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Another fiddle. The "Delipped ¾". (44 pics 1000x750) Login/Join 
Nosce te ipsum
Picture of Woodman
Here's an interesting one. This came to me in its ancient 1930s case, the top semi-detached. What made me leave it in the basement for two years was a piece missing from the top. But over the winter my work table became clear; rather than save the fiddle for my heirs to throw in the trash, I thought I'd give it a shot.

I'd already started working on it before the pics began. Here the top is off, cracks are repaired, and I'm cleating the cracks. The rib of the body has been leveled of glue and pieces of the top which stuck to it.

So the top is almost whole. But there is a chunk of the lip missing Eek (not the saddle notch). The lip cracked along the purfling channel groove. The top is perforated in places. I surmise a luthier had a few too many schnapps for lunch, came back, and went to work on this top. With a 4/4 purfling channel cutter. Instead of the ¾ purfling channel cutter. (I glued over the perforations).

So I find a piece of old spruce with a tight grain. I made a poor choice with the discoloration in the wood but it is covered by a chin rest, as ye shall see.

So it is now hide glue time. Yum! I add in sifted powdered Appalachian spruce. Cover any shortcomings in my carving.

The patch is in a tricky spot to clamp. so a wedge the top into a nearby shelf.

The top is reattached. The sound post may be installed as well. The instrument tone-taps a clean, resonant "F".

A new ebony fingerboard is installed and planed a little thinner (it could have been thinner still, but I still do not have the right hand plane). Then a scoop, a concavity along its length, is scraped into the fingerboard. The steel E string, I can make the fingerboard flat (in fact, I do make it flat). And progress from flat to concave as I move towards the lowest string, which is a wound G. In addition to the scoop, there is, naturally, a radius to the fingerboard.

Realizing the patch seam may develop a dark line from the pigmented spirit varnish, I cheat a little, extending the purfling groove through the patch, and puddle a bit of varnish into it. Next time, I may use an actual purfling channel cutter.

So that's it. The fiddle came through surgery with an A+. It has a deep mature tone, reflective of its 80- or 90-some years. About $70 in material and lots of hours. Last week I was repairing cellos in Wilmington DE. The orchestral director at the performing arts high school told me last week what it would sell for in a shop, and to send her pics in September if it is still available, for recommendation to one of her students.

Posts: 6526 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Knows too little
about too much
Picture of rduckwor
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Mad skillz!! Well done!


TL Davis: “The Second Amendment is special, not because it protects guns, but because its violation signals a government with the intention to oppress its people…”
Posts: 19625 | Location: L.A. - Lower Alabama | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Low Profile Member
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very nice work
Posts: 2835 | Registered: August 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
Picture of jhe888
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It sings again! Nice.

The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
Posts: 47044 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Throwin sparks
makin knives
Picture of sybo
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GREAT thread and man you got skills!!!!!
Posts: 5135 | Location: Nashville Tn | Registered: October 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Partial dichotomy
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I always enjoy your threads, Woodman! Thanks for posting!

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Posts: 34263 | Location: NW Indiana | Registered: November 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
Picture of Woodman
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Thank you !!!

This collection of images has been languishing for a few months. Glad I finally got it posted. It's also a test run for inclusion within The Naked Luthier - Instrument repair stripped of its mystery -

In the progression of lip images you can see how I tightened the radius, changed the contour, and kept reapplying varnish of differing tint. (In a trick of grain, varnish, and lighting, a integral area of the top adjacent to the patch looks like the patch, and vise-versa). As my second larger patch job, I have learned to leave it plenty proud; the finish will never come out right the first few times, and you want something to sand down. I could have kept at it, but the area is covered by the chin rest, it's structurally what I wanted, and pursuit of perfection always ends in disaster.

The job is easier than it looks. A collection of 5-minutes-here and 5-minutes-there. Sometimes a bedtime visit to check the doors and make a cup of tea turns into 90 minutes of quiet progress. You also need a table where everything can be spread out - and remain untouched - for the duration of the project, even if it is two months long.

Aside from the occasional midnight whittling or sound-post fitting, most of the work is done in the mid-morning under natural indirect light.
Posts: 6526 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
Picture of ArtieS
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I love these threads, and your skills are truly impressive.

Thanks for posting.

"We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled." - Kevin D. Williamson, 2012

"All the citizens of this land are of right freemen; they owe no allegiance to any class and should recognize no task-masters. Under the chart of their liberties, under the law of high heaven, they are free and without shackles on their limbs nor mortgages upon the fruits of their brain or muscles; they bow down before no prince, potentate, or sovereign, nor kiss the royal robes of any crowned head; they render homage only to their God and should pay tribute only to their Government. Such at least is the spirit of our institutions, the character of our written national compact."

Charles Triplett O’Ferrall of Virginia - In Congress, May 1, 1888
Posts: 9635 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
and every one of them words rang true and glowed like burnin’ coal.
Picture of TannerBoyl
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That is fantastic! Thank you for sharing this project with us!
Posts: 4445 | Location: Redondo Beach, California | Registered: February 02, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
Picture of Woodman
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Thanks! There are a few steps I'll try to get next time. Like ruining two sets of pegs in the shaver before getting it right, or the multiple sound posts before the right fit was achieved. The sound post is remarkable. Eight growth rings in a 5.5mm or 6mm post.

Posts: 6526 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of TAP
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You are an amazing craftsman.
I hope you are able to pass on your talent to future generations.
Posts: 815 | Location: Portland, OR. | Registered: October 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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