undamaged appearance." (Enciclopaedia Britannica).

 

We are talking here about restoration, not about conservation.

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We are talking here about restoration, not about conservation.

  Agreed , what is BC talking about? , often the restoration and conservation go, in a way, hand in hand.Custom designed for each specific subject.  As I said earlier "the term restoration loosely applied"for example, we might "restore" an old fiddle , but that does not mean we put in shorter bass bar , nail on a neck , and replace new fittings with period style work.ect , as I said a lot of the "restoration" has to do with final use intentions..... 

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Dear BassClef,

I'm in a similar situation, attempting to repair otherwise worthless violins so children can play them, without an adequate skill base or the tools to do a professional job. (For example see my latest project http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/330234-help-with-broken-back/ )

I found it a long process to learn to effectively use granular hide glue. (My skill level is still far from optimum even on just using the glue.)

A giant leap forward occured when I purchased a wax melting pot (hair removal) with lid (plenty on ebay for under $30) and a digital meat thermometer. (Drill a hole in the lid for the temperature guage.)

For example "Melting Pot La Petite Wax Warmer"

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  Agreed , what is BC talking about? , often the restoration and conservation go, in a way, hand in hand.Custom designed for each specific subject.  As I said earlier "the term restoration loosely applied"for example, we might "restore" an old fiddle , but that does not mean we put in shorter bass bar , nail on a neck , and replace new fittings with period style work.ect , as I said a lot of the "restoration" has to do with final use intentions..... 

I second that.

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A giant leap forward occured when I purchased a wax melting pot (hair removal) with lid (plenty on ebay for under $30) and a digital meat thermometer. (Drill a hole in the lid for the temperature guage.)

For example "Melting Pot La Petite Wax Warmer"

Hehe, something like this one: http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/329898-the-appliance-of-household-appliances/?p=614118

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  Agreed , what is BC talking about? , often the restoration and conservation go, in a way, hand in hand.Custom designed for each specific subject.  As I said earlier "the term restoration loosely applied"for example, we might "restore" an old fiddle , but that does not mean we put in shorter bass bar , nail on a neck , and replace new fittings with period style work.ect , as I said a lot of the "restoration" has to do with final use intentions..... 

Thanks for the interesting conversation regarding restoration/conservation & patina. I would like the case to look old, retain it's aged look, including the metal parts, but clean it up a little and make it useable. I'm leaning towards redoing the inside entirely but keeping the outside looking old but cleaning it up and retouching it to some degree. I've never done such a thing but am very much looking forward to the process. So I am leaning towards what James is suggesting, cleaning the surfaces, cleaning the metal parts a bit, then sealing them with the wax/oil. As for the outside of the case, I like the worn look of the paint but am considering also cleaning it up a bit and possibly retouching it where the wood is exposed. I am enjoying the suggestions and opinions being put forth and am definitely going to wait to read some more suggestions before taking action.

 

The thread that Franciscus linked to where forum member iburkard has done a similar restoration/conservation is very much what I'm interested in doing. He keeps the integrity of the outside of the case, the metal parts retaining their aged look, while the inside looks minty fresh and very inviting to a violin to take a nap in. I am as of not not interested in keeping the worn out purple felt-like-material that currently lines the inside of the case. So I will be on the lookout for a nice material to use as the lining. If anyone has suggestions, I'm interested!

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Dear BassClef,

I'm in a similar situation, attempting to repair otherwise worthless violins so children can play them, without an adequate skill base or the tools to do a professional job. (For example see my latest project http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/330234-help-with-broken-back/ )

I found it a long process to learn to effectively use granular hide glue. (My skill level is still far from optimum even on just using the glue.)

A giant leap forward occurred when I purchased a wax melting pot (hair removal) with lid (plenty on ebay for under $30) and a digital meat thermometer. (Drill a hole in the lid for the temperature gauge.)

