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Violin restoration basket cases
Learning as I go.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (14 votes) 
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Georganne
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December 3, 2020 - 5:21 pm
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Hey folks, sorry I have been MIA.  But I am now officially a new mom to my husband's 9 year old grandson.  The adoption FINALLY went through two days before Thanksgiving!

Ok on to the fiddle goodies.  A friend bought 3 old fiddles from an estate sale.  He took the best one, which only needed a small amount of work and now has a gorgeous old fiddle.  He gave the other two to me.  One was really in need of full restoration.  This one I named "The First One" as I am working on it first in order to experiment and learn on.  The one marked as Stradivarious (it's a copy even if it doesn't say copy) I have dated from between 1914 and 1957.  I named this one "The Good One" and will work on it next.  It's in much better shape and needs less work.

I put the photo descriptions in the photo captions so you should just be able to hold your mouse over the picture to see the caption.  

Does this mean I get a Luthier badge?  

 

 

  Both-basket-cases.jpgImage EnlargerTwo-of-these-strings-are-actually-the-original-gut..jpgImage EnlargerI-think-these-geared-pegs-have-to-be-heated-in-order-to-remove-them-as-I-read-they-were-glued-in-hopefully-with-hide-glue-which-can-be-heated-to-loosen..jpgImage EnlargerOh-boy-what-am-I-getting-myself-into.jpgImage EnlargerAntonius-Stradiuarius-Made-in-Czechoslovakia.-Due-to-research-below-I-think-this-is-from-after-1914-but-before-1957..jpgImage Enlarger3-clamps..jpgImage Enlarger123245680_10164227907500697_7486525432450598735_n.jpgImage Enlarger123393587_10164227907140697_5611778470423950876_n.jpgImage EnlargerSeperation.jpgImage EnlargerI-have-two-to-restore.-This-one-will-be-first-as-a-practice-piece-before-attempting-The-Good-One.jpgImage EnlargerMuch-more-involved-then-just-gluing-pieces-back-together.-Old-hide-glue-used-on-violins-must-be-heated-to-removed-or-planned-off-with-a-small-finger-plane..jpgImage EnlargerThe-small-pieces-are-purfling-a-narrow-decorative-edge-inlaid-into-the-top-plate-of-fiddles..jpgImage EnlargerRepaired-by-JTA-in-2018..jpgImage EnlargerHide-glue-crystals.-Soaked-in-water-for-2-hours-with-the-ratio-of-1-to-1.5-water.-Heated-to-keep-it-liquid..jpgImage EnlargerGlue..jpgImage EnlargerI-put-it-in-a-warm-water-bath-first-before-setting-it-on-the-coffee-cup-warmer..jpgImage EnlargerA-splinter-must-be-glued-back..jpgImage EnlargerAnother-splinter-to-be-glued-back..jpgImage EnlargerSplinters-and-splinter-destinations-lol..jpgImage EnlargerClamping-till-tomorrow..jpgImage EnlargerHad-to-clamp-this-at-an-angle-to-keep-it-pushed-into-the-correct-spot..jpgImage Enlarger126189338_10164295175395697_7097402113311433814_n.jpgImage EnlargerCleats-strengthening-previously-repaired-cracks..jpgImage EnlargerFirst-major-piece-to-glue-back-together.-First-I-had-to-figure-out-how-I-was-going-to-clamp-it-once-it-was-glued.jpgImage EnlargerI-think-I-figured-it-out.-Guess-we-will-see..jpgImage EnlargerThis-will-need-more-work-later..jpgImage EnlargerI-don’t-really-have-the-right-clamps-so-needed-to-make-a-form-to-clamp-to.jpgImage EnlargerParts-and-pieces.-Throw-nothing-away..jpgImage Enlarger126127641_10164303027525697_8171121383387639024_n.jpgImage EnlargerSee-the-light-through-the-cracks-in-this-previously-repaired-crack.jpgImage Enlarger126933157_10164303027540697_1119837812628667057_n.jpgImage Enlarger125565907_10164303027320697_8272698473976124814_n.jpgImage EnlargerUgh.-Pretty-thick.-Will-have-to-sand-them-down-thinner..jpgImage EnlargerOnce-again-the-lack-of-the-correct-clamps-turn-me-into-a-Macgiver-wanna-be.-I-had-to-cut-some-channels-into-my-form..jpgImage EnlargerThe-nice-spruce-stick-Tim-cut-for-me-is-going-to-be-cleats-to-reinforce-crack-repairs..jpgImage EnlargerSeeing-how-thin-I-can-get-them..jpgImage Enlarger

