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Reckotch

Order of repair stages, recommendations needed

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I have a violin i purchased at auction from a home where the owner passed away. It is in dire need of repair and I want to learn by doing. I have some contact with a luthier but he is retired and may not have the energy for tutoring, so I am on my own here gathering knowledge and resources and joy of trying to figure things out. 

Aside from all the external parts missing the violin is a bit grimey (I am carefully cleaning some parts using saliva, which I read about on this forum) but the cracks and scabs are the main issue.

THE DAMAGE: There is a deep crack that goes through the purfling up to the f-hole, and a small crack above the f hole. Risk of the entire side falling off when top is opened I fear. I am thinking of somehow securing these parts before opening? (Despite the crack running wide, it goes together neatly when I try to press it together, I have hopes it will close well once the pressure is off.)

There's a crack on the left side as well in the top, it reaches the f hole but not as deep as of yet. Purfling intact but crack continues on the other side of it. 

 

There is a minor crack just shy of opening in the middle from the tail nut. 

 

Purfling has risen on both sides of the neck. 

 

Sides are scuffed and needs filling in. 

 

An outer corner piece is chipped. 

Finger board has wear, replace or not, I am undecided yet. 

 

MY CURRENT IDEA: lightly secure the big cracked pieces externally (such as a removable, undamaging postage tape) before opening the top. Then open the top carefully and see how it would align the cracks without pressure from the ribs. Begin gluing the big crack, then reinforcing from below with spruce, and continuing the same way with the other 3 cracks. Put the top back on and repair the side scuffs using spruce. I am unsure how the 3 different purfling statuses affect the cracks to close. 

MY QUESTIONS; is this a good order to start with? What should I do about the purfling situation? Should I first try to close some cracks using the moisturing method? I greatly appreciate any recommendations on how you would go about this. :)

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Don't worry about the part of the plate falling off (It most likely will fall off, and having it flop around on tape won't do you any good.). Any attempt to fix it the way it is would be half arsed, and would probably result in misalignment of the plates. " Should I first try to close some cracks using the moisturing method? " No, just take the top off! You'll be in much better position to deal with everything that way.

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18 minutes ago, Michael Jennings said:

Step 1: Open the lid of the dumpster.

..................

partytime.gif.302f4851af6ebbe7f7eb6d5ef534c38e.gif  (You definitely earned a VdA Gala Razzberry for that one. :lol:)

5 hours ago, Reckotch said:

I have a violin i purchased at auction from a home where the owner passed away. It is in dire need of repair and I want to learn by doing. I have some contact with a luthier but he is retired and may not have the energy for tutoring, so I am on my own here gathering knowledge and resources and joy of trying to figure things out. 

Aside from all the external parts missing the violin is a bit grimey (I am carefully cleaning some parts using saliva, which I read about on this forum) but the cracks and scabs are the main issue.

THE DAMAGE: There is a deep crack that goes through the purfling up to the f-hole, and a small crack above the f hole. Risk of the entire side falling off when top is opened I fear. I am thinking of somehow securing these parts before opening? (Despite the crack running wide, it goes together neatly when I try to press it together, I have hopes it will close well once the pressure is off.)

There's a crack on the left side as well in the top, it reaches the f hole but not as deep as of yet. Purfling intact but crack continues on the other side of it. 

 

There is a minor crack just shy of opening in the middle from the tail nut. 

 

Purfling has risen on both sides of the neck. 

 

Sides are scuffed and needs filling in. 

 

An outer corner piece is chipped. 

Finger board has wear, replace or not, I am undecided yet. 

 

MY CURRENT IDEA: lightly secure the big cracked pieces externally (such as a removable, undamaging postage tape) before opening the top. Then open the top carefully and see how it would align the cracks without pressure from the ribs. Begin gluing the big crack, then reinforcing from below with spruce, and continuing the same way with the other 3 cracks. Put the top back on and repair the side scuffs using spruce. I am unsure how the 3 different purfling statuses affect the cracks to close. 

