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Ballpark- what is the cost to repair a ...


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Just now, deans said:

There's a thread right now about location of pegs after bushing. Some of the members are lamenting that an amateur is working on a decent Saxon instrument.  But this is just the type of instrument that a shops would tell you "isnt worth it" after tallying up the repair costs. So someone decides to have a go at it themselves. This is the type of thing that's slipping through the cracks in today's economy.

Maybe I'm now way off topic.

 

Sounds like you are wanting to step into this middle ground?

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57 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Beare's shop told me they budget 10hrs labor for a soundpost patch, at $100/hr, that's only $1000, Ive hear prices of $2500 for a patch, is that $250/hr?

Hmmm...  I've always assumed Beares charged BPS, not $.  :)  We've had Iris and Andrew at Oberlin a few times... $1,000 seems pretty cheap for the "full job" (soup to nuts) in a shop of that stature... or any shop with real overhead.

As Wood Butcher implied, I afraid I find "job quotes" without detail mean little anyway.  Besides settling on which currency we're using, we really don't know exactly what's included in that "10 hours" and what's not (Top off/on, setup and gluing of a full-length crack, cast, touchup, setup?).  Most of the "price lists" I've worked with are guidelines once you've passed bridges, sound posts, and other straight forward maintenance jobs... and the whole job is an addition of the hourly cost of the A la carte operations.

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3 hours ago, Mystic said:

Just a general aside.... if the choice is repair or dustbin, there are many who would relieve you of the psychic burden of the dustbin.... might even pay shipping...

I'm looking for a 1/4 size violin to mount as a toilet paper dispenser on the wall of my shop bathroom. Might be willing to pay shipping up to 20 dollars if it has been confirmed that a toilet paper roll will fit over the scroll.

2 hours ago, cheapjack said:

Your estimate in a shop should be based on how long it takes to do the job. If the job is: top off, post patch, cleats, top on and retouch; then I would expect 11 hours. Perhaps someone would care to share their hourly rate. 

One could easily spend 11 hours just setting up and gluing the full-length top crack alone (particularly if the crack is way off 90 degrees to the surface), if the job is to turn out well.

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10 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Hmmm...  I've always assumed Beares charged BPS, not $.  :)  We've had Iris and Andrew at Oberlin a few times... $1,000 seems pretty cheap for the "full job" (soup to nuts) in a shop with overhead.

As Wood Butcher implied, I afraid I find "job quotes" without detail mean little anyway.  Besides settling on which currency we're using, we really don't know exactly what's included in that 10 hours... and what's not (Top off/on, setup and gluing of a full-length crack, cast, touchup, setup?).  Most of the "price lists" I've worked with are guidelines once you've passed bridges, sound posts, and other straight forward maintenance jobs... and the whole job is an addition of the cost of the A la carte operations.

I think Strad put in the $100 for his own comparison purposes.  EDIT: I just noticed Jeff's smiley face and realized I was stating the obvious....sharp as a marble.....)It would be nice to know what the 10 hours includes.  It's not too low if they charge (the equivalant of) $250 an hour.  

That's interesting to hear(the price lists you usually see).  So, your saying "most" price lists do list it as A la Carte?  Of course, where you stop with A la Carte changes too, for example, if it includes a cast and so does another procedure on the belly........

Edited by Jeff White
sharp as a marble
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Agreed.
In restoration, even if the damage was similar on two instruments, the final price could work out quite different to each other, if as an example, the varnish was much more time-consuming and difficult to retouch in comparison.

So really, the list gives a basic starting point to work from at best.

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19 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Hmmm...  I've always assumed Beares charged BPS, not $.  :)  We've had Iris and Andrew at Oberlin a few times... $1,000 seems pretty cheap for the "full job" (soup to nuts) in a shop of that stature... or any shop with real overhead.

As Wood Butcher implied, I afraid I find "job quotes" without detail mean little anyway.  Besides settling on which currency we're using, we really don't know exactly what's included in that "10 hours" and what's not (Top off/on, setup and gluing of a full-length crack, cast, touchup, setup?).  Most of the "price lists" I've worked with are guidelines once you've passed bridges, sound posts, and other straight forward maintenance jobs... and the whole job is an addition of the hourly cost of the A la carte operations.

I think they said they were charging 100 0r 150 GBP/hr, I forget. this was at least 10 years ago.

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I looked up my "pic" of the "instrument repair guide 2000" from Beares and it shows only hours (makes sense).  On this partial sheet, it doesn't show patching a soundpost area, BUT, it does show a "cast" in hours (1.5) which leads me to think that Strads quote of 10 hours might not include anything other than the actual patch itself.  True A la Carte.

