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Violin Care
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Oliver
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July 24, 2011 - 9:22 am
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I have a bottle of lemon oil polish which is supposed to "beautify and protect" fine furniture.  What if I used it on my violin which looks pretty dry and shabby?

coffee2

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 25, 2011 - 7:50 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

I agree with Barry on this one. I am pretty sure you can make your own as well. Has anyone done a search on violin polish recipes. I found this one with a quick search:

2 oz rubbing oil or mineral oil
2 oz raw linseed oil
4 oz alcohol (the poster used ethanol)
4 oz water

Shake before use. Place on cloth and rub onto the surface.
It supposedly works great on instruments and bows.

NOTE: I have never tried this and will not take responsibility for it.

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

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Pikachu
Pallet Town
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July 26, 2011 - 6:04 pm
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You can also get violin polish really cheaply from a regular old band/music store. Mine was less than $5 and made specifically for violins and other string instruments. Something to keep in mind if you're worried about harming the instrument through experimentation.fish

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FluffyPuppy
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August 1, 2011 - 7:55 pm
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I have an old violin that my grandpa gave me. I didn't want to try any polish too soon on it because I was afraid I might ruin it. My mom always makes stuff like window cleaner and furniture polish. I'll ask her if she knows any polishes that would be good for instruments. If not, there is a music store around here that sells violin polishes for around $7.

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pky
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August 7, 2011 - 3:08 pm
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I was taught to loosen my strings when I played my chinese fiddle. Fiddlerman had a comment about strings in tune for too long would stretch and needed to be change, so is it necessary to loosen your strings when you are not playing your violin?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 7, 2011 - 3:16 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Do not loosen your strings. They would be difficult to keep in tune afterwards because they would have to stretch again slightly every time you bring them up. Also, it is good when they are fully stretched. They sound better at that point. The first few days can sound metallic and hard. After a few days to a week they mellow out and become warm and clean. After anywhere from 4 weeks to a half year they begin to decline again.

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

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pky
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August 7, 2011 - 11:36 pm
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What are the ranges of humidity and temerature that keep violin well?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 8, 2011 - 10:36 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Try to keep the humidity level as consistent as possible. However a humidity level between 40 and 60% is the best. Not all instruments are that sensitive. I wouldn't worry too much about a new green violin. If I had a fine old Italian fiddle I would watch this more carefully. Very dry climate is dangerous for the risk of the wood cracking.

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

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Oliver
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August 8, 2011 - 11:36 am
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Fiddlerman said:

I agree with Barry on this one. I am pretty sure you can make your own as well. Has anyone done a search on violin polish recipes. I found this one with a quick search:

2 oz rubbing oil or mineral oil
2 oz raw linseed oil
4 oz alcohol (the poster used ethanol)
4 oz water

Shake before use. Place on cloth and rub onto the surface.
It supposedly works great on instruments and bows.

NOTE: I have never tried this and will not take responsibility for it.

===========================================

I might try this recipe.  It has important features:

Includes oil(s) for rejuvenating the wood.  (Does the Hill product?  Does Hill bottle list ingredients?  I'm curious, and not passing any judgement.  I never used Hill.)

The above recipe includes alcohol which is usually taboo for varnish finishes BUT is probably here in small amounts to dissolve rosin dust(?)

I've read that some violin "polishes" ARE, in fact, mostly alcohol which cleans by virtue of dissolving some varnish along with rosin residue.

So, I think I will try this two-pronged approach on my most needy violin and see what happens.  I will report back.  I think the oil component may make an audible difference?

coffee2

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 8, 2011 - 3:02 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Great, we have a guinea-pig. Most varnish's have alcohol and the combined oil protects the finish as I understand it. I may be wrong though. I'll take no responsibility.

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

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Oliver
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August 8, 2011 - 3:26 pm
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Now I am worried.  Hill is(was) my second favorite rosin and now it may be on the way out ? dunno

coffee2

PS  I have a "research" violin so no "good" violin is at risk.  I think the biggest risk is getting a slippery oil solution under the bridge ( as in "thump"!)

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 8, 2011 - 5:45 pm
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Just be careful and your bridge will be fine. I wouldn't worry about the varnish too much. Start gently on a spot that isn't that perfect or visible and you should quickly get a feeling about how good the home-made stuff is. If you have a piece of furniture at home with a dark varnish that doesn't matter to you too much you can experiment on that first.

Good luck and keep us posted. We may copy you.

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

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Oliver
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August 9, 2011 - 8:08 am
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Have all the ingredients but linseed oil but I hope ACE hardware carries it (?)  I am intrigued with the oil(s).  I can't imagine that the wood wouldn't become "softer" and sound would change (?) 
More later.

coffee2

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 9, 2011 - 9:07 am
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I guess it depends on how much the wood breathes and how much your varnish seals the fiddle now. I had an old German fiddle that had virtually no varnish so to speak of and there would always be an enormous difference in shine after I polished it. My Larsson looks almost the same but cleaner when I polish it. Haven't done it in ages though. I don't even own a polish now.cry 

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

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Oliver
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August 9, 2011 - 2:20 pm
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Raw Linseed Oil goes for $10 a quart at Ace hardware which would probably buy a good amount of the store bought violin cleaner. 

Now I have to think about it.  May try the furniture polish(?) being the on-line recipe calls for 2 kinds of oil anyhow.

coffee2

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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