I-went-to-get-more-coffee-and-in-my-return-could-not-find-my-stick-I-JUST-cleaned-off-my-work-space.-Finally-found-he-culprits..jpgImage Enlarger

Ugh.-Pretty-thick.-Will-have-to-sand-them-down-thinner..jpgImage Enlarger127057231_10164307616025697_3696281917234826798_n.jpgImage Enlarger127080153_10164307719380697_4154932786111478368_n.jpgImage Enlarger126985349_10164307719400697_4432943983826196016_n.jpgImage EnlargerToo-thick.jpgImage Enlarger126083869_10164311465055697_3122952016198057053_n.jpgImage Enlarger127111602_10164311465300697_3154684970786880156_n.jpgImage Enlarger125854237_10164311465335697_802756722343436308_n.jpgImage Enlarger126029043_10164311465085697_1816719397592244167_n.jpgImage EnlargerPlanning-the-clamping..jpgImage Enlarger127282549_10164318024760697_2849907683207588639_n.jpgImage Enlarger129352456_10164355153195697_3404881816232376260_n.jpgImage EnlargerClamping-challenges..jpgImage EnlargerCrack-in-top..jpgImage EnlargerGlued-and-clamped..jpgImage EnlargerThings-were-warped-so-I-had-to-tack-down-this-joint-first.-I-let-it-dry-overnight-then-did-the-rest-of-the-rib..jpgImage EnlargerHad-to-prop-up-the-rib-to-make-that-joint-correct..jpgImage EnlargerThat-was-the-joint-that-had-to-be-done-first..jpgImage EnlargerFinal-rib-gluing..jpgImage EnlargerTop-is-finally-on.jpgImage Enlarger

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Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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ELCBK
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December 3, 2020 - 7:21 pm
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@Georganne -

https://t3.ftcdn.net/jpg/01/92/99/64/240_F_192996430_SYQ5QqMR23zzHm4QVTfxYA028WN2k6r3.jpg

 

WOW! 

 

I'm seriously impressed, almost speechless! (lol)

Congrats, btw - you've got your hands full. 

 

Is it very important, for sound quality, to shave those cleats down flush?  Or, not?  

How old/dried was the twig used for the cleats?

At what point do you determine if a part is better off being remade, instead of pieced back together? 

Thank you, for sharing this nice slide presentation! 

https://i4.glitter-graphics.org/pub/1822/1822324imvv8xoi4l.gif

 

- Emily

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Georganne
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December 3, 2020 - 8:17 pm
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ELCB said
@Georganne -

https://t3.ftcdn.net/jpg/01/92/99/64/240_F_192996430_SYQ5QqMR23zzHm4QVTfxYA028WN2k6r3.jpg

 

WOW! 

 

I'm seriously impressed, almost speechless! (lol)

Congrats, btw - you've got your hands full. 

 

Is it very important, for sound quality, to shave those cleats down flush?  Or, not?  

I don't know but every video I have watched, they were pretty small and smooth, not flush though.  I think it's the smoothness not necessarily the size that makes the most difference.  No hard edges for the sound waves to bounce off of.  

How old/dried was the twig used for the cleats?

Green as my husband just went out and cut it from a tree in our yard.  My thought process is that hopefully as it dries, it will tighten up.  

At what point do you determine if a part is better off being remade, instead of pieced back together? 

Lol well since I don't have means to remake the parts that really should be remade, putting back together is my only option.  I live in the middle of Alaska.  No luthiers here.  

Thank you, for sharing this nice slide presentation! 

https://i4.glitter-graphics.org/pub/1822/1822324imvv8xoi4l.gif

 

- Emily

  

Thanks. 

