FORUM

Please have a look at our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Diy on an old friend.
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
Advanced member
Members
October 29, 2015 - 11:40 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2014
Forum Posts: 99
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Well, I've long wanted to share this project, which is of course not complete (and it will never be, I think it will be something like a lifetime-constantly-trying-to-upgrade or whatever)

I started messing with this instrument, when my primary violin suffered a major crack, last spring. During the visit to my luthier I eventually decided to go for a new instrument, and everything was good at the end, but one thing kept me stressed : In case of any future repair, I did not have a serious back up ready to be played, or a secondary instrument to carry for less important playing, jamming and outdoor events.

So I decided to go diy with an old cheap violin of mine, which has its own little story.

It was bought in 1999 I guess, by the teacher I had back then. Despite being a cheap factory made chinese, it had a good response and direct sound. In 2006, I started hanging around with a local guitar repairman and we decided to experiment a bit, strip off the original varnish (I know, it is not acceptable, but come on, it was no violin varnish, it looked like the worst ever furniture varnish) and paint it black with softer lacquers. And everything improved

And I was happy back then. To be honest, this instrument was a loyal companion during my studies, a few grades before a diploma . Not bad for a cheap violin...

But now, after I have used better violins, there were many things that disturbed my in this instrument (such as its painted fingerboard). My luthier advised me against any improvement on this instrument, (since most tasks would exceed its value) and suggested that I keep it for my experiments, since he noticed that I enjoyed it.

So let's see what we've got till now...

1. Partial removal of the black coating, and exposed areas were treated by a soft non abrasive lacquer
2. Well. there was no purfling. Or it was, but painted. Right. PAINTED PURFLING. I hate it when factories and companies treat people like folks that would never understand. I don't expect every 100 usd instrument to have an inlaid purfling, but why bother paint one?
3. Removal of this crappy substance many factories "treat" their fingerboards. You know, this annoying thing that turns your fingertips black and sticky if you play that much. It's even more annoying when you try to remove it with sandpaper, and try to avoid to change the scoop and radius of your fingerboard. yell
4. Underneath there was some kind of a lesser quality ebony, light brownish. It didn't look quite nice in contrast to dark violin, so I treated it with a home made remedy. A little of tea and coffee, rubbed in several coats. It really darkened, a lot
5. New soundpost (Got to thank Fiddlerman for his relative video, again)
6. New bridge. That was tricky, I carved many and while there was an improvement, I wasn't super happy. I did this again tonight, and I hope it sounds better. We'll find out next morning.
7. New tailpiece. Got to thank my luthier, who in the past advised me of keeping an afterlength no less than 1/6th of the original vibrating string length, especially in the A, D and G.
8. New chinrest. I was at a local multi store the other day, and saw 3 large sheets of 3mm cork on offer. Couldn't resist.

What's left: fitting the pegs better ( I have to borrow a peg reamer) and fix this end pin, which in one day decided to go loose. It's being held temporarily in place with the help of a little silk thread. But I don't think it's a good practice for a long time.

And now, some pics 🙂

DSC_0827.jpgImage EnlargerDSC_0832.jpgImage EnlargerDSC_0834.jpgImage EnlargerDSC_0835.jpgImage EnlargerDSC_0839.jpgImage EnlargerDSC_0842.jpgImage Enlarger

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments
Avatar
BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
Members

Regulars
October 30, 2015 - 2:05 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 1664
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I like !!!!    

Glad to hear that with a little bit of diy, care, love and attention you've given new-life to your old friend !!!!

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Avatar
damfino
oHIo, USA
Members

Regulars
October 30, 2015 - 11:21 am
Member Since: July 23, 2015
Forum Posts: 884
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Nice work! I love how it looks 🙂 

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

Avatar
Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
Advanced member
Members
October 30, 2015 - 12:38 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2014
Forum Posts: 99
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thank you @BillyG and @damfino 

the only problem is that once you step this way, you never stop, you always think of something that has to be modified. At least that's what crosses my mind.

And that's how I usually get lost. cool

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
November 9, 2015 - 2:32 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3767
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It think it is pretty cool... I think the word some use is "badass"..... love it..

Are you comfy with the sound?  I hope you enjoy this cool looking sassy violin.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Avatar
Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
Advanced member
Members
November 11, 2015 - 3:55 am
Member Since: August 28, 2014
Forum Posts: 99
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

coolpinkone said
It think it is pretty cool... I think the word some use is "badass"..... love it..

Are you comfy with the sound?  I hope you enjoy this cool looking sassy violin.

Thanks Toni !!!

Yup, "badass" it is, especially if you think of most violins like some delicate items worthy of care, careful treatment etc, this particular one makes you feel safe whatever you do with it hehe

Having played this violin for so long in the past, I am comfortable with its sound. However, it's not that great or something really special to play on. 

I would appreciate any info regarding the "how-to-pimp-up-the-g-string" issue. EAD are doing fine, or something close to fine. I've tried different soundpost placements and qualities, many g string types, still sounding empty compared to the other 3. Maybe something on the bridge? (If it's just the bassbar, then there is no hope, I quit tongue)

Avatar
ladyeclectic
Member
Members
December 1, 2015 - 3:12 pm
Member Since: December 2, 2013
Forum Posts: 45
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I like it!! That black varnish removed only in some places looks, like was mentioned earlier, totally badass!

Did you ever get that bridge to work? I'm thinking of doing something similar to a VSO I have, just because I've already got my other better violin and I love to tinker. 😉

Avatar
DrHax
Member
Members
February 9, 2016 - 1:55 am
Member Since: February 8, 2016
Forum Posts: 8
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I really like the "patina" it has. Then again I like the look of worn old violins compared to shiny new ones. That one is a bit towards the hollywood side, but it works. It looks great. Has a really presence of its own now. I can imagine it stands out a bit.

Avatar
Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
Advanced member
Members
March 20, 2016 - 12:21 am
Member Since: August 28, 2014
Forum Posts: 99
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hey everybody, I am really sorry I did not reply to your comments, seems as if I lost track of the thread embarassed

@ladyeclectic That particular bridge worked, in terms of angle, string height, clearance etc. Got some trouble though with making the feet even with the belly of the violin. I have carved a few more since then, with better results. Marking the position of the bridge and laying a sandpaper (stabilising it with masking tape could be alright with inexpensive instruments) roughly where the bridge should be, did the trick this time. However it was a little painful to make sure all the time that the back of the bridge was perfectly perpendicular to the violin while I was moving it back and forth. Also, I started to use this special parchment cover for the e string notch, and the bridges got better and better. Still not perfect though...

@DrHax Hollywood? I suppose yes, but it should have survived an end-of-the-world movie. But it still gets some horrified stares, like "what happened to this poor violin?". I have continued to tinker with this one, and I have darkened it a bit. I should post some extra pics asap

Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online: discountsale
38 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming Mad_Wed, Prudence, ButteryStuffs, kit, makinnoise

Top Posters:

coolpinkone: 3767

Mad_Wed: 2849

Barry: 2661

Fiddlestix: 2637

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1

Members: 3563

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 56

Topics: 6448

Posts: 80413

Newest Members:

bo, EKBanjo, charlieD, Folky fiddler, Morgenes42, stringo

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 11717, KindaScratchy: 1651