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My new undead electric 5-stringer!
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FirstPancake
HotGriddle, CA
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July 23, 2015 - 12:54 am
Member Since: May 30, 2015
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So the prologue to this thread can be found in the "Yinfente" thread, where I was inspired to get a Yinfente 5-string violin. I went onto ebay and bought what turned out be an awful trainwreck of a knock-off.

Here's a run down of the problems:

1. Fittings not ebony. Fittings not even hard wood. Fittings so soft, they might even be made of redwood.

2. Nut was cut and notched with a rusty screwdriver and glued on with Elmer's.

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3. Bridge not fitted or notched, and also made of soft wood. Bridge also cut as an isosceles triangle, no chest/back. 

4. Endpin split in half and popped out on first tuning.

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5. Tailpiece made of non-matching fake plastic rosewood, extra sharp snaggle-tooth on one of the fine tuners.

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6. Control box faulty. Line out burned out in 5 mins and headphone out only had left side working. Jacks so tight I needed pliers to get my cord out after plugging in.

Needless to say, I went straight back to the seller and asked for a return. The seller had the nerve to make me to pay the return shipping back to China for an exchange. After a couple calls to ebay, I got my moneyback, and was left with this shamble of a violin thinking it was best left as firewood. It sat for a week or so because I just didn't have the heart to let even a violin-shaped, violin-shaped object go in the trash.

So I decided to see if I could resurrect it. And because the thing never lived as a violin in the first place, that makes it's resurrection more of an undead-making.

Here's what I did:

1. Filed and notched the nut

2. Bought a bridge blank and cut a new bridge. Notice the old bridge, the sad face was drawn in with the corner of the new bridge.

3. Replaced the control box.

4. Replaced tailpiece with a Wittner Ultra 5-string tailpiece with integrated tuners.

5. Took my jewelry hammer and turned/tapped in the pegs (praying that the soft-wood peg-box didn't split in the process) to compress the grain, alternating with healthy amounts of peg dope.

6. Fixed the tailpiece with a drywall screw (sometimes the only way to deal with savagery is MORE savagery)

7. Changed the strings. I went with a set of Opera synthetic core violin strings from ebay (I'm somewhat surprised with how well these are working) and a D'Addario Prelude C string.

And the result is surprisingly fun to play! Considering the things I bought specifically for this project were the control box ($19), bridge ($6 for 5 blanks), carving knife for the bridge ($20), tailpiece ($15), and strings ($15). I think I did ok for 75 bucks and an adventure in violin repair. I'm happy for the educational experience, and I have a playable instrument where there wasn't one before amuse

 

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Reptile Smile
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July 23, 2015 - 3:32 am
Member Since: July 18, 2015
Forum Posts: 34
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What a brilliant effort! Well done, you! 

Am inspired - makes my glueing my fingerboard back on look like small fry!

(and if that doesn't get you the DIY badge, nothing will!)

Good job all round.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 23, 2015 - 7:03 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Reptile Smile said

(and if that doesn't get you the DIY badge, nothing will!)

True that. Badge given!

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

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DanielB
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July 24, 2015 - 1:46 am
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Great bit of repair work!

 

thumbs-up

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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MrYikes
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July 24, 2015 - 8:35 am
Member Since: February 11, 2014
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I call the opera strings my Halloween strings because they are orange and black: "so good they are scary".  Anyway, that made my wife laugh.
Very inspirational story and I'm happy you succeeded-not everyone would. 

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mischa91
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July 24, 2015 - 10:26 am
Member Since: October 18, 2012
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Great job with the repair, looks like a lovely instrument.  I know too well the pains of getting an ebay purchase and having to buy a bunch of stuff to get it back to being playable again.  

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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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July 24, 2015 - 3:03 pm
Member Since: February 13, 2012
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Well, well, well...

You did excellent work. Sometimes I find a "McGyver" like attitude is often times required on things like that. High-Five on not throwing it away and congrats on getting your refund! confused

Excellent bridge work as well... I've done many and I know what to look for and you did all the right things as far as I can see. Not as necessary on an electric as an acoustic though.thumbs-up

That drywall screw trick was brilliant! Ha.... gotta write that down in my book of tricks laying here on the workbench...dazed

I've been trying to find a seller that has 5 string fingerboards for sale that are 29mm on small end, 45mm on the big end and 271mm long. You'd think I could find a board in that big country of China but it seems like I'm looking for an easter egg bunny.clock

Good work... lets hear that thing play!dancing

"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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ElisaDalViolin
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July 24, 2015 - 8:02 pm
Member Since: November 26, 2014
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Awesome job! Congratsthumbs-up

 
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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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July 24, 2015 - 11:09 pm
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Very very impressed!!! thumbs-up

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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FirstPancake
HotGriddle, CA
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July 25, 2015 - 4:03 am
Member Since: May 30, 2015
Forum Posts: 73
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Thanks for the kind words, @coolpinkone , @ElisaDalViolin , @mischa91 , @MrYikes , @DanielB , @Reptile Smile !

And thanks for the badge @Fiddlerman ! My first badge, and it's the one I didn't think I'd ever wind up with 🙂

@cdennyb , The bridge carving was my favorite part (and the drywall screw the most horrifying in the "I can't believe I thought of this..I can't believe I'm actually doing it...I can't believe it's actually going to work!..kind of way). It was the main reason why I decided I want to try making this violin play. I learned so much from the process, and I really appreciate the vote of confidence! I'm glad it looks ok to an experienced bridge carver 😀

I also made a video, but I can't seem to embed it :/

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Raywells
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July 25, 2015 - 1:04 pm
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A bit late to the conversation so congratulations for a job well done. By the way, the DYI badge should be 20% larger ... 🙂

Octave Ray

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LindaMc
New Jersey
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July 25, 2015 - 1:09 pm
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Great job, @FirstPancake! You took an unusable instrument and made it your own!  Enjoy playing it!

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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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July 26, 2015 - 2:26 pm
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excellent playing as well. Now to plug in some effects like reverb and echo... you are really playing well and it will only get better with some add ons to the electric sound.

thumbs-up

"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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