For example "Melting Pot La Petite Wax Warmer"

Thanks for this tip. I am literally trying to spend as little as possible on this repair, so the investment of $25 plus the thermometer is even making me tighten up just thinking about it. Obviously I will have to spend a little but I don't see myself involved in very many repairs in the near future after the Garini so want to keep the tools/investment to a minimum. I'm still wondering what's wrong with the knife I said I had. I gently put it in the already open seam below the saddle and gently worked it about a half inch into the glued area with no issue, just as a test. It felt like a decent tool for the job.

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Looking forward to seeing the restored/conserved case (and ALL that the process entails). I will buy BC an entire coffee all for himself when it's all done! ( Don't let me forget!).

Thanks Rue, I will be sure to document the entire process with pictures of everything. My hopes are that other amateurs and possibly even professionals might learn something in the end, even if it's about an obscure topic like preserving patina or stitching and gluing a lining into an old case. Eventually I will probably turn my attention to the "worthless" by all accounts bow and will be replacing the mother or pearl inlay etc. Something which I also have no experience with. I appreciate the offer and will take you up on the cup of coffee when it's all done, or sooner if you find yourself in NYC.

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You can try shooting some powdered graphite into the lock..it sure works good on door locks and car door locks. You can get a tube at any car parts store cheap.might help to have a key made to wiggle it into the lock mechanism, but it would likely free it up. They make liquid graphite too i think.

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"so the investment of $25 plus the thermometer is even giving me tighten up just thinking about it."

 

Just think what you will do when you actually have to buy tools, and other stuff needed for the fiddle (like a good chisel, sharpening equipment, strings, bridge blank, fine tuners, drill to make your own spool clamps, hardware to make the spool clamps, c- clamps, saw, repair wood, peg compound etc.)!

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"so the investment of $25 plus the thermometer is even giving me tighten up just thinking about it."

 

Just think what you will do when you actually have to buy tools, and other stuff needed for the fiddle (like a good chisel, sharpening equipment, strings, bridge blank, fine tuners, drill to make your own spool clamps, hardware to make the spool clamps, c- clamps, saw, repair wood, peg compound etc.)!

Doug, I appreciate your discouragement but is all of that really necessary for the job I'm looking to do? I can take the top off for free, repair the lower block with the existing wood chips for free, glue it back for cheap, and then I'm not sure what it will cost to glue the top back on what with clamps etc, but I can imagine buying a couple of clamps for cheap. Even making a lower block from scratch can't cost too much, no? Resetting the neck is another thing altogether but I am confident that even if I don't mess with the neck I can bring the fiddle back to playing condition for cheap. If anything disastrous occurs, I can always patch it back together and hang it on the wall and it will look just as good as it does now as a wall hanger. A trial set of Warchal 1/8 strings is about $12 + shipping to the USA (thanks Franciscus for the tip), and 1/8 bridge blanks can't cost much. What I don't want is to be left with expensive tools that I use once to repair this one violin, that would be a waste of money. What would you recommend as the least expensive way for me to repair the violin from scratch?

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You can try shooting some powdered graphite into the lock..it sure works good on door locks and car door locks. You can get a tube at any car parts store cheap.might help to have a key made to wiggle it into the lock mechanism, but it would likely free it up. They make liquid graphite too i think.

Nice, when it comes time to getting the key made, I'll bring it to my locksmith and see what he can do, he probably has the stuff needed to loosen the lock so I'll check with him before buying anything. Your advise is much appreciated.

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"...Just think what you will do when you actually have to buy tools, and other stuff needed for the fiddle (like a good chisel, sharpening equipment, strings, bridge blank, fine tuners, drill to make your own spool clamps, hardware to make the spool clamps, c- clamps, saw, repair wood, peg compound etc.)!"

Doug, I wish there were guys like you standing on guard with financial alerts when I was thinking about getting married!

E

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You will have to replace the linings, so, try to separate the lining from the case wall where you can see the other side of some rivet(s). Very often, for fixing the hardware on instrument cases, split rivets are used and you can remove them easily (you will see). If, however, you have here classic rivets, there is a weapon against them too. Just take a look.

