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It's a matter of having the hard winter grains of the soundpost digging into the soft summer grain of the top, and vice versa. If the grains are perpendicular, they bridge across each other. Couldn't tell you about effects on sound. As for leaving it as is, - How sure are you about the relationship of the current soundpost position to where the bridge will end up?

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It's a matter of having the hard winter grains of the soundpost digging into the soft summer grain of the top, and vice versa. If the grains are perpendicular, they bridge across each other. Couldn't tell you about effects on sound.

This is the first time that I see the explanation of this rule - clear and deadly logical one. Thanks a lot, FiddleDoug

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So yesterday was the big day. The toddler went down for her later afternoon nap and I decided to give the bid next step a go. More time went into planning, thinking, organizing, and visualizing than it took to perform the operation.


My first issue, as I've mentioned a few time already, is that the upper bass side rib was already bulging out past the edge of the violin top. I believe this was caused when I glued the rib down to the neck root and the block underneath wasn't completely flat which caused the rib to tilt forward slightly causing the bulge.


I first planned to glue everything in one shot but was concerned that the pull-down would cause the rib to bulge so much more that I'd not be able to contain it with pressure. So after a lot of planning, I decided to first glue the bulging area. I heated up the glue and applied it with a small brush to the area, I then pushed the rib inwards at the bulge with my finger while applying the clamp. Once it was in place the rib was no longer bulging past the top but nearly flush with the it, which was my preplanned acceptable compromise.


I had originally planned to let the glue dry on the first section before moving on in case the pull down would cause the rib to bulge past the top (sliding on the wet glue despite being clamped?) but was a little concerned that if the left side was glued higher up than the right, it might cause the pull-down to tilt the fingerboard slightly. If I glued the right side up to the same spot there would not be enough room to get a glue knife all the way under the top and between the top and the upper block where glue would need to be applied. So after about 10 minutes of pondering and planning I decided it was a go.


I had already put on the E and G strings and raised the spare bridge up with a couple of coffee stirrer bits. The delicate part about this was as follows: If I tighterend the strings too much to keep the bridge tight, the top began to pull-down which was premature since I hadn't applied the glue yet. If the strings were too loose then the bridge would fall down, unravelling the strings at the pegs a little and making it harder to quickly tighten up after the glue was applied to a few different areas.


So after tinkering a little bit and having the bridge fall down a couple of times due to loose tension, I found a balance where the bridge was barely standing but there was still looseness enough to allow me to insert the glue etc. So with a knife jammed into the remaining inch or so of unglued bass side rib, I carefully dipped my spreading knife into the glue, inserted it into the treble rib gap, and slid it in and out a few times deeply, making sure to get all the way under the space between the upper block and the top. I hastily did this twice to be sure enough glue got in that space, then quickly ran the knife down the remaining rib/top gap and dabbed a little glue in with a brush as well. Then I quickly inserted glue into the remaining inch of bass side rib/top where my paring knife was inserted for quick and ready access.


Once everything was glued, I quickly and carefully tightened the strings, making sure the bridge didn't fall down and the coffee stirrers didn't slip. Once a good tension was achieved (not quite at normal string pitch) I quickly put the clamps on and examined the setup. It ws looking like a successful run and I noticed that the treble side rib had taken the bulk of the bulge since I had already pushed in the corresponding bulge on the bass side. Predictably, due to the pull-down, the treble rib was now also bulging, almost flush with the top. I took the advise of many here and used a coffee stirer and some damp and dry paper towels to remove as much excess glue as possible.


After 3.5 hours I removed the clamps and added damp paper towel to the glued area for 30 minutes, removed the towels and wiped away the remaining excess glue. In the end I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment at completing this step. It all seemed to go better than expected!


I used the original nut, not even glued in place, to guide the strings during the pull-down tightening process. So, the remaining steps that I can forsee are:


1.  Cutting/creating a new nut ( I could use some help or guidance here)

2.  Cutting a new 1/8 bridge (probably raised up by 1 coffee stirrer)

3.  touching up the areas of damage (removed nails and newly exposed areas of unvarnished wood exposed by the pull-down)

4. revisiting the case, lining it with the purple silk velvet, reattaching the cardboard bits etc.

5. Taking a final look at the bow and probably not mssing with it.


Your comments and suggestions are always valued and welcomed. How does this setup look?











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Rue and VdA, Thank you both for your nice comments and support.


