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milksnake12

What to do with older violin.

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Hello!
I was recently given a violin that belonged to my great grandfather. He owned many violins and am told he played quite well. Sometime before he passed away in the seventies, he decided to start removing the finish of this violin with sand paper by the looks of this (I know what you thinking >.< ). The violin itself looks very beat up and has had several repairs by the look of it. 

I'm a novice player and would like to play with this instrument but was concerned that the exposed wood would soak up oil from my skin and my need some kind of sealer. My thought was to remove the hardware and spray it with a little varnish from a spray can or rub Danish Oil on it. The sound that it produced is much more pleasing than my current violin and would like to use this one going forward. 

I'm thinking of doing this with the assumption that the violin has very little value other than the sentimental.  

The makers mark (Ink stamp on wood, not glued paper) says D.SALZAR with nothing else. From what I could find it looks like and old trade violin.

Any concerns with this plan?

IMG_20190519_221902568.jpg

Edited by milksnake12

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8 hours ago, milksnake12 said:

...Any concerns with this plan?...

No.  It's a cheap violin, badly damaged and insulted.  Many people would say that burning it for heat is the best use for it.  Do whatever you want, guilt-free.

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I wouldn't spray anything on it. Just leave as is. Or, if you really have to, do some French polishing (shellac) over it to seal. You get all you need in a hardware store.

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There's no reason not to spray, paint or drool anything on it.  Or leave it as it is.  It has reached a terminal state of degradation.

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Don't put danish oil on it.  If it sounds ok now it probably would not after that.    Shellac would be ok,   it won't soak in too much and it's not rubbery.    

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Thank you for the responses.

It's what I figured, but wanted to get a little feedback.

For it's condition, it actually sounds quite nice. Has a lot more resonance than the other violin I am playing (cheap 70's German trade).

@PhilipKT The bow looks to be in bad shape too, but here is a couple pics. 

 

IMG_20190520_230843787.jpg

IMG_20190520_230850657.jpg

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I have nearly the same story! I was given a fiddle that my great grandfather made in 1913, for my grandfather who was born that year.  Later my mother learned to play on that instrument.

The instrument is well made, but sadly someone sanded it down with relatively coarse sandpaper and put some kind of soft finish on it.  (My suspicion is Deft.)  It sounds terrible now.  Don't do this to your instrument!

As a young man my grandfather made his own fiddles.  So the sand-job may have been an experiment by my grandfather.  I can imagine him doing that.

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If you like how it sounds now I’d just leave it alone. Unless you plan on playing it outside in the rain I wouldnt worry about sealing it with anything.  It’ll just look like a sanded violin with shellac all over it.  Plus what you like about the sound may disappear when you start putting stuff on it 

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