 

Edit: Of course, if you cannot see anything from the other side, you do not have the rivets, but nails (I doubt it)

I peeled away some of the ancient original felt-like-material behind one of the metal hinges and it appears that it is a nail with the end simply bent at a right angle, I'm not sure if the image will help but I did the best I could. Right now I'm inclined to leave the metal parts on the case and clean them as-is.

 

My birthday is a few weeks away and my wife is asking me what I want. I've requested a replacement macro lens attachment for my iphone (which I lost) that's pretty cheap and maybe I could request one or two solid tools. I would like to experiment with fitting bridges and cutting sound posts, so if a good luthier knife is in order I might request one. What is the cheapest good quality luthier knife that I can use to cut bridges and sound posts?

post-66674-0-00354100-1395276354_thumb.jpg

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I will just mention some things: BC, what about the rivets? What you have is mostly rust, not patina. Rust is more red, patina is gray to black. Rust is like a cancer on the metal, in a few words, with the tendency of spreading. WD40 is good thing, too. Opening this lock is very easy job - for locksmith, I'd say, some 30 seconds. The list of tools that FiddleDoug made for you is very shortened, just in order to not discourage you, as far as I can see - my list would be a little longer. I do not know if the regular spool clamps are usable for closing the 1/8 body, maybe you have to have smaller ones (I've never have a 1/8 in my hands). You will have to setup this fiddle, so, you will very possibly need the reamer and shaper (these things you will very possibly need for fitting the end pin too). And so forth (I do not think that you can make this fiddle playable without the neck reset). Make a plan and make a list of tools. Do not start the job if you do not have all tools needed for finishing it. 

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I peeled away some of the ancient original felt-like-material behind one of the metal hinges and it appears that it is a nail with the end simply bent at a right angle, I'm not sure if the image will help but I did the best I could. Right now I'm inclined to leave the metal parts on the case and clean them as-is.

 

My birthday is a few weeks away and my wife is asking me what I want. I've requested a replacement macro lens attachment for my iphone (which I lost) that's pretty cheap and maybe I could request one or two solid tools. I would like to experiment with fitting bridges and cutting sound posts, so if a good luthier knife is in order I might request one. What is the cheapest good quality luthier knife that I can use to cut bridges and sound posts?

I cannot see well, but it is possible that you have there the split rivets, or, as you said, just the nail bent at a right angle.  I'd straighten these rivets/nails with the pliers and remove all hardware, it is the best way to make easier all further procedures. At the end, you can maybe reuse these rivets/nails, or replace them with split rivets or screws. For your birthday, you can ask for combi sharpening stone, maybe. You can use it for sharpening all the knives you have, learning the art of sharpening. Regarding the knife, I started with the cheapest Excell knife set (X-Acto clone) and I still use it very (mean VERY) often. Regarding sound post, it is clear that you have to buy sound post setter.

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"I do not know if the regular spool clamps are usable for closing the 1/8 body, maybe you have to have smaller ones (I've never have a 1/8 in my hands). You will have to setup this fiddle, so, you will very possibly need the reamer and shaper (these things you will very possibly need for fitting the end pin too)."

 

I made an assumption the the existing pegs would work OK with some added peg compound. I don't efen know if you could use standard reamer and shaper for 1/8 pegs (never worked on one). Home made spool clamps should work with 1/8 OK. An Exacto knife would be your least expensive option for knives. Otherwise, you're talking about $20 for each one, without handles.

 

I wouldn't be looking forward to setting a soundpost on something that small!

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I made an assumption the the existing pegs would work OK with some added peg compound. I don't efen know if you could use standard reamer and shaper for 1/8 pegs (never worked on one). Home made spool clamps should work with 1/8 OK. An Exacto knife would be your least expensive option for knives. Otherwise, you're talking about $20 for each one, without handles.

 

I wouldn't be looking forward to setting a soundpost on something that small!

