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staining new internal repair wood in old violins


Mat Roop
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So when you do internal violin repairs like bass bars, cleats on old darkened violins, do you darken the new repair wood, and what is the best solution?

tea bags? dirt? chalk dust? water colors?  I've never really been happy with anything I've tried.

Suggestions?... Thanks, Mat

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I recently made a stain by placing a single, new, 4 OOOO steel wool pad in 6 oz of white vinegar for 3 days, after decanting the liquor I dipped new test wood into the solution,  at first it just appeared to be wet,  30 minutes later the wood was sigmificantly darker.  Proceed with caution.

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Thanks B. ...

Yes, on a separate piece of wood its easy to stain and get results, but in reality the problem is that the bar or cleat is carved after installation and one needs to be careful to not stain the original aged wood, otherwise it really looks like c....   

... so just wondering what do others do?

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2 hours ago, B. Duckworth said:

I recently made a stain by placing a single, new, 4 OOOO steel wool pad in 6 oz of white vinegar for 3 days, after decanting the liquor I dipped new test wood into the solution,  at first it just appeared to be wet,  30 minutes later the wood was sigmificantly darker.  Proceed with caution.

Not sure that applying acidic solutions with iron in is a good idea. Might go the right colour to begin with, but what happens over time to the repairs?

Cleats, for example, are thin, so the acid could eventually penetrate through the wood, and affect the glue bond.

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1 hour ago, Wood Butcher said:

Not sure that applying acidic solutions with iron in is a good idea. Might go the right colour to begin with, but what happens over time to the repairs?

Cleats, for example, are thin, so the acid could eventually penetrate through the wood, and affect the glue bond.

good point

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So Strad O, when you put a new bass bar in an old violin with a dark interior you leave the new white bass bar white? I've done that many times, but because you can easily see the bar at the f hole, to me it sticks out like a sore thumb. But... if that is considered good practice, I'm all in!

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1 hour ago, Mat Roop said:

So Strad O, when you put a new bass bar in an old violin with a dark interior you leave the new white bass bar white? I've done that many times, but because you can easily see the bar at the f hole, to me it sticks out like a sore thumb. But... if that is considered good practice, I'm all in!

You could use darker wood to begin with? I've made bass bars with spruce that was as dark as most old interiors and they blended in nicely. 

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Thanks everyone... looks like dry brown chalk dust is where I'm headed! I have some black chalk dust I use for slippy ebony pegs, works pretty good on the bass bar, but it is just a bit gray, So I'll get some dark brown chalk & try that.  

....Cheers, Mat

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I have a few of jars of unknown origin that I've used for a loooong time. Ocher, yellow, burnt sienna, "brown", I really don't know exactly what they are, but when mixed right they give me the look of a filthy, old violin interior. A slightly different mix gives the bridge an aged look as well. Hans Nebel threw in a little of the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag, if I recall correctly.

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