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33 minutes ago, Jeff White said:

I looked up my "pic" of the "instrument repair guide 2000" from Beares and it shows only hours (makes sense).  On this partial sheet, it doesn't show patching a soundpost area, BUT, it does show a "cast" in hours (1.5) which leads me to think that Strads quote of 10 hours might not include anything other than the actual patch itself.  True A la Carte.

My understanding from whom we got that pic from was that everything was á la carte. 

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Reading these comments, it sounds more and more as if just sending it back to the manufacture and buying a new top would leave you money ahead, as well as involving far less headache. I don’t want to call these guys at the factory “assembly line“ but I would imagine the tolerances are carefully controlled and every violin dimension on a given model is pretty much exactly the same as every other like violin dimension, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to take off the old top and put on another one, and because the varnish is coming out of the same spraygun, it shouldn’t be too difficult to match the varnish either.

An artisan instrument would be a different story of course, but we are not talking about one of those.

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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

One could easily spend 11 hours just setting up and gluing the full-length top crack alone (particularly if the crack is way off 90 degrees to the surface), if the job is to turn out well.


Surely, plus more time if making a mold, bridge or a new sound post; not to mention if the retouch is wanky. But for the generic tasks I quoted I believe it's ballpark.

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4 hours ago, cheapjack said:

Your estimate in a shop should be based on how long it takes to do the job. If the job is: top off, post patch, cleats, top on and retouch; then I would expect 11 hours. Perhaps someone would care to share their hourly rate. 

 

56 minutes ago, cheapjack said:


Surely, plus more time if making a mold, bridge or a new sound post; not to mention if the retouch is wanky. But for the generic tasks I quoted I believe it's ballpark.

So, you would do the job with out making a cast?

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12 hours ago, glebert said:

Hopefully not a dumb question, but is the $4k for the Chinese violin the new price or the price one would pay for an equivalent used one? I'm curious how much depreciation these kinds of instruments have.

You have a good point, and that would make a difference. In this case, the $4k is the approximate price if you were to buy one new today. So the depreciated resale value now (if it did not have the sound post crack) is probably less that $2k if person to person (just a guess). 

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9 hours ago, Jerry Lynn said:

 

So, you would do the job with out making a cast?

First off I don't do customer work, I only work on my own instruments and I wouldn't own this one. Would you agree that each job uses the methods determined by the requirements? Maybe you are thinking that a cast is required for the post patch. I would use a counterpart if possible which is included in the estimate of the post patch. What if the crack could line up with cleats, would anyone still do a cast? As pointed out the crack could be a real pain and require tacking on more hours. My point was not to estimate the repair work needed and cost, but to bring into the discussion the fact that the cost of the repair is rate multiplied by time. I gave an example of generic tasks and typical hours. Jacklink wanted a ballpark figure and from my point of view it would not be LESS than 11 hours. If it requires a mold add 4 hours minimum. The time and rate are the variables. 

Edited by cheapjack
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Judgements concerning violin repair decisions are often clouded by the "sunk cost fallacy," which can be defined as continuing a behavior or endeavor as a result of previously invested resources (time, money or effort).

This is also known as "throwing good money after bad."

Since the amount invested in the violin is "sunk" (not recoverable), it is irrelevant to the decision as to what to do next. 

Essentially, one should make this decision as if they were given the violin in the current condition for free. Then it becomes a proper investment decision: Is the return on the investment to repair the violin greater than the return on the investment if that money was invested elsewhere?

 

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Obviously it will depend on the quality of the work, but what are the odds that the sound or response will be altered by the repair? It is sounding like the cost of the repair may (at least) equal the value of the violin afterward, and if there is a possibility that the violin will be degraded to me that would push me towards not repairing, perhaps I would see if I could get a few hundred trade-in for it. If you work with a dealer that deals with that maker maybe they could use it for parts or send it back to China to be refurbished as Phillip had suggested. Or maybe someone would use it as a tinker project and donate it to a school or something. 

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3 hours ago, cheapjack said:

What if the crack could line up with cleats, would anyone still do a cast? 

Most pro restorers, including myself, wouldn’t dream of doing a post patch with out a cast.  It has little to do with with whether or not the crack lines up or not. But is a necessary consideration in calculating time which we agree on:

 

3 hours ago, cheapjack said:

My point was not to estimate the repair work needed and cost, but to bring into the discussion the fact that the cost of the repair is rate multiplied by time. I gave an example of generic tasks and typical hours. Jacklink wanted a ballpark figure and from my point of view it would not be LESS than 11 hours. If it requires a mold add 4 hours minimum. The time and rate are the variables. 

 

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1 minute ago, Jerry Lynn said:

Most pro restorers, including myself, wouldn’t dream of doing a post patch with out a cast.  It has little to do with with whether or not the crack lines up or not. But is a necessary consideration in calculating time which we agree on:

 

 

I use a counterpart when it works. I also eat white glue, which I understand isn't allowed.

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