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Mold? Salvageable? Help


Valalex97
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This cello has been dead for awhile, and I had planned to take it apart and turn it into some kind of art piece. Well unfortunately it was found with white mold on it, so I decided to take it home to clean it and take it apart. I took it apart (outside), dowsed it with vinegar and let it sit in the sun for a few hours. No more signs of white mold! (Originally just on the varnish) but now on the inside, I see all these black spots. They are really hard to sand off and I'm not sure what they are. Any recommendations on what it is and how to get rid of it would be great!16310528888174154495567241919489.thumb.jpg.ca841fd320a804767365f9b0483fa3cb.jpg1631052914236489351082833447422.thumb.jpg.1027a5f2aaa07dd56e423da8c4666b6d.jpg16310532993036061115175614887201.thumb.jpg.dc5770deb80dd3887438734bf314b2dc.jpg

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It's mildew.  You must live in Florida.  :lol:    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mildew   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stachybotrys_chartarum

It doesn't look like a terrible case.  You've done the vinegar, you might hit it with bleach or dish soap for good measure, then lightly seal the black spots with clear lacquer, varnish, or whatever after it's thoroughly dry, and forget about it.  Try to keep the cello in a drier environment in the future.  :)

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FWIW I'm wondering if the labeled "maker" is Anton Schroetter.  If so here's a little discussion of that brand from a couple years ago:  https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/342082-anton-schroetter-cello-maker-info/ .   Although unlikely to be highly valuable, if mold is your only problem, it might be worth putting it back into service as a good student instrument.

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Is it not possible that the black spots are the result of a chemical reaction? That would explain the difficulty in removing them.

There is a process to blacken wood, wherein you dissolve iron in vinegar and apply it to the wood. It creates a blue-black colour that sinks in really deep. Sometimes if there are pieces of iron on the wood, it can react with a liquid to create little blue spots. I learned this when I used steel wool to polish a bare-wood viola and then tried staining it with black tea. Pretty much had to do an "antique" style finish after that.

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