Friday, February 19, 2010

Watching varnish dry.

Varnishing is slow work this time of year. I really need to build an artificial Italy, a UV light box, but I haven't yet. So I let the varnish dry with whatever exposure to the sun I can get, often through the glass door -- minimal at best. This morning, the sun is out, the temperature is above freezing, just, and I have a little sheltered spot to catch a few rays.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Medieval fiddle and old antiquing

Below shows the back cut out, ready to be glued to the ribs. I left the two bar-code stickers (Zebras) in place, so that future generations may know that this wood came from the shelves at Woodcraft! :-)


I removed the rib garland from the mould, harder than it should have been. Next time, if I use this mould again, I need to allow more room on the sides of the blocks to wiggle the mould out. I had assumed that it would be fairly straight-forward with those big floppy sides, but it wasn't. After I got the mould out, I cleaned up and shaped the blocks, neck and end, and glued the ribs to the back. Quite the assortment of motley clamps here.


Below is an inexpensive early 20th century violin, in for repair. A family instrument with significant sentimental value, it is roughly carved, integral bass bar, fake lower blocks, no upper blocks. And yet, at the factory they stained the inside during construction to make it appear older through the f-holes of the finished instrument. The light areas on either side of the end-block are where the stain is lacking (also along the upper treble lining), while the stain shows on the end-block's lower end.


The photos below show the fake lower blocks, which look real when seen through the f-holes, and the absence of even a fake blocks on the upper corner, which is harder to see through the f-hole when assembled. This one does have linings top and bottom all the way around. Note also the Stradiuarius label.



I applied the first coat of colored varnish on my conventional violin today, but it looked too pink and spotchy. Was supposed to be a red-brown. I wiped it off in disgust, and will try a brown coat tomorrow.