MY QUESTIONS; is this a good order to start with? What should I do about the purfling situation? Should I first try to close some cracks using the moisturing method? I greatly appreciate any recommendations on how you would go about this. :)

20190809_194909.jpg

20190809_194921.jpg

20190809_194953.jpg

20190809_194928.jpg

received_433555640834144.jpeg

received_2337253339691229.jpeg

Hi, and welcome to the Forum!  Like Doug said, pop the top and get to work.  How are you fixed for tools and supplies, so far?  Are you acquainted with hide glue yet?  :)

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7 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Hi, and welcome to the Forum!  Like Doug said, pop the top and get to work.  How are you fixed for tools and supplies, so far?  Are you acquainted with hide glue yet?  :)

I am building violin crack clamps after blueprints, but if that goes to hell I'll just cough up the money to buy from overseas. 

Yes, I am using hide glue for the violin I am building as well so that is already home and ready. :)

 

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Hi Rekotch - You sound like a nice sane sort of guy - asking reasonable questions.

Only, if you have been following this forum for even a short period of time, you surely must have realised that dabbling with luthiery is an early sign of impending insanity - and incurable to boot!

The "dumpster" brigade are not being unkind,  not really, their addiction has already reached maybe Stage 7. Recognising this, you might think that they are now trying to discourage others following them down that slippery path.

Don't be fooled!

They are actually hoping to discourage you from beating them to the next dumpster, auction, flea market, deceased estate etc. It's best to Ignore them - or set your alarm clock a hour earlier and beat them at their own game. :-)

For you?

There's no hope.

Welcome - edi.

 

 

 

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First step is to take the top off, and the second to wash all and any dirt out of the cracks. This is easier if it has all fallen to bits. Only when the cracks are squeaky clean should you glue them

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3 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

First step is to take the top off, and the second to wash all and any dirt out of the cracks. This is easier if it has all fallen to bits. Only when the cracks are squeaky clean should you glue them

What do you recommend to use for cleaning? I have read many different options, and basically all of them has someone saying "omg don't use that!" ;)

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I would put a stripe of damp kitchen roll (paper) on the crack (the area to be glued), and then after half an hour, scrub the dirt off with a short haired brush. Then leave it overnight to thoughrouly dry out, before I try any re-glueing attempt

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I think you’re on the right lines with the advice given here. The  Weißhaar book on restoration sheds some light onto this, worth looking at if possible. 

I agree with Edi about the slippery slope towards insanity....

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13 hours ago, Anthony Panke said:

I think you’re on the right lines with the advice given here. The  Weißhaar book on restoration sheds some light onto this, worth looking at if possible. 

I agree with Edi about the slippery slope towards insanity....

Thanks, I do have access to that book, I'll go through the notes again :)

 

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I noticed when I opened it that it has been built without top corner blocks. Is that common? (Almost hoping I can skip mine on the one I am building, I keep messing them up :p) 

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5 hours ago, Reckotch said:

I noticed when I opened it that it has been built without top corner blocks. Is that common? (Almost hoping I can skip mine on the one I am building, I keep messing them up :p) 

 

This appears to have been built using the "built on back" method where blocks are not necessary. I think the lower blocks were sometimes put in to make it look like a higher end instrument, as you can see those through the f-holes. 

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15 hours ago, Reckotch said:

I noticed when I opened it that it has been built without top corner blocks. Is that common? (Almost hoping I can skip mine on the one I am building, I keep messing them up :p) 

 

 

9 hours ago, glebert said:

This appears to have been built using the "built on back" method where blocks are not necessary. I think the lower blocks were sometimes put in to make it look like a higher end instrument, as you can see those through the f-holes. 

It was.  This is a very common thing in Markies.  The BOB method appears to predate the use of molds, and probably spread from Brescia (inside molds and asymmetrical blocks point to Cremonese influence).  It is not specifically related to quality.  Many fine violins were built in this fashion.  What gets it denigrated is that, having taken firm root in the Vogtland/Musikwinkel/Saxon area in the 1600's, it survived there (as it also did in rural Britain and the American backwoods) into the late 1800's, after Stradidolatry had become the "true religion" of most luthiers elsewhere, and so became the working method associated with the cheap trade fiddles made in that area in their millions from roughly 1880 to 1920.  :ph34r::)

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No upper corner blocks is pretty common with those. The lower blocks are often "fake", not really fitting. They're really only there to disguise the fact that it was built with no blocks. You sure got a lot of tear out when you took the top off.

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