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Wood Imperfections


makeABC
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I started working on my first scroll. But as it turns out the wood for the scroll was born with imperfections(see the attached photo). I remember reading somewhere that there are old violins like that - the wood used was with imperfections. The old violin has an amazing sound despite being built with imperfect wood. 

 

I was wondering what would be the best approach when dealing with wood with imperfections? Should I continue working on this scroll despite the defect in the wood or abandon it and start with another piece of wood? Or maybe continue and explore options to do repair of the imperfection?

 

I think that I should not abandon this scroll but just continue working on it for the purpose of practicing.

post-76621-0-91699800-1408304877_thumb.jpg

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I'm of two minds on this one.  Caution in production says "pitch it", but I notice that much of the imperfection will be removed as you progress with the scroll and pegbox.  It's also limited to the bass side and fairly shallow.  I'd maybe bush the A peg hole solidly before proceeding, then redrill it and proceed with the scroll carefully.  If you're doing this for fun, then have fun with it  :) .

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 I'd maybe bush the A peg hole solidly before proceeding, then redrill it and proceed with the scroll carefully.  If you're doing this for fun, then have fun with it  :) .

By bushing you mean using a circular piece of wood, right? If this is the case then it seems to me that the unevenness of the surface caused by the defect will still be there after the bushing unless I use some kind of wood filler to mask it. Wouldn't it be better if I simply cut the whole area having the knot and replace it with a graft? I'm doing this for fun and I see this defect as an opportunity to maybe learn some repair. Making a lemonade out of the lemons that life gives you.

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you have minimal investment in time and materials

Quick question:

I bought the wood from International Violin. Would it make sense to send them the picture of the defect and ask for replacement wood? Or maybe this type of defect is to be expected when one buys relatively cheap grade wood?

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I agree with James. As butt ugly and dark as it looks once varnished with some color, it wouldn't stand out as bad as it looks BUT that is a grain defect that is screaming bushed peg turning into splitting crack. This is a kinda common, yet kinda rare defect in that it usually is relegated to "common" grade material that would be generally more streaked and over all not uniform blonde, the anomaly is that the piece for the most part looks like A grade {way off from AAAA} that is uniform except for that big ugly rift/mineral/sap shake. I'd ditch it, you can always ask, but there are no guarantees. I've been on a winning streak of exposing unseen beauty marks as of late, as long as they are not structural I tell myself they add character, but I just hate when crap like this comes up.

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The same situation. If the stain does not have holes, I hold. 
The violin will be called  "Vers la flamme"  :)
Hi,
This effec and the one on theOP's scroll is caused by water staning. When the wood seasons there will appear a small crack, growing wider with time.
 
smallDSC09929.JPGsmallDSC09910.JPGsmallDSC09926.JPG

 

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By bushing you mean using a circular piece of wood, right? If this is the case then it seems to me that the unevenness of the surface caused by the defect will still be there after the bushing unless I use some kind of wood filler to mask it. Wouldn't it be better if I simply cut the whole area having the knot and replace it with a graft? I'm doing this for fun and I see this defect as an opportunity to maybe learn some repair. Making a lemonade out of the lemons that life gives you.

You could certainly do that.  I frequently repair pegboxes because it's one of the things that commonly breaks on antique "rubbish" and cracks there tend to hold the price down on eBay.  Knowing what to do with bushing and grafting up there is valuable.  :)

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Quick question:

I bought the wood from International Violin. Would it make sense to send them the picture of the defect and ask for replacement wood? Or maybe this type of defect is to be expected when one buys relatively cheap grade wood?

You could try ...Ken's a very nice guy ...? the main difference I see between the violin back shown and your neck is your neck has bark and rot inclusions , as if from a lightning strike or logging damage ...the violin pictured looks like a staining without all  the bark and rot .

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I started working on my first scroll. But as it turns out the wood for the scroll was born with imperfections(see the attached photo). I remember reading somewhere that there are old violins like that - the wood used was with imperfections. The old violin has an amazing sound despite being built with imperfect wood. 

 

I was wondering what would be the best approach when dealing with wood with imperfections? Should I continue working on this scroll despite the defect in the wood or abandon it and start with another piece of wood? Or maybe continue and explore options to do repair of the imperfection?

 

I think that I should not abandon this scroll but just continue working on it for the purpose of practicing.

 

Send this piece back, and ask for another, and then start over.

Good work - good wood.

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In fact, there is no small crack. I think hide with water colors, just on the edge of the stain. Or with what?

 

smallDSC09936.JPGsmallDSC09939.JPG

smallDSC09940.JPGsmallDSC09941.JPG

Personally I would probably just let it ride ,trying to hide this is going to be  like trying to sweep a pile of beer cans under a rug. best bet IMHO would be to get the background dark ,with a coffee or tea wash , the color will build on the white areas.  

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The A-peghole is an extremely vulnerable spot, unlike those illustrated in other posts here.  If you want practice carving a scroll, you can continue.  But I wouldn't put that on a working instrument.

 

I'd say Doormouse's example is quite interesting to look at (but very different than the O.P.).

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I think you do, but I can not tell, if you have the pegbox scooped out yet. If you do, what you could do is take an extra peg, shave it down slightly thinner than what would be the normal thickness of the peg shaft, then ream out that hole, insert the peg and try to bush it, after repeated twisting while pushing down if it holds it holds...

 

I say this because you might not get an exchange, might not be able to afford or want to pay for another block and well if you get stuck with it...instead of us guessing or surmising based on a pic, you could probably find out if it is stable by testing it repeatedly and harshly. By doing it with a slightly smaller shaft you could either bush it to the right size{maybe} or if it does hold up well, you can still ream the hole a bit when it would come time for the pegs as you kept it smaller.

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I certainly wouldn't use this piece of wood. 

 

It's well worth remembering that you needn't use maple at all for the head. I've used beech, cherry and walnut too, and although I graft in a maple neck, many fine old instruments survive with necks of different woods. Pearwood and poplar are others that are seen.

 

If you can't wait for a maple block, perhaps see if you can find another piece.

 

Plain wood can be much easier to carve too, and without flames it can be so much easier to see the lines you are carving, so, if this is your first head, why not.

 

I often think that students should start with a block of cheese each lunchtime, carve a head and make sandwiches with the shavings. 

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makeABC,

 

Trying to resurrect this disaster is being penny wise dollar (pound) foolish. It will never look good and scare people away. It could have structural issues later. Please get another piece of maple. I have thrown out or given away pieces of maple that reveal internal issues after some carving. It goes with the turf.

 

Peirgiuseppe,

 

I like that back. If the dark flame area can be treated to take varnish, this back will look fantastic. Do not hide it, just make sure it is sealed properly. It will look like Angelina Jolie's beauty mark.  You did notice her beauty mark, didn't you?  ;)

 

Mike

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