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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GregW
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December 3, 2020 - 8:22 pm
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well someones been busy!  I imagine theyll be alot of excitement when its finally strung up fir the first time again and Im looking forward to hearing it played.  Im sure it goes without saying you are.

congrats on the violin find and progress on it.

and your growing family!  good times.

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ELCBK
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December 4, 2020 - 3:46 am
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@Georganne -

Thanks for answering my questions - you've just taught me a lot! 

I shouldn't have used the term "flush" about your cleats - I was mistakenly thinking dutchman patch. 

Because your cleats are made of green wood, don't you run the risk of having them pop off as they dry - or so small it doesn't matter? 

I can certainly understand your need to get by with what you have on hand, instead of ordering dry, spruce repair cleats! (lol) 

Hope to hear it finished! 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/72/3d/99/723d994062ecb51f40d40897e2af08f9.jpg

 

- Emily

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Georganne
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December 4, 2020 - 3:49 pm
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ELCB said
@Georganne -

Because your cleats are made of green wood, don't you run the risk of having them pop off as they dry - or so small it doesn't matter? 

Yes they may pop off as they dry.  But I don't think they will.  They are supposed to be very small.  Here is a picture of the original ones where someone else repaired a crack.  This is what they are supposed to look like.  And if these do pop off, then I will know for The Good One, that I have to spend the $15 or so to order cleats manufactured by someone else.  

12.4-gluing-in-the-perfling-and-more-splinters.jpgImage Enlarger12.4-Trying-to-make-the-pressure-even.jpgImage EnlargerCleats-strengthening-previously-repaired-cracks.-1.jpgImage Enlarger

I can certainly understand your need to get by with what you have on hand, instead of ordering dry, spruce repair cleats! (lol) 

Hope to hear it finished! 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/72/3d/99/723d994062ecb51f40d40897e2af08f9.jpg

 

- Emily

  

Glued in the broken out purfling and a couple more splinters today. 

[Image Can Not Be Found]

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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stringy
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December 4, 2020 - 4:18 pm
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I am amazed, thats seriously impressive, I hope it wasnt the dog telliing you what to do though😁 I am with Emily cant wait to hear that fiddle when it is completely finished. wish I was skilled in things like that, thanks for posting the images cant wait to see more.

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Georganne
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December 4, 2020 - 6:48 pm
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stringy said
I am amazed, thats seriously impressive, I hope it wasnt the dog telliing you what to do though😁 I am with Emily cant wait to hear that fiddle when it is completely finished. wish I was skilled in things like that, thanks for posting the images cant wait to see more.

  

Lol no the dog stole my stick!  She nabbed it right off my work table and took it to her bed.

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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Bob
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December 5, 2020 - 2:22 pm
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 I live in the middle of Alaska.  No luthiers here. 

 

Well, it looks like there will be soon :) Best of luck putting these two projects together. I'm sure you're learning a lot. Wish I had the patience to tackle something like this.

Bob in Lone Oak, Texas

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Georganne
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December 9, 2020 - 5:19 pm
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Hold your mouse over the photo for the caption.  These corners often break off due to the grain of the wood.  I was just going to ignore this but then reminded myself this is a learning project and I should at least attempt to fix it.  I'll have to finish carving once it's secured onto the fiddle.  So, we'll see how it goes!

12.9.1These-litte-corners-often-break-off-due-to-the-grain-of-the-wood.jpgImage Enlarger12.9.2-back-to-my-stick.jpgImage Enlarger12.9.3-Carving-a-splinter-is-hard.jpgImage Enlarger12.9.4-I-will-have-to-carve-more-onece-glued.jpgImage Enlarger12.9.5.jpgImage Enlarger12.9.6.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

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Georganne
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Well that didn't work, so try, try, again.  I had to really give some thought to what the problem was.  The existing surface area was just not flat and so there was even less surface area to form the bond.  I had to grind off some of the existing wood!  That was a bit scary.  Also, it was too difficult to clamp without it moving.  12.10.1-trying-again.jpgImage Enlarger12.10.2.jpgImage Enlarger12.10.3-no-clamps-this-time.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

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Georganne
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ARG I need like 2" of purfling.  Anyone got any laying around from an old broken fiddle?  Cheapest I could find was $8.60 and $9.99 shipping.  

