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Nosce te ipsum
Picture of Woodman
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quote:
Originally posted by 6guns: naphtha (is) a mild cleaning agent

I'm not sure what naphtha does on oil finishes. Turpentine may be your elixir? The rags, I always throw into a fireplace. Don't want to burn the place down.


quote:
Originally posted by varoadking:
Very interesting thread. I know more about a violin now that I ever did. Wonderful writing style as well. Thanks.

Thanks, RoadKing. What I do not know would fill volumes. Every time I work a new mistake is a new learning experience. Like yesterday, fitting a bridge? A buddy calls to tell me of his eclipse experience, I sand one of the bridge feet too low, and its ruined. Damn.

As far as writing (Thanks! Smile ), the top part was C/P, typed for my mom's sister in Tulsa. That had the benefit of editing (although I forgot to edit for SIGforum; two back-to-back posts should have been edited into one.) Editing usually consists of wholesale slashing of sentences and cook phrasing makes no chicken cjnrf sense. Or reordering of words so there that are fewer of of the words which are reordered them. Wink


https://wordcounter.net is a decent free writing tool. It will show "Reading Level", word density, etc.





The matching ¼ size violin with real purfling and "Made in Germany, US Zone" sticker, with the ruined bridge? D'Addario Helicore H310 ¼M strings arrived yesterday. Helicores are quality strings, $30-$45 a pack. I was chastised Saturday at the Lanchester Fiddlers' Picnic by a violin vendor for putting "Adult" strings on a child's instrument. My thinking?

Leave nothing to chance. Make the instrument sound as good as you can. The extra $20 may get a kid to stick with it instead of giving up.
 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
Picture of jhe888
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This is the final step of French polishing - a shellac finish. The builder says his pad has alcohol only at this point, so it is just smoothing the finish and bringing up the gloss.

It is hard to see those subtle differences in photos, but this seems to show the difference between French polish and nitro. The French polish is glossy, but not glassy-glossy like nitro, and even less glassy than some urethane. I have less experience with oil varnishes, so I can't say how it compares to French polish.





The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 44345 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of billnchristy
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If you find a full size that should be in the 1k - 1.5k.range let me know, my daughter is nearing the need for the next step.


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Posts: 17909 | Location: Lawrenceville GA | Registered: April 15, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Partial dichotomy
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On the topic, ever run across lefty violins? Must be pretty uncommon.


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Posts: 33464 | Location: NW Indiana | Registered: November 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
Picture of Woodman
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by 6guns:
On the topic, ever run across lefty violins? Must be pretty uncommon.


No more unusual than seeing Kevin Spacey brush his teeth left-handed on the movie "Casino Jack".

It's pretty simple. You put the chin rest on the other side - lots of them can go on either side - and change the notches on the bridge and probably the nut.

And if the fiddle looks like it will be seriously embraced, knock off the nut, store both nut/bridge in the case, and have it set up for a lefty. The ¼ which came in had the chin rest on the "wrong" side but I did not notice if the strings were reversed.

It is probably close to $300 to do a top-notch setup left handed, new bridge and nut, but an adequate job can be done for much less, like $110.
 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Partial dichotomy
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Thanks for the info, Woodman. Something else to think about in the future.


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Posts: 33464 | Location: NW Indiana | Registered: November 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of ShouldBFishin
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Nice job on the violin!


Several years ago I purchased a 3/4 sized Anton Schroetter violin at an action for my daughter. Dad has a buddy who is a Luther who did a little work on it. It turned out to be a great violin for her. Had it appraised when I purchased a decent bow to go with it. We made out like bandits when we traded it in on a full size a few years later Cool
 
Posts: 1063 | Location: MN | Registered: March 29, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
Picture of Woodman
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Lastly, 1/16" cork was used to restore the original ebony chin rest.  And a wipe of boiled linseed oil to complete the refurbishment. 

THE NAKED LUTHIER ~ Instrument repair stripped of its mystery ~ Big Grin

 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Conductor in Residence
Picture of Maestro
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Outstanding!!
 
