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Wine Corks ?
Wine Corks and Hand Cuff Keys
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DanielB
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July 14, 2014 - 2:53 am
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I don't use actual wine corks.  I'm not much of a drinker anymore.  I think the last alcoholic thing I had was a dash of brandy in hot chocolate around xmas time 3 or 4 years ago.  LOL

I buy corks and sometimes sheets of the composite cork material from the craft store.  Useful for some musical instruments and assorted other projects.  Or hey, if you have any sort of a bottle that needs closed...

"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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BillyG
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July 14, 2014 - 7:31 am
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Does the color of the wine matter?  My strings are all red now, thanks a lot ! ( kidding with you folks ! )

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

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

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Barry
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MadBill said
Does the color of the wine matter?  My strings are all red now, thanks a lot ! ( kidding with you folks ! )

rofl

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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Feathers
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MadBill said
Does the color of the wine matter?  My strings are all red now, thanks a lot ! ( kidding with you folks ! )

roflol

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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Feathers
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Hey all, I wanted to post this in case it might be a helpful idea for those who want an actual wine cork. 

We were in one of our local liquor stores today and I decided to ask them if they had any wine corks lying around, and further told them what it would be used for. 

While one employee said they didn't have them very often (sometimes they're left over from wine tasting, or broken bottles), another decided to go check in the back.

Within a couple of minutes he brought me two, one real cork, and the other synthetic.

He also didn't charge me for them, so I promised the guy I'd play a song in his honor when I got home.....lol!

So anyway, you might want to ask a store in your area.

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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RosinedUp
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Feathers said

Within a couple of minutes he brought me two, one real cork, and the other synthetic.

Then you're just the one to answer my question.laugh

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Feathers
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RosinedUp said

Feathers said

Within a couple of minutes he brought me two, one real cork, and the other synthetic.

Then you're just the one to answer my question.laugh

Yes I can!

Just as soon as I try them out. Haven't done anything yet, but I will here shortly.laugh

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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Feathers
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July 28, 2014 - 8:41 pm
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@RosinedUp,

Did a quick test with both, and without cutting a groove in them. 

I'm going to say that either would work just fine, but here's what I discovered with each.....

Real Cork - Cleaned the E and A string. The cork itself is packed pretty tight, so is a little slick, but did a good job of cleaning. Might be better with a slot in it as @DanielB suggested.

Synthetic Cork - Cleaned the D and G string. It seemed to have more grip, and did a great job of loosening the rosin build up. I then used a cloth to wipe off the excess that was left under the strings. Here again, a slot would probably give it more help, but it did pretty good as is.

Overall - For now anyway, I'm kind of favoring the synthetic. 

And as was pointed out earlier, I agree it's best to hold your violin sideways, because both corks shed the rosin dust.

Hope that helps laugh

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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Fiddlestix
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July 28, 2014 - 9:31 pm
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Alcohol leaves no rosin dust and only takes about 7 seconds to clean the strings and fingerboard.

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RosinedUp
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@Feathers Thank you for the synthetic vs. real comparison.

@Fiddlestix IME, Nothing gets the strings cleaner than alcohol, but it's more of a fuss, and I'm not sure what it does to the synthetic parts of the strings.  Also I prefer to keep it far from the wooden parts of the violin.  It could be disastrous if a bottle leaked inside the case.

For some time I've been using a section of microfiber cloth for wiping the strings.  It's from the automotive section of the hardware store, for car cleaning.   I'm fairly happy with that.  I also use it to wipe the rosin dust off the body of the violin (thanks @ratvn ).

I have some synthetic corks lying around, so I'll probably try that method some time.

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Kiara
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In the last year or so I have been more conscious about cleaning my strings/violin and saw on another forum that corks work so I eventually found some and it does work well.

And I use a soft cloth (for cleaning spectacles) to wipe down the body. However I have had the violin for over 4 yrs and the first few years didn't wipe off rosin, so now I have a build up of rosin that won't just wipe off.

Any ideas on how to get rid of it?

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Feathers
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RosinedUp said
@Feathers Thank you for the synthetic vs. real comparison.

@RosinedUp  You're welcome.smile I was also thinking that it's possible the synthetic would hold up longer/better, and maybe not shed any cork pieces. Guess time will tell.

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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Feathers
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Kiara said
In the last year or so I have been more conscious about cleaning my strings/violin and saw on another forum that corks work so I eventually found some and it does work well.

And I use a soft cloth (for cleaning spectacles) to wipe down the body. However I have had the violin for over 4 yrs and the first few years didn't wipe off rosin, so now I have a build up of rosin that won't just wipe off.

Any ideas on how to get rid of it?

@Kiara There are good cleaners and polishes for the violin. But you also want to be careful not to damage the varnish.

So with that said, I think that someone like @Fiddlerman, or others here with more knowledge would have better advice on what to do if it's really stuck on. 

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. I also wanted to respond to make sure your question didn't get lost in the mix of the thread.

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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Kiara
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Thanks for the reply @Feathers, appreciate it.

I'll wait and see what the others say. :)

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DanielB
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I'm not sure if this will clarify or add to the confusion.  But there's more than one kind of cork that can be called natural or "real".

One type is the plain cork material and has a sort of grain to it like wood.  It is a sort of bark, I guess that comes from a particular variety of oak that grows in some parts of the world. 

