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Joe Swenson

What would you charge to repair this violin top?

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7 hours ago, Joe Swenson said:

We've talked again and discussed all the repairs the instrument "needs" and come to an agreement as to what he wants done.  He doesn't want the top removed and the cracks addressed.  He just wants a violin he can sell for a couple hundred dollars.  So minimal repairs.  I'm just going to shim the neck and make it playable again.  New bridge and sound post.  The cracks are pretty stable for now and don't "buzz" at all.  I may try to work some hide glue into the cracks to help stabilize them.  Tried to do some manual external alignment of the main new crack ans its not moving easily so I'll just leave it alone aside from a little hide glue on the exposed edge.  

From the photo it looks as though a tight saddle may be the cause of at least the first bassbar crack if not the one beside it. Make sure the saddle has some space on both sides. 

Most shops that I have been around refuse to do crack repairs from the outside as a general rule. For one thing your chances of perfect alignment are much lower without the top off, but you may also have glue penetration issues and the lack of internal reinforcement is an issue. With a bass bar crack in particular you're essentially selling something that you know is going to fail, and that's not a great position for any retailer. It's also a reason that shops refuse to do repairs like that. When that violin comes in to a shop to be repaired and the luthier says, since none of these cracks were properly repaired I would consider them to be a liability. If one of those cracks reopens (which they will) the customer will get the bad news that all the cracks should be reworked because of the likely issues of poor alignment and lack of reinforcement. You don't want to be the guy they're talking about when the customer gets the news that their problems are the result of inadequate repair. That's my view on the matter anyways. As local shops start to see that kind of work it also builds a reputation within the business which will not be favorable for you.

If he wants to sell an instrument that is not properly repaired tell him to send it to one of the repairable auctions at Skinner or Tarisio. Plenty of people will pay something for it so they have a project to take to a workshop or something, and he won't have to put money into repairing it first. Also avoids the risk of a ticked off customer when they get the news that the cracks weren't properly repaired before they bought it from a retailer.

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4 hours ago, TimDasler said:

From the photo it looks as though a tight saddle may be the cause of at least the first bassbar crack if not the one beside it. Make sure the saddle has some space on both sides. 

Most shops that I have been around refuse to do crack repairs from the outside as a general rule. For one thing your chances of perfect alignment are much lower without the top off, but you may also have glue penetration issues and the lack of internal reinforcement is an issue. With a bass bar crack in particular you're essentially selling something that you know is going to fail, and that's not a great position for any retailer. It's also a reason that shops refuse to do repairs like that. When that violin comes in to a shop to be repaired and the luthier says, since none of these cracks were properly repaired I would consider them to be a liability. If one of those cracks reopens (which they will) the customer will get the bad news that all the cracks should be reworked because of the likely issues of poor alignment and lack of reinforcement. You don't want to be the guy they're talking about when the customer gets the news that their problems are the result of inadequate repair. That's my view on the matter anyways. As local shops start to see that kind of work it also builds a reputation within the business which will not be favorable for you.

If he wants to sell an instrument that is not properly repaired tell him to send it to one of the repairable auctions at Skinner or Tarisio. Plenty of people will pay something for it so they have a project to take to a workshop or something, and he won't have to put money into repairing it first. Also avoids the risk of a ticked off customer when they get the news that the cracks weren't properly repaired before they bought it from a retailer.

Thanks for the observation.  Good point on the saddle.  Yes it is quite tight.

Yes I agree with you one the also on the crack repair.  I had no illusion of getting the edges to line up doing any form of external repair.  I was more just interested in stabilizing the cracks.  But You're probably right and I'll just leave them to the next owner.  Since the shop just wants to sell it "as is".  I think the bass bar crack has already been fix once but it has grown since then. 

I'll pass along the info on the auction sites and discuss with him the issue of selling a violin that needs repair.

Thanks again for your input.

Cheers,

Joe

 

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18 hours ago, David Burgess said:

So depending on the quality and care of the job, and the specific instrument, Jerry's estimate of "pretty close to 1 bitcoin" could be in the ballpark.

Not only that, but with my prices tied to bitcoin they have gone up by 83% since I posted the estimate.

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7 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

Not only that, but with my prices tied to bitcoin they have gone up by 83% since I posted the estimate.

Gotta move into the 21st century... I'm still using the gold standard. :)

 

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8 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Heck, I'm still bartering for chickens, goats, and firewood. :lol:

I actually am trading some of this work for Cello rental for my grand daughter to whom I am giving lessons!  She is 10 and loves it (so far). :D Life is good!

Joe

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