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 Violin varnish touch up

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fiddlefire

United States
42 posts
since 1/5/10

03/17/2017 13:16:17 View fiddlefire's Photo Albums View fiddlefire's Blog Reply with Quote

Hi there I am restoring a fiddle and the top was a victim of neck fell off and they glued the finger board to the violin top. ugh! So anyway the top is the only part that the varnish is very rough. Do I re varnish and by doing so do I take off the old varnish and start over?? If so, what is the best way of doing this? Any thoughts or advise would be great. I'm new to varnishing by the way.

As requested, here are some pictures. It is a very light vanish. The top needed to be sanded because of damage don bt the glue.  



Edited by - fiddlefire on 03/19/2017 02:43:35

Rowdy

United States
23 posts since 10/16/16

03/17/2017 15:12:55View Rowdy's MP3 Archive View Rowdy's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

A couple of close-up photos of what you're starting with would give us a context for suggestions.

Any idea what kind of glue they used for the initial repair?

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kjb

United States
432 posts since 6/8/13

03/18/2017 04:51:44 View kjb's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Like Rowdy said, if you can figure out what kind of glue used is a good idea.

    try a little warm soapy water with a soft cloth on a small area , Maybe under where the finger board will hide. and see if the glue softens and comes up.

  Alcohol will ruin most violin finishes so be very careful of thinking about using that. Or any kind of other chemical that might come to mind.

 

pics would be good, varnishing is an art in itself, touch up is even harder, than a complete varnish to make it match.  

  If it is a very dark color its easier to touch up.  doing a top and trying to match it with the rest of the violin can be a challenge.

 

 

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fiddlefire

United States
42 posts since 1/5/10

03/18/2017 14:52:42 View fiddlefire's Photo Albums View fiddlefire's Blog Reply with Quote

quote: Hey there all. I appreciate the quick response. This violin is completely in pieces and I am putting it back together. I can eventually put up pictures. I'm not sure at this point if previously used glue would be an issue and couldn't begin to tell you what was used. Correct me if I am wrong. I am getting in to more abrasive violin repairs and thought that this one would be good practice for me. Like I said the finger board was glued to the top and would need to be re varnished. There will be hide glue questions coming up. I am old and new to this site. Joined in 2010 and disappeared for a couple of years and glad to talk to some good fiddle folk again. I will get up some pictures.  
Originally posted by Rowdy
 

A couple of close-up photos of what you're starting with would give us a context for suggestions.

Any idea what kind of glue they used for the initial repair?


 

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FiddleDoug

United States
790 posts since 1/25/08

03/19/2017 06:24:26 View FiddleDoug's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Retouching is the last thing that you should be worrying about. What you're doing is a really advanced restoration. Getting everything put back together, with all the correct dimensions, and angles is you're first problem. After you get it back together, string it up, ind see how it is. After that, you can worry about the varnish. A real Master at retouching once told me "The only thing more difficult than retouching, is selling the damn fiddle!" I've done two retouching workshops with him, and am still humbled by my efforts compared to his skills.

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kjb

United States
432 posts since 6/8/13

03/19/2017 08:55:27 View kjb's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

Hey john I just put 2 an 2 together, we played together in berlin, at different times. send me a pm and I can help you out with your adventure if you are interested, kevin brennan 

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fiddlefire

United States
42 posts since 1/5/10

03/19/2017 12:55:48 View fiddlefire's Photo Albums View fiddlefire's Blog Reply with Quote

quote: Hey Kevin, I remember you. Your band was called the Knuckleheads??? Am I right? I will email you my Info. It would be cool to chat!
Originally posted by kjb
 

Hey john I just put 2 an 2 together, we played together in berlin, at different times. send me a pm and I can help you out with your adventure if you are interested, kevin brennan 


 

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fiddlefire

United States
42 posts since 1/5/10

03/19/2017 13:16:53 View fiddlefire's Photo Albums View fiddlefire's Blog Reply with Quote

quote:Hi there Doug, I appreciate the insight on this. Yes my full intentions are to set the fiddle up first. This was given to me by an old friend who has since passed away. I have been doing luthier work for about 10 years now. Nothing major such as reattaching finger boards, sound posts, carving and installing nuts and saddles, bridge carving and set up. Minor stuff. I wanted to get into more advanced work. I'm very experienced at wood working for a lot of years. I have had a few projects laying around such as this one. This violin was a strad copy of millions and not built the greatest. A good one to start with. I have invested in a bunch of luthier tools years ago. I was in a condo back then with not a lot of room so it limited  my capabilities. I purchased a home since then with lots more room to play around with. I just started doing bow re-hairing and got off to a good start. The varnish deal is down the road a ways but since I had to sand the top of this fiddle, varnishing was on my mind. I will be looking to this sight to gain information and idea's and responses like yours are much appreciated. Thank you so much for your insight! There will be more to come.
Happy Fiddlin!
Originally posted by FiddleDoug
 

Retouching is the last thing that you should be worrying about. What you're doing is a really advanced restoration. Getting everything put back together, with all the correct dimensions, and angles is you're first problem. After you get it back together, string it up, ind see how it is. After that, you can worry about the varnish. A real Master at retouching once told me "The only thing more difficult than retouching, is selling the damn fiddle!" I've done two retouching workshops with him, and am still humbled by my efforts compared to his skills.


 

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Rowdy

United States
23 posts since 10/16/16

03/22/2017 09:44:07View Rowdy's MP3 Archive View Rowdy's Photo Albums Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by fiddlefire
 

Hi there I am restoring a fiddle and the top was a victim of neck fell off and they glued the finger board to the violin top. ugh! So anyway the top is the only part that the varnish is very rough. Do I re varnish and by doing so do I take off the old varnish and start over?? If so, what is the best way of doing this? Any thoughts or advise would be great. I'm new to varnishing by the way.

As requested, here are some pictures. It is a very light vanish. The top needed to be sanded because of damage don bt the glue.  


OK, thanks for the pictures, it doesn't look so bad after all.  As already stated, you will want to reassemble the fiddle before varnishing. Regarding your question about re-varnishing or not, I would be tempted not to re-varnish. Most of the damage from the fingerboard fiasco will never be seen once you install a proper neck, and the lighter colored locations from the sanding can be touched up to match the rest of the belly plate. If this were on my bench I'd use a combination of Fiebing oil dye or TransTint to recolor the lighter sanded areas matching the rest of the belly, then follow that with a few coats of your favorite varnish being careful to let the layers dry thoroughly between coats. I'd do the same for the back plate but as it looks consistent color-wise in the photo, I'd only apply the varnish. You will end up with a nice vintage finish rather than a shiny old fiddle. Even though this is a practice project, good practice produces good skills. Rowdy    

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