The other type is sort of shredded bits of cork (scrap, maybe?) that is pressed and probably glued together. 

I'd call the first solid, and the second composite, maybe. 

100_0579.JPGImage Enlarger

The one on the left is what I'm calling "composite" and the one on the right is what I'm calling "solid".

I have not found the composite to be very good for cleaning strings, since bits tear off from it a lot.  However, I was told that it is better for padding things (like where your chinrest touches the violin) since the solid has a grain like wood and can split under the pressure of something like a chinrest clamp.

So I usually keep some of both around. 

I started using cork for cleaning the strings back when I first started playing.  I had called an acquaintance who had played assorted bowed string instruments his whole life to ask for pointers and that was how he told me to clean the strings.   It works, so I never worried much about finding other ways.

Some thoughts on it, though.. It is a very old method.  While musicians certainly knew about distilled alcohol a couple hundred years ago, they used gut strings and there may be some important reasons why they used cork instead of whiskey or something to clean the strings.  Maybe alcohol would be bad for gut, dry it out too much or something.

I've noticed a lot of modern string players still use it though.  Might just be "tradition", or maybe it can do something undesirable to the synthetic cores that imitate gut, I really don't know for sure.

I still use it because I don't see where the cork can hurt anything and it does a decent enough job.  I could carry alcohol wipes in the little foil envelopes in my case and not have to worry about a bottle of alcohol leaking.. But they would get used up faster than a cork.  I'd have to use a new wipe every time I clean my strings, which is every day.  Cork does eventually get too cut up to work well, but it takes quite a while.  The small one you see in the pic is one I've been using for about a month now.

I'm also a klutz, and sooner or later would end up dripping some alcohol where it shouldn't go, and that would suck.  "You just need to be real careful" may as well be a recipe for eventual disaster for folks like me.  LOL 

I can't think of a real good reason to take more chances than I have to with the instrument.

Another thought, corks were a very common throw-away item in the past.  The bottle cap of their day.  So they would have been very easy to get, and it may have been thrifty to use a throw-away item for cleaning or might have been less bother than having to wash rosin out of a hanky or something.  Or maybe there is some reason I don't know, that makes it a much better choice to use cork on gut strings and the usage has just carried over to other types of strings as they were developed. 

Anyway, if you look at the cork in the right side of the pic, you can see a notch in it, near the bottom.  I just cut a small V shaped notch a couple mm deep, so I can get the underside of the strings easily when cleaning with a cork.  That notch has deepened from the wear as I've used it.  Out of a small cork like that, I can usually get a couple months of daily cleaning before what is left of the cork is too small to be useful. 

And as has been mentioned, if you use the cork method, you want to hold the violin sideways so any rosin dust or cork crumbs that you're taking off don't fall on the instrument or into the Florentine holes.

I don't know as it matters hugely what method one uses to clean the strings.  So long as you don't let rosin cake up and harden all over them, because that can definitely do bad things to the sound.

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"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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coolpinkone
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July 29, 2014 - 3:31 pm
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Nice informative post Dan.    I have always used a cloth... but now I have cork and cloth in my violin case.  🙂

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlestix
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I recon I'll have to do a video in the future on how to clean your strings using alcohol.

Pre-Lectric shave lotion can also be used, it contains enough oil to prevent drying of the synthetic parts of the strings and it smells better.

For those of you who are afraid of getting alcohol on your violin's finish, it's not a case of saturating the cloth so it's dripping wet with alcohol, it's a matter of a little dab on the cloth over one finger and wiping the strings. I never even come close to the finish, plus I can clean the fingerboard and the strings all the way to the nut. Can you do that with a cork ?

I never carry a bottle of alcohol in my case because I never go anywhere to play professionally as many here do. I just keep the bottle handy along side my easy chair

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Panzón
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Fiddlestix said
For those of you who are afraid of getting alcohol on your violin's finish, it's not a case of saturating the cloth so it's dripping wet with alcohol, it's a matter of a little dab on the cloth over one finger and wiping the strings. I never even come close to the finish, plus I can clean the fingerboard and the strings all the way to the nut. Can you do that with a cork ?

I never carry a bottle of alcohol in my case because I never go anywhere to play professionally as many here do. I just keep the bottle handy along side my easy chair

I've used alcohol prep pads-- the kind the nurse swabs your arm with before an injection-- to clean my strings. They work great-- they're just lightly damp with alcohol, disposable, and for those who travel with their violin, are easy to take along in the case.

Mike

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Oliver
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The dusty stuff after cork cleaning is cork.  Cork does not have nearly the durometer (sp.?) of resolidified rosin slurry.

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

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pky
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I guess I could

Feathers said
Hey all, I wanted to post this in case it might be a helpful idea for those who want an actual wine cork. 

We were in one of our local liquor stores today and I decided to ask them if they had any wine corks lying around, and further told them what it would be used for. 

While one employee said they didn't have them very often (sometimes they're left over from wine tasting, or broken bottles), another decided to go check in the back.

Within a couple of minutes he brought me two, one real cork, and the other synthetic.

He also didn't charge me for them, so I promised the guy I'd play a song in his honor when I got home.....lol!

So anyway, you might want to ask a store in your area.

ask one of my colleagues who works for a winery as well as restaurant owners who serve wine at their restaurants or my neighbor who is working on a project with wine corks.

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