Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Jackson Gulden finish?


Cincitaipei
 Share

Recommended Posts

I bought a Jackson Gulden violin and had it shipped to family. I am planning on it being a "summer project." Depending on the condition, I may just put new strings and maybe a new tailpiece on it, but otherwise I may also play around with the bridge, nut or more radical interventions. I also may put a lower bridge on it and try it as a fiddle.

I am curious about the varnish. Is the black on the front and bouts part of the company's varnish, or is it from years of rosin? I am wondering if it will clean up more or if this was their style? Is it worth messing with, or will I likely just make things worse?

jacksonguldenviolin3.jpeg

jacksonguldenviolin2.jpeg

jacksonguldenviolin.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The light and dark areas of this violin are antiquing, with the light areas imitating where varnish would have worn off of an old instrument and the dark areas imitating dirt and rosin accumulation.  I think that this violin is very clean.

I think that the Jackson-Guldan mass-production methods included a sprayed-on very durable finish, which I suspect could be safely cleaned with alcohol.  If you want to do this, first try it under the chinrest and make sure you're not taking off the finish before proceeding to other areas.

Alcohol should not be used to clean most violins, because it will remove many varnishes.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is very helpful. I know that these violins don't have the best reputation, but hoping it will be fun to play with. It looked like it may be potentially playable at least. 

If I wanted to touch up bare spots on the violin (under the bridge, chipped areas) do you have any thoughts on an appropriate material would be? (I am curious what this alcohol friendly coating is!)

Thank you for the help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Cincitaipei said:

…If I wanted to touch up bare spots on the violin[,]…do you have any thoughts on [what] an appropriate material would be?…

No matter what type of varnish was originally on the instrument, almost all violin varnish touch-up is done by applying alternating layers of colored pigments and thin coats of clear spirit varnish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Belatedly replying to say that it I feel like it is a decent violin. I have some helicore heavy tensions on it with the original tailpiece (no tuners) and it is quite loud. It is polishing up pretty well.

I bought a tailpiece with tuners that should arrive tomorrow. For touch up there are a couple of scraped parts on edges, but I probably won't deal with them yet. The pegholes also seem to be fairly worn with pegs sticking out a half centimer. I'm not sure what to do about that. I'm getting peg compound and hoping the new tailpiece will slow wear and tear. 

I'm also trying to figure out what to do with the case, whether to just toss it and buy a new one or save it if I resell it or try some type of treatment (which would probably be sanding it down and a recoating of some type). Right now the original coating is pealing. It definitely will do for a fiddle for the kids when we're visiting family. Thank you for the earlier advice here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The case it came with is a GSB and apparently they were manufactured 1880-1920ish, so I am wondering if this is an earlier Jackson Gulden. Based on the appearance I figured it would be a post-war instrument. The violin seems a little on the lighter side, which I think is probably a good sign.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That instrument needs nothing more than violin/guitar polish. Alcohol may damage lacquer finishes--and lacquer is a good possibility with sprayed on finishes of mid century instruments. Naptha is a better choice for cleaning of soiled lacquer finishes--this violin is not soiled.

 

Guldan not Gulden

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good chance is the pegs were never properly fit. You could saw off the extending end and finish it in a nicer way. If the pegs dont turn well, before using peg done, give then and the peg holes a good clean, so that guck, that may be deforming the pegs or the hole, is first removed. If that doesnt help, give the peg a couple of fast turn and feel if heat is generated on the pegs where they touch the pegbox. It should bevequally warm on both sides. Often the thicker end makes contact, but the thin end doesnt. If that is the case, you can improve fit by ever so slightly sanding the side that makes contact, thus locally decreasing thickness. Really minute amounts of material should be removed untol both sides make contact. Then peg dope and it should be good to go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to add to Brad Dorsey's last comment --

-- and writing as a complete non-pro --

I've had good results fixing damaged finishes on instruments using watercolors and spirit varnish. For watercolors, a basic 12-pan set of Winsor-Newton colors is all you need. For varnish, I use Behlen spirit varnish, thinned down with denatured alcohol. Also you need nice squirrel hair brushes.

It takes a while to get the hang of restoration (it's all about multiple layers) but if you take some time to mess around on scrap surfaces it's pretty amazing what you can do. One of my big goals in life was to become an incredibly successful art-forger: never realized that goal, but restoring violin finishes has been almost as satisfying.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...