mrfiddle

What grit sandpaper for refinishing during restoration?

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I'm writing an article for a local arts magazine on violin refinishing and I'm having a hard time figuring out what grit sandpaper most refinishers use during the first stage of restoration. It seems like 80 grit would be perfect for getting rid of imperfections but 150 grit would help to better retain the original character of the violin.

Any advice?

Thanks in advance

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Knowledgeable people don't refinish violins. They do retouch them, which is an endeavor requiring a great deal of experience and skill. Refinishing RUINS the value of a violin. When I saw your reference to 80 grit I thought "This guy must be joking!"

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Trolling? 

If not, you should know a couple things— don’t refinish, restore.

and, paper under 400 grit isn’t much used. You don’t want to wash out the edgework and reveal raw wood, especially if you don’t work on instruments every day

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And what about the ground coat. The soil on the ground here is more of a brown clay, but there are some nice red soils in Utah. Should I use the Utah soils for the ground coat if I a violin to look more like a Stradivarius?

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The scary thing is I used to have some vintage violin restoration books and booklets that weren't too far off from my original post. Trolling? I hope not, maybe just a bad attempt at humor?

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Just now, mrfiddle said:

And what about the ground coat. The soil on the ground here is more of a brown clay, but there are some nice red soils in Utah. Should I use the Utah soils for the ground coat if I a violin to look more like a Stradivarius?

Lol okay. I’ll stop feeding yah. 

You’ll never get anywhere without creating your own mini ice age.

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2 hours ago, mrfiddle said:

I'm writing an article for a local arts magazine on violin refinishing and I'm having a hard time figuring out what grit sandpaper most refinishers use during the first stage of restoration.

Will you be using a circular, or a belt sander?

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My rule is that if you didn't make it, you shouldn't refinish it.

You shouldn't encourage other people to do it, either.

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29 minutes ago, MarkBouquet clearsky said:

Methylene chloride stripper will get that nasty old finish off while leaving the carved details intact. Then the only question becomes "What grade of steel wool?"

Stainless of course.... or preferably a wire wheel  on a angle grinder , so a person doesn’t,t waist a lot of time before the hard work begins.

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I'm fond of burning off an offending finish, myself. I find that naptha, in an emulsion with palm oil does incredibly well. This is especially effective administered with an M2A1. Godspeed.

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6 hours ago, MarkBouquet clearsky said:

Methylene chloride stripper will get that nasty old finish off while leaving the carved details intact. Then the only question becomes "What grade of steel wool?"

Steel wool???  Nah, just tie it to the rear bumper of a jeep and take it off-roading for a bit.  Much more affective.

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54 minutes ago, Advocatus Diaboli said:

Steel wool???  Nah, just tie it to the rear bumper of a jeep and take it off-roading for a bit.  Much more affective.

For new making, this is a good antiquing technique also.

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I'm getting visions of Stradivari riding trough the streets of Cremona with his horse and carriage ...:lol:

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17 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Will you be using a circular, or a belt sander?

Quote

 

Hi Dave - not kidding - an engineer I used to work with started restoring a double bass. Somebody told him that I might be a good guy to contact.

I popped over.

Where the plywood ribs had delaminated he'd carefully drilled 1mm dia holes through the top lamination and using a syringe had injected PVA glue into the holes. A neat bump at each hole. I managed to comment favourably on the accuracy of his 20mm x 20mm drilling pattern.

The black colour was removed from the fingerboard with an angle grinder. The fingerboard fairly screamed to be finished in a midnight blue polyurethane with gold leaf covered crescent moon shapes.

The belly and back had seen the tender ministrations of a belt-sander - diagonally to the grain.

 

.... there was more - but that's enough nightmare for the nonce.

cheers edi

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On 7/9/2018 at 7:05 PM, James M. Jones said:

Stainless of course.... or preferably a wire wheel  on a angle grinder , so a person doesn’t,t waist a lot of time before the hard work begins.

Wire wheel on an angle grinder really brings out the texture of the wood. If you like corduroy, this is the cat's meow.

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