OMG, till you mentioned it, I never thought much about all these 1/8 issues. Seems that the standard reamer/shaper are not usable here. And, the soundpost setting - It seems to me that Martin Swan mentioned that job as problematic one. I've never gone below 3/4.

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I will just mention some things: BC, what about the rivets? What you have is mostly rust, not patina. Rust is more red, patina is gray to black. Rust is like a cancer on the metal, in a few words, with the tendency of spreading. WD40 is good thing, too. Opening this lock is very easy job - for locksmith, I'd say, some 30 seconds. The list of tools that FiddleDoug made for you is very shortened, just in order to not discourage you, as far as I can see - my list would be a little longer. I do not know if the regular spool clamps are usable for closing the 1/8 body, maybe you have to have smaller ones (I've never have a 1/8 in my hands). You will have to setup this fiddle, so, you will very possibly need the reamer and shaper (these things you will very possibly need for fitting the end pin too). And so forth (I do not think that you can make this fiddle playable without the neck reset). Make a plan and make a list of tools. Do not start the job if you do not have all tools needed for finishing it. 

I went to sleep last night feeling like I was in a scared strait program. Feeling refreshed now I like the idea of making a list. I'm going to start a list below of each project and the tools/materials I'll need. Please everyone feel free to fill in the missing areas.

 

******LIST UPDATED AS SUGGESTIONS/COMMENTS ARE POSTED*******

 

REPAIRING THE VIOLIN

***Removing the Top

- Knife

- Alcohol (optional)

 

***Lower Block Fix (gluing the existing block back together and back in place)

- Glue

- container to heat glue in (Glass Jar)

- cook thermometer

- knife/brush to apply glue?

- Clamp(s)

- Clamping Counterparts: Basswood, Cardboard, Wax Paper

 

***Gluing the Top Back On

- Glue

- knife/brush to apply glue?

- Clamps

 

***Removing nails & Resetting Neck

???

 

***Replacing Fingerboard???

- blank fingerboard

- plane

- knife

- glue & brush

- Ruler

- Optional - hollow out the underside of fingerboard projection - a gouge, a small round-soled arching plane, and a curved scraper.

 

***Retouching

- filling in the nail holes

- covering up the nail holes

- Trying to erase name from beneath button and blend it in

 

***Misc Setup

- Something to clean the violin with, inside and out

- Blank Bridges (1/8) to experiment with & use

- Blank Sound posts

- Coat hanger with end filed to a point to set sound post

- Peg gunk

- Set of 1/8 Strings

- Chin Rest (already in the works)

 

VIOLIN CASE PROJECT

- lining for inside of case

- glue for lining

- needle and thread to stitch lining

- more to be determined

 

BOW

- we can discuss this after the other stuff is done, it is the lowest priority

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Under "Lower Block Fix" you should add clamping counterparts.  You make these yourself from wood (Basswood is good.) lined with cardboard and waxed paper.  One goes on the outside of the ribs at the block, one goes on the outside of the back at the block and one goes on the curved surface of the block opposite the ribs.  The last does not need to be lined.

 

Under "Replacing the Fingerboard," if you want to hollow out the underside of the fingerboard projection you will probably need a gouge, a small round-soled arching plane and a curved scraper.

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I went to sleep last night feeling like I was in a scared strait program. Feeling refreshed now I like the idea of making a list. I'm going to start a list below of each project and the tools/materials I'll need.

Ha ! that's cute ...scared straight .....reality check!

  lists are the way to go, they help define problems and solutions ,especially when planning a trip to a foreign land. after time the list will mostly be in your head , but it still won't hurt to have one.

  I suggest a cook thermometer for glue , handy around the kitchen.  Mostly these days I just use a small jar , like for jelly in a sauce pan half full of water ...on the stove top on low ,have all your things ready to go, test clamp twice or three times ,whatever to have a smooth feel, I will practice a move until I feel it flowing and graceful,  , get in a warm space , say a few hail marys and go.

 To build your understanding and confidence with the glue, just do some test glueing first,  little slips of wood , or what nots to get a feel for the stuff. 

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