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i8bugs

Stainer Basket Case Project

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Bought a basket case Stainer copy because it looked like a well made decent specimen, but also looks like someone sat on the soft case it was in.
Issues: Sound post crack, full length but together and base bar crack full length but together.  
So I'm planning my first repair and here's the order I think it should go:
-Plaster cast (done)
-Glue sound post crack and cleats
-Remove Bass Bar
-Glue Bass Bar Crack
-Make / Install Bass Bar with cleats
-Carve out and install sound post patch
-Top ready for glue to the ribs / Touch-up

Any corrections?

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I think I would have removed the bass bar and glued the cracks before making the cast.  I'd then likely do the post patch and do the cleats and bass bar last before gluing the top on.

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16 minutes ago, Mnorfleet said:

I think I would have removed the bass bar and glued the cracks before making the cast.  I'd then likely do the post patch and do the cleats and bass bar last before gluing the top on.

That's the feedback I need. My thinking was I needed a cast to aid in removing the bass bar.
It's cheap, I can make another cast, maybe use this one for a cradle to remove the bass bar.

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1 hour ago, i8bugs said:

That's the feedback I need. My thinking was I needed a cast to aid in removing the bass bar.
It's cheap, I can make another cast, maybe use this one for a cradle to remove the bass bar.

You don’t need it, but it won’t hurt.  Just be careful to keep debris from getting between the top and cast.  I use Saran Wrap or something similar over the cast and replace it regularly.

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You can use your cast but should “correct” it by scraping or sanding the crack areas level.

if you go to a repair of this degree you might also make mention of the step: clean the cracks. That’ll deserve some effort.

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15 hours ago, Guido said:

You might consider to soak out the bass bar and use it again.

Is that possible without damaging the top?

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From what I see, it looks like the bass bar has way too much of an angle to it. It should be approximately 12mm off the center line at the widest point of the upper bout (to the inside of the bar) and 15mm in the lower bout. Soaking out the bass bar sounds about impossible, and even if you got it out you would have an awful time glueing it back (to what I see as the wrong position).

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4 minutes ago, Barry J. Griffiths said:

From what I see, it looks like the bass bar has way too much of an angle to it. It should be approximately 12mm off the center line at the widest point of the upper bout (to the inside of the bar) and 15mm in the lower bout. Soaking out the bass bar sounds about impossible, and even if you got it out you would have an awful time glueing it back (to what I see as the wrong position).

That might be a camera angle illusion, I'll get some actual measurements today and post a better picture. I do know the crack runs in perfect parallel with the inside edge of the bar.

 

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7 minutes ago, i8bugs said:

That might be a camera angle illusion, I'll get some actual measurements today and post a better picture. I do know the crack runs in perfect parallel with the inside edge of the bar.

  

Unless the top grain runs at converging angles towards the center seam it's impossible for the crack to run parallel to the bar.

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17 minutes ago, Barry J. Griffiths said:

Unless the top grain runs at converging angles towards the center seam it's impossible for the crack to run parallel to the bar.

The crack runs cleanly from bottom to top right along the edge of the bar. It does appear that the crack crosses the grain where it is holding together in the middle but I'll need to get my magnifying glasses out to be sure. 
The top measurement is 12mm exactly as you said. The bottom from center at it's widest is 17mm, 2mm further to the outside than you recommended.

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If you don’t mind me saying so, from what weve seen up until now, I would say that the violin isn’t particularly a „basket case“, or the neccesary repair particularly terrifying. Rather you seem to be doing all sorts of things in the wrong order. If you wish to learn routine repairs, you might be better advised asking someone first.

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

If you wish to learn routine repairs, you might be better advised asking someone first.

 

Agree it not a total basket case, but if you add up all that needs done this is about a $3200 repair job (after all the above is done + replacing fingerboard, regluing the top and complete setup). Estimate came from researching what others charge and averaging.
So the purpose of the post was to ensure I was ensure I was doing things in the right order. Enlighten me!

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

Rather you seem to be doing all sorts of things in the wrong order. If you wish to learn routine repairs, you might be better advised asking someone first.

 

Other than making a cast isn't that what he did with his original question? 