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

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Georganne
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Well that's as good as that corner is going to get.  

12.12.1Thats-as-good-as-its-going-to-get.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Poor blotchy fella!

12.12.2-Poor-blotchy-fella.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Decided to try some stripper.

12.12.3-Going-to-try-some-stripper.jpgImage Enlarger

12.12.5-Only-a-little-at-a-time.jpgImage Enlarger

12.12.4-Gonna-have-a-lapdance.jpgImage Enlarger12.12.6-testing-corner.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

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Georganne
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Adventures in stripping.  Hahhaha pun intended I guess.

Here's what it originally looked like.  Wish I had thought to take better pictures of it then.

 

The-First-One.pngImage Enlarger

After sanding, which yes, I know you are not supposed to do...

12.15.4.jpgImage Enlarger

Stripping is definitely the way to go!  But there were so many dings and deep scratches, I would have sanded some anyways. 

12.16.2.jpgImage Enlarger

Look at that beautiful wood!

12.16.1-Wow-what-a-beauty.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Sorry the layout didn't turn out correctly.  

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Wow...that is beautiful.

Adventures in Stripping...well that's funny!  I like a good pun.

I admire the brave people who work on their violins. :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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stringy
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Did you sand before the stripper was applied, and if so what grade sandpaper did you use, and what stripper did you use if you dont mind me asking. I bought a cheap primavera the other day for the equivalent of about 18 US dollars, I intend putting artwork on it but first need to get the varnish off, which because its a cheap fiddle could probably resist a blow torch.😃

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stringy said
Did you sand before the stripper was applied, and if so what grade sandpaper did you use, and what stripper did you use if you dont mind me asking. I bought a cheap primavera the other day for the equivalent of about 18 US dollars, I intend putting artwork on it but first need to get the varnish off, which because its a cheap fiddle could probably resist a blow torch.😃

  

Lol.  I did sand before I stripped but if I were you, go with the stripper first.  I used Citristrip gel.  Bought it at Lowes for $13, probably cheaper where you live. It has a pleasant smell and is not runny.  I used a cut up card to scrape off then washed it off with a soapy damp shop towel/paper towel and then dried.  A couple areas I had to do two and three times like the scroll.  

I think the sandpaper I used was 220, then 120, then 500.  

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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ELCBK
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December 16, 2020 - 5:18 pm
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@Georganne -

You've done a beautiful job bringing that fiddle back to life! 

Did you wipe it down (after the stripper) with mineral spirits or some other solvent to remove all the residue?  

I love Citristrip, but been afraid this particular stripper would leave the wood too wet or loosen repairs.  Or, were you able to get it off quick enough or just didn't feel it was an issue?  I mean, I've read it isn't even recommended using wet/dry sandpaper because of that little bit of moisture. 

Really interested in your thoughts/observations on this! 

Thanx again, for sharing all this. 🤗

giphy.gif

 

 

- Emily 

 

Ooops! I was a little slow, think you answered my questions!

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ELCB said
@Georganne -

You've done a beautiful job bringing that fiddle back to life! 

Did you wipe it down (after the stripper) with mineral spirits or some other solvent to remove all the residue?  

I love Citristrip, but been afraid this particular stripper would leave the wood too wet or loosen repairs.  Or, were you able to get it off quick enough or just didn't feel it was an issue?  I mean, I've read it isn't even recommended using wet/dry sandpaper because of that little bit of moisture. 

Really interested in your thoughts/observations on this! 

Thanx again, for sharing all this. 🤗

giphy.gif

 

 

- Emily 

 

Ooops! I was a little slow, think you answered my questions!

  

I thought it would leave an oily residue but it really didn't!  It says right on it that it does not loosen glue but I was able to clean off a bit of glue squeeze out when I was cleaning it up but that was from the water from the wet paper towel.  All cracks are still fixed and holding well.  That was the first thing I checked out! 

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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Georganne
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Ok here's where I need your help.  Does anyone know what these types of pegs are called?   I'm trying to do some research on them and don't even know what to look for.  @Fiddlerman ?

 

12.17-pegs.jpgImage Enlarger

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Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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