Unexpectedly the bulk of the violin is now done. I sanded the existing nut down a little and cut little grooves in it with my Xacto finished off with a few lengthwise scrapes in the groove by my Xacto saw! This is all I had on hand and it seemed to work OK.  I then sanded and cut the 1/8 bridge and had to add one coffee stirrer under each foot as expected. I have not yet glued the nut in place but the violin works just fine with the nut held in place with only string tension. I will glue it at some point though.


The lower three strings are 20+ years old which I was given with a modern factory violin a couple of years ago. The E string is new. All strings are for 4/4 violins so maybe not ideal? Anyhow the violin is now strung up and fully functional! I've almost forgotten all the steps it took to get to this point, I vaguely remember it all beginning with the lower block. Now I insert the nut like it's no big deal but there is a sense of accomplishment knowing that the violin was broken and economically unsuitable for commercial repair, but now it's a "working" instrument.


For what it's worth, it sounds better than the Frankentiddle, which I quite like. (see my sig. line for a link to the frankentiddle thread). My wife liked the sound better than the Frankentiddle as well. So this "Tiddle Lamy" "1/4 Mirecourt" "1/8 violin" with the original Garini label draws a nice tone and is good to go. I've been peacocking around my apartment, clucking and showing my tailfeathers. Yeah, that's how I feel right now :) I really do wish I had more time for this hobby, it's quite enjoyable and rewarding.


I guess I now will turn my attention back to the case and try to figure out how to put it all back together without it looking like a hot mess.


Much like Roger's Bass, I've gotten some PMs asking if I am going turn this thread into a downloadable PDF, or maybe print hard copies for other ultra-amateurs to learn from. Actually there's some info in the thread that even legit luthiers might find useful. For now the thread will live on in its current form on MN only but if I do go to print I'll make sure to make a big deal about it so you all know. OK I'm joking about the book thing, just thought this thread was a funny contrast with Roger's.


Did I forget anything, mess anything up that can be fixed? Lurkers or participants, please chime in and let us know your thoughts about the almost finished product. I still need to glue the nut in and touch up the varnish in a few spots. Cheers everyone, thanks for your expert advise and encouragement throughout. Hardly anyone in my real life could give two damns about this project of mine so I appreciate everyone on here who cares and has helped.


I'm adding a pic also next to the Frankentiddle which really brings out the "grotesque" (quoting M. Swan) proportions of the FT compared to the Classic Mirecourt JTL.


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How far were you able to pull the neck down? What are your current end of fingerboard and projection measurements?


I pulled the neck down as far as I had allowed after shaving a little bit of wood from the neck groove. Any more would have resulted in the ribs bulging past the top. Prior to doing anything, the projection I measured earlier in the thread was 28mm and I estimated it would be 27mm after the pull-down.


I just measured the height of the fingerboard in three places:

bass side - 17.5mm

center - 19mm

treble side - 15.9mm


The projection to where the bridge is:


bass side - 25.4mm

center - 27mm

treble side - 25.4 mm

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  • 1 year later...

The Case finally got some attention today. The second bow lock got fitted with the purple crinkle velvet silk. Instead of cutting and folding the edges to form the shape of the bow lock, this time I draped the fabric over the edges (can be seen on one side in a photo below) and crimped the extra fabric down using additional glue. I think the edges look a little rounder and smoother this way.

I then cut a piece and glued it to the inside base using the fabric glue. I used the edge of my scissors to push the fabric into the edges to create a clean edge line. Once dried I will cut away some spare fabric and figure out how to proceed. Earlier in the thread I remember franciscus recommending obtaining a thin material for the inside sides of the case that I can wrap in the silk velvet and then glue to the sides to get a clean look. I want to use this approach.

Any ideas about how to best line the inside sides or material to accomplish franciscus' idea are welcomed and appreciated.

I have also decided to throw away the "bow" that came with the case and violin pending objections from any readers. I have also decided to snap it in half in a show of brute force prior to tossing it down my apartment building's incinerator shaft, again, pending reasonable objections or suggestions by the readers.

Anyone else working in a case? Let's hear about it.






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  • 11 months later...

I apologize profusely for neglecting, after all of this time, to provide you with the sound sample of this historic instrument that you all needed to hear so badly. I have failed to respond to numerous PMs about this and I am sorry. After being immersed in my Auction Scroll thread about another even smaller ancient fractional & repair, I got carried away providing video samples of that instrument, neglecting this thread altogether. The wait is over, here without further hype is a quick sound sample of the Ange-Garini. I did my best to keep my identity hidden (although the youtube channel sort of gives it away), but failed at the last second to accomplish this goal...


1/8 Michael Ange-Garini Sound Sample AKA "BassClef Unmasked":



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