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If someone asks how one would go about repairing violin X, one can either ignore it, or spend a quater of an hour at the computer explaining exactly how one would do it. That is a thankless task on MN, 'cos one will inevitably have to argue with Tom Dick and Harry, quite apart from the OP. If the OP is already in the middle of the repair it will most lightly be a thankless task squared. It would be far better to talk it through with an expierienced repair man before he started, which is what I said.

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When I was learning restoration in France (at the inexperienced age of 26) I had the strong idea in my head that restoration equals making plaster casts. I learned from my master at that time that plaster casts in most cases, including the case you describe, are absolutely not necessary if you work simply with the trained skill of your hands. 

If an arching was correct before the accident it doesn't need the replication of a cast to become correct again after restoration. 

But in the end it is all your responsibility no matter what you do. My French restoration master put it always in one simple sentence what we need to learn: 'Feeling, feeling, feeling!'

 

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4 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

 I learned from my master at that time that plaster casts in most cases, including the case you describe, are absolutely not necessary if you work simply with the trained skill of your hands. 

 

Thanks Andreas- Seems like I did 500 hours of reading and youtube before ordering a sacrificial fiddle to practice my butchery :D. I got the impression form all that reading that a plaster cast should be done at least to have a proper cradle for excavating the bass bar.  If I didn't do a cast, how would you setup for removing a bass bar? I know if this is your profession, speed and efficiency are a must for profit and customer care.  I won't have that issue in the immediate future.

FWIW I really appreciate those who take 15 minutes to help struggling amateurs. There's no violin luthiers that I know of outside of an hour drive from where I'm at in southern Indiana. 

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4 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

If someone asks how one would go about repairing violin X, one can either ignore it, or spend a quater of an hour at the computer explaining exactly how one would do it. That is a thankless task on MN, 'cos one will inevitably have to argue with Tom Dick and Harry, quite apart from the OP. If the OP is already in the middle of the repair it will most lightly be a thankless task squared. It would be far better to talk it through with an expierienced repair man before he started, which is what I said.

 

Jacob you got over 7000 posts! I'm sure you have helped a lot of people and I bet those you helped deeply appreciated it. Problem is, there's no "like" or "love" button on these posts. Don't ever think your help is not appreciated. 
I don't know if this thing will turn out good, but if it does one of my 8 grand kids will end up with it and hopefully along with it a love for the skill of playing it.  

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14 minutes ago, i8bugs said:

Thanks Andreas- Seems like I did 500 hours of reading and youtube before ordering a sacrificial fiddle to practice my butchery :D. I got the impression form all that reading that a plaster cast should be done at least to have a proper cradle for excavating the bass bar.  If I didn't do a cast, how would you setup for removing a bass bar? I know if this is your profession, speed and efficiency are a must for profit and customer care.  I won't have that issue in the immediate future.

FWIW I really appreciate those who take 15 minutes to help struggling amateurs. There's no violin luthiers that I know of outside of an hour drive from where I'm at in southern Indiana. 

Remove a bass bar? 

Even if the violin would be put in pieces as much that I had only one strip of top wood with bass bar sitting on it, I'd remove it putting it on a soft surface on my bench and plane it down with a thumb plane.

But wait! Why do this before glueing the violin together? Only if the arch of the adjacent pieces would not fit at all I would remove it. Rule number one in restoration: make the most urgent step first then go to the next most urgent step. 

Hope I saved you one hour of drive. :rolleyes:

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2 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

But wait! Why do this before glueing the violin together?

I glued up the sound post side to give this plate more stability for removing the bass bar tomorrow. Because it's my first 2 minutes of gluing panic, I smeared a bit too much on either side of the crack, so I'll be scraping off the excess this week.

Jacob is right in saying this is not a particularly terrifying repair, but being my first I was plenty nervous, especially when you hear those cracking sounds popping that top off! 
 

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I smeared a bit too much on either side of the crack, so I'll be scraping off the excess this week.

? ? ?

Assuming you're using hot hide, just wait 15-20 minutes until the excess is about the consistency of thick snot, & peel it off.

In the shop, we used to call it "picking boogers."

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2 minutes ago, A432 said:

Assuming you're using hot hide, just wait 15-20 minutes until the excess is about the consistency of thick snot, & peel it off.

In the shop, we used to call it "picking boogers."

For the first time in my life do I wish I could pick boogers, but ah too late!
Nowhere else in MN did anyone provide this sage wisdom. 

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