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Christmas Violin repairs
A thread on the refurbishing of my Christmas Violin
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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April 18, 2013 - 12:42 pm
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OK, I got this old worn out violin from my daughter as a Christmas present (hence the name. lol) and at first I was a little skeptical about restringing it and actually playing it. But... as everyone here who knows me, that wouldn't stop me from proceeding.

So, I changed out the dry cracked gut strings, made a bridge, added a tailpiece I had laying around and stuck in some new pegs, (like I said, it was in sad shape!) so...

fast forward to about 3 weeks ago... I was playing one of my tunes in the evening as I do and noticed the sound was different, and not in a good way either!

Upon further investigation I found the top had seperated almost all the way around from the chin rest to the neck... oh my...

so, I took it over to my luthier-teacher and asked about regluing the top, knowing full well that if he popped the top, he's find a bunch more stuff to do...

the top was removed, and inside was strong evidence that this violin is a common german made production model from about 1900-1910 or so in his expert opinion. The glue job and the repair to a tiny little f-hole crack will run me about $150 USD for his part and I will need to finish up the refurbish with a new soundpost and adjustments as necessary here at the house. I'll post some new pics when I get it back and start the reassembly procedures.

 

 

 

IMG_20130417_132919.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_20121225_111128.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_20121225_104329.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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coolpinkone
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April 18, 2013 - 7:54 pm
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What a great article.  Great photos.  Congratulations on your priceless treasure from your girl.  She did good.  I am tickled to know you preserved this beauty.

 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 21, 2013 - 10:19 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Cool Dennis.
If nothing else, another learning experience. smile
Look forward to seeing the result.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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cdennyb
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May 3, 2013 - 2:08 am
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OK, massive update. Just got the violin back from the doctor. For what he did, I can't complain at all. About $200-300 worth of work and only charged me the $150 originally quoted. (I did pay him $170 though).

He was working on the top and fingerboard and dropped the nut somewhere but couldn't find it so he had to make a complete NEW ONE! LOL, sucks huh...

He said the tailpiece pin was a little sloppy so he reamed the hole and bushed it for a new pin, (didn't ask for that), and he said he felt the angle of the fingerboard was a little off so he pressed on it a little and it popped off easily so he went ahead and improved the board angle for free, (didn't ask for that either), and after that was done, the bridge was too short so he partially fabbed up a new (high quality) bridge and said I could finish it off... (didn't ask for that either.) He also said the top was a 2-piece construction and the seam looked like it would open up soon so he seperated the halves and reset them as well! (I certainly didn't ask for that!)

So, I have it back in my possession and I'm starting the labor intensive job (in my spare time) of finishing the bridge work, resetting the sound post, and in general retuning it to perfection as I usually end up doing on all my violins.

I'll work on it this weekend some and post some chart pics of the sound analysis I come up with.

Stay tuned for upcoming details. cheers

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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coolpinkone
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May 3, 2013 - 2:59 am
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Wow... You sound thrilled.  Can't wait to hear the final story.. Stats... And live performances.... Congrats ... What a little heirloom you have for yourself!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 3, 2013 - 9:07 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Look forward to hearing all about it after you set it up. :-)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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cdennyb
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May 12, 2013 - 4:52 pm
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OK, after I got the violin back, it took a little more effort than I had time to do at once so...

The whole thing is all back solid now and the traces from the sound analysis have proved elusive to nail down. No doubt it's still very soft and settling down. I expect it will take at least a month or two to come back to the original trace but fear it might never sound as good as it first did when I got it.

I play it every day for at least 15-20 minutes when I can stand to (hurt my shoulder and some tendons in my left arm and I'm still healing in between re-hurting it. lol) and it's improving every day little by little.

I made a new sound post (twice) and have moved it a dozen times to get it closer to the right spot. Trial and error and lots of luck...

more next time, with some pics.

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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