Just got back from "spring training" in Phoenix. While my beloved Tigers are in Lakeland, we could have watched Cincinnati or Cleveland or any number of teams. But my wife decided we should paint her brother's house. He is somewhat physically challenged and can't do some things so the decision was made the "old guy" could do all the high work. The sun was hot and it was great!
Before we left, my Karl Hofner's tailpiece gut let go and after the explosion I saw the center seam had come slightly unglued. I'm sure I didn't do anything right, but decided to repair it anyway. I cleaned the seam, reglued with hide glue and then decided to semi strip it. Sometime in the last 80 years someone decided to revarnish it. I don't know if they forgot to stir the can or what, but there was this really, really thick goo all over the top and sides. You could literally leave an impression of a finger print in the finish. The back hadn't been touched so I left it alone, but scraped and scraped and scraped some more to get that crud off. It was so filthy under the varnish purfling couldn't be seen until I got the scraping done. I then sanded with 800 grit to try to get down to the original finish. I followed up with 1200 and then 0000 steel wool. I then applied two quite thin coats of wipe on oil varnish to try to add a little life to the fiddle.
I let it dry for a couple weeks while we were in Phoenix. My brother in law is an Electronics Engineer, so I figured he would have every gadget available. I tried to open the FHO site. After I woke up an hour later, he told me he had dial-up! So I had to go without any fiddle fix whatsoever for a week and a half.
Anyway, got back home and put Karl back together. I then read the post here regarding woodworkers thinking they know what they're doing. All I could think is "OMG now I''ve totally screwed it up". But ever since I got it, it had a really dull, subdued tone to it. But now that thing is by far the loudest, clearest fiddle I've got. Besides being totally surprised I was geeked.
Anyway, I guess the motto is "even a blind squirrel gets something or other once in a while" or somethin like that.
The other thing I learned is how fast "old guys" can forget what they learned. A week away from my fiddle and I thought I would have to start over from the beginning. But it's all starting to come back now.5 comments
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