Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sweeping up

Took the top off a fiddle today, and then used a brush to clean up some of the dust and debris that had accumulated through the f-holes over the years. This one wasn't particularly dirty, and I threw away the little hairball before I thought to take the photo.

Many players express surprise when they find out how much 'stuff' is inside their fiddles. Hair, rosin, and dust is common in normal fiddles. Sometimes if the fiddle has been neglected, you can find a wasp nest -- pretty exciting that can be!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Contempt for their product.

Another in the soundpost series -- an example of why it's not a good idea to simply give a quote for standing a soundpost. This one came out of a violin-shaped object. I had quoted them the price for a new soundpost, because I guessed that I wouldn't want to use what was bouncing around inside. There's something about the way this one was cut symbolizes the contempt with which many of these cheap Chinese vso's are made. Not even an effort at cutting a bevel. One should see smooth bevels that match the inner surface (top and bottom) of the the instrument. This one was simply crimped off, partially, then broken off the rest of the way.

But, hey, they're affordable!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quickly hewed pegbox

In the shop today, I was setting-up a ca. 1900 factory fiddle, with the usual integral bass-bar and no corner blocks, for a customer. While fitting pegs, I noticed this one had quite a rough gouged bottom to its pegbox as well.

Here's a closer view, at slightly different lighting.

Thought it was an interesting comparison to a more recent factory fiddle with its milled pegbox. Quick work with a gouge vs. quick work with a milling machine.

The blog post on this milled pegbox is here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Alternate methods of fitting a soundpost.

Consider, if you will, this soundpost removed from a customer's violin. The method of fitting: chew off the end of a stick, build it up with putty, then sand to the appropriate bevel. When inserting in the violin, add a dab of hide glue to the ends.

These are just some of the things they won't teach you in violin-repair courses.

Flashed view of the putty-end soundpost, to show a different contrast.

As interesting as this one was, I replaced it with a more traditional soundpost, one without putty or glue on the ends.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cheesy Pop Song

Well, I have to brag a little. My son, Roger, had a tune accepted by Rock Band. It's been selling copies, and just got a nice write-up in the Rock Band Network Highlights.

His tune can be seen in his original video, Cheesy Pop Song, on YouTube.

Pretty cool.