Posts: 3276 | Location: Tampa Bay, FL | Registered: July 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
Picture of Woodman
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quote:
Originally posted by Maestro:
Outstanding!!


Thank you!

Today I fit a bridge to the ¼ violin, tightened up the Helicores, and took both with me to the bluegrass jam. A Cab Calloway School of the Arts (Wilmington DE) teacher, Steve Fields, pronounced the ¼ to have amazing tone and VOLUME after playing several of his bluegrass favorites. He insisted I LEAVE IT ALONE. The ½, I will make a new bridge and move the sound post.

Since I do not have much money in these two fiddles, I can sell them cheap to one of Steve's students, a 13 year old gal who already has students of her own. We'll see if that works out.

Steve agrees, quality strings are worth it. While another seller puts $15 Red Label strings on their fiddles, I'm happy to spend more than double for the better sound. Leave nothing to chance.

While all these fiddles may start looking the same, this one is the ¼ size with a 10.25" scale length. 6-8 year olds. Steve cranked tone and volume out of this little pup which brought a grin to his face.

Violin Scale or String Lengths:
4/4 Violin = 330mm = 13 inches
7/8 Violin = 317mm = 12½ inches
3/4 Violin = 310mm = 12¼ inches
1/2 Violin = 285mm = 11¼ inches
1/4 Violin = 260mm = 10¼ inches
1/8 Violin = 235mm = 9¼ inches
1/16 Violin = 215mm = 8½ inches

 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
Picture of Woodman
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A bit of an update for the hobbyists among us, and one close-up of an 1860s pegbox

quote:
Woodman:
quote:
6guns:
On the topic, ever run across lefty violins? Must be pretty uncommon.


No more unusual than seeing Kevin Spacey brush his teeth left-handed on the movie "Casino Jack".

It's pretty simple ... It is probably close to $300 to do a top-notch setup left handed, new bridge and nut, but an adequate job can be done for much less, like $110.


I’m working on one now. It was converted from right to left, I’d guess the later 1800s or so. It looks and smells to be an 1860 build.

The bottom left G peg was swapped into the right side et al, the holes roughly reamed to accommodate. They've since become misshapen. Now, years later, I’m reaming all the holes back to round. They are far too large for pegs. So they get boxwood bushing pegs installed, drilled, and reamed to correct side. A “bushing job”.

During this work Steve Fields, Registered Fiddle Consultant, informed me left-handed fiddles set the pegs opposite to the righter.

So while I picture only swapping string positions and flipping the bridge, Steve says the peg layout is also switched. This cannot be done to a lefter without reaming, and possibly bushing the openings and drilling/reaming fresh peg holes.

So, 6guns, while I could do a quickie leftie setup for someone to get a feel, for a student to pursue the violin, it is a little more involved.

Another note on solvents - I use solvents to cut grime on really cheap instruments - $25 violins. Correct cleaning technique calls for the least invasive method first. Soft cloth, soft cloth with a few drops of water on it, etc. You do not want water getting into an open purfling groove of a really valuable instrument; I have not had the luck yet.

The issue with solvents is that you can never be sure what is in the finish of an old violin. If you remove finish, you change the sound. The other issue? Turning the powdered rosin and oils which harden onto a violin top into a goo which invades the violin’s pores (if lacquer is missing), which can deaden the tone.

Violin tops are where the most care has to be taken. The backs always seem more robust. When the dirt is off the varnish, then it is time to buff with a dry soft cloth. Some people buff for hours to restore an instrument’s finish. I use a specialty buffers polish then the soft cloth.

Probably I'd do the same thing on my friend's $50k Sderci; I'd just charge more Wink

Here’s a shot of the 1860s violin which had severely abused pegholes; I reamed as required, up to 9.5mm on a couple, am bushing, will drill and ream to 6mm, then build up stain on the bushings to try to match color. Then mix and tint spirit varnish and try to imitate 150 years of dirt, oils, and crud … For my efforts, this could be a $350 dud, a fair playable $600-$800 antique, or even worth more. Tone, age, provenance.

 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Victim of a Series
of Accidents
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It says "made in Germany". So might it be pre-WW2?


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Posts: 1902 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: February 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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