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I just received an old (in the violin field, old is certainly a relative term since the design is basically unchanged for hundreds of years) violin that I received in combination with a metal violin bow (the item that I wanted). No clue but I would guess it is circa 1930s. Nothing fancy but in playable condition with the exception of a poor attempt at repairing a small crack on the back side of the body, which left a lot of exposed glue that gives the finish a strange appearance.
Since I have nothing to lose on this one, I am considering opening the body of the violin on the front plate (the side with the f holes), cleat the crack, and reattach the front plate. I may replace the existing ebony fingerboard with a "toasted" maple fingerboard. I am considering masking off the unaffected finished wood and removing the back plate finish by "sand blast" with baking soda media. I have done this technique on wood furniture before and it did not damage the wood and left a nice surface to receive finish. Has anyone tried this technique before on a violin?
Would it be better to media blast the whole instrument so that there would not be a noticable difference of finish between the surfaces? Any ideas would be appreciated.
The most unusual situation I had blasted were several kitchen stainless steel steam kettles with a 50 year accumulation of starch. Any type of conventional media would stress the steel and would have to be done in a cabinet. I found someone that used pellets of dry ice (carbon dioxide) as a blast media. It did a beautiful job. The same person took "dope" off of a canvas covered airplane upon my recommendation. No damage was done to the canvas.
I found a Youtube video where someone converted a Harbor Freight air blaster into a small baking soda bead blaster using a plastic soda bottle as the media reservoir. Looks like just the ticket for me.
I am not big on finishing. Has anyone used Tru-Oil for a violin finish?
I will certainly take pictures on whatever I end up doing.
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