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Dan Carney

The Quasimodo Violin

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Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and repair and have been picking up orphan fiddles here and there. This one was a reverb.com find. It was a pretty good buy. As you should be able to see from the pictures, the back of this instrument is badly twisted on the lower bout...a-la your favorite variety of potato chip. Does anyone have any experience or advice on remedying a twisted/bent maple back plate? Thanks...

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Try very light dampening of the inside, then start applying gentle pressure against a flat surface. I would probably use my aluminum plate, and start with rubber bands for pressure. With that much warp, it's going to take many repeats of this over several weeks. After it's flat, you should keep it clamped flat to prevent a remission.

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It doesn't have to be perfectly flat to be glued back together, the ribs and top will pull it flat.

Many violin makers intentionally fit their plates [usually tops] to the ribs with a gap that is

forced tight when glued. They call this springing the joint.

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11 minutes ago, donbarzino said:

It doesn't have to be perfectly flat to be glued back together, the ribs and top will pull it flat.

Many violin makers intentionally fit their plates [usually tops] to the ribs with a gap that is

forced tight when glued. They call this springing the joint.

Not like this!!!! You can "spring" a small amount, but even attempting to do that with something like this risks  cracking, if not destroying the plate.

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It was pressed flat when it was glued together all those years.

It sprung when it was taken apart.

I don't see the problem with forcing it back to flat especially on a lesser instrument.

IMO you are more likely to do damage messing around with moisture than by just clamping it.

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Slightly dampen the inside, place it on a flat surface, place a weight just heavy enough to make the edges come down to the surface right on the highest part of the arch. Wait for two days. 

 

Every time I've seen such heavy distortion, it was with backs made of one piece, especially with unevenly figured wood. Joined plates seem more stable. Can anyone corroborate that impression? 

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