Friday, January 27, 2012

Major Repair Example 2

After separating the piece from the block I was able to rejoin the piece to the treble side rib using masking tape to pull the seam together from both sides and a counter form (padded blocks that fit the contour of both the inside and outside) on each face to ensure a perfectly flat surface. The results were satisfactory as you can see in the picture below.

The line from the break should essentially disappear after some touch ups. The back surface of the rib I reinforced with a material that I like to use that is strong, thin, and lightweight and should last the life of the instrument. The block glued right back in place and the rib glued to the block with the material in between. I simply feathered out the edges so the ribs joined perfectly again at the center of the block.

The top is also moving along with the large touch up areas. I sanded the areas with a very fine grit paper to feather out the edges so that when I start applying the color I get an even and invisible transition. If the feathering is not done, the color builds up on the broken edges of the finish producing a dark "line." After the sanding I applied a very light ground color, then applied a coat of very thin varnish to re-seal the wood. I can now begin layering color in thin layers with layers of varnish in between to get back to the original color. You can see the progress in the picture below.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Major Repair Example

I've decided to add an example of the kind of repairs we handle all the time. This one is somewhat dramatic due to the degree of breakage, but it does not go far afield of what we consider normal repairs. The added difficulty is the large areas of touch ups that need to be addressed. This is a "Florentina" violin that is nicely made and has an approximate value of $4000. The customer confirmed my suspicion that is was dropped.

 As you can see in the picture above, the rib has been completely fractured right at the edge of the end block (inside). The small piece that has broken off will need to be carefully removed after the top has come off.

You can see in the circled area above, is the largest area in need of touching up. The rest of the violin also needs touch ups to various degrees. Major touch ups like this are some of the more time consuming repairs that are done.

Below is an image of the violin after the top has been removed and the small piece separated from the block. The next steps are to cut back the linings, re-glue the rib, and reinforce it from behind. Stay posted for further updates on this repair as it progresses.