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Eugen Modri

Broken bass bar ??

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My first ( 2nd actually ) post here though I read the Forum quite often. I have a question :

Around December ( rain season here in RSA ) I found the G string on my violin dropped a lot. To cut it short it looks to me like the bass bar has given up. In the past I did small repairs on violins, basically gluing stuff back. I also removed and glued back a top a couple of times on very cheap instruments. Never made a bass bar. I have some spruce for making guitar braces and if somebody here could direct me to a good tutorial on the web I would be very grateful. The violin is not particularly valuable and not the only one I have as I collected quite a few dogs over 60 years of violin scratching. I wish to mention that any advice to take the instrument to a proper repair person would be impossible to follow. I don't know any such person and South Africa is under full lock-down. And at my age I would not take any chances. Many thanks !

 

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That's my take on bassbar, on my Youtube channel you can find all the step by step videos to go into more details.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTh8SKS3F4M&t=538s

But keep in mind three things:

first, this is the system I use for making new instruments, it does not necessarily apply to the replacement of a bassbar, there could be other aspects to consider for a repair ;

second, there are many different opinions when it comes to bassbars, this is just mine ;

third, I don't think a bassbar can give up because of wood creeping, probably when you open the violin you will discover that it is only unglued, provided that the problem is attributable to the bassbar, and I'm not entirely convinced, but who knows.

Have you checked for open seams?

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I agree with both above.  Make sure you thoroughly check as to WHY you are having this problem.  Pics???  We can help.  You definately shouldn't pull the top unless you know for sure what's going on.

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19 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

That's my take on bassbar, on my Youtube channel you can find all the step by step videos to go into more details.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTh8SKS3F4M&t=538s

But keep in mind three things:

first, this is the system I use for making new instruments, it does not necessarily apply to the replacement of a bassbar, there could be other aspects to consider for a repair ;

second, there are many different opinions when it comes to bassbars, this is just mine ;

third, I don't think a bassbar can give up because of wood creeping, probably when you open the violin you will discover that it is only unglued, provided that the problem is attributable to the bassbar, and I'm not entirely convinced, but who knows.

Have you checked for open seams?

Thank you, Maestro Sora !

I did check for open seams and found an opening under the chin rest. I glued it a week or so ago and no improvement. I'll carefully check your videos. I am well aware of them but for some reason I forgot the bass bar procedure must be there as well.

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20 hours ago, Jeff White said:

I agree with both above.  Make sure you thoroughly check as to WHY you are having this problem.  Pics???  We can help.  You definately shouldn't pull the top unless you know for sure what's going on.

I made a better tool out of a piece of thick wire and I seem ( not 100% sure ) to have found the bar has come unglued for almost half it's length, towards the neck. I suppose all what is to be done now is to take the top off. I wish myself good luck. If that is the case I will just glue it back and hope for the best.

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get a good light and mirror and inspect the inside while strings are under tension. if the bar is loose... you will see it. 

If you don't have a proper small inspection mirror, any small  mirror ( even a piece of broken mirror) glued to a wire will work.

 Have fun!

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14 hours ago, Mat Roop said:

get a good light and mirror and inspect the inside while strings are under tension. if the bar is loose... you will see it. 

If you don't have a proper small inspection mirror, any small  mirror ( even a piece of broken mirror) glued to a wire will work.

 Have fun!

I am trying this very moment but it looks like the mirror needs a very thin shaft. I have only a plastic one - came with a tooth brush.

But it looks pretty clear it's come unglued aprox 1/3 to 1/2 towards the neck. I'll take the top off in a day or two and report back as to what I found.

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