I already own two violin size sound post setting tools which I purchased online. The other day I was setting a sound post in a less than full size instrument and I got the feeling I was stretching the limits of the tool. I got the post set successfully, but it entered my mind that a smaller tool might be handy for if I should have to work on a 1/4 size violin or smaller someday. So today I went down into my woodshop, took a piece of 1/4 iinch flat brass and went to work with the grinde...
This poor cello had a slit in its face and part of its top had separated from the ribs. Today I felt confident enough to try repairing it. It is curing until I get to work tomorrow.
You might not realize this, but all musical instruments occasionally need maintenance. Brass instruments may need a new spring in the valves, pianos might need new felt on the hammers, or a woodwind may need new cork on the stops covering the holes. For the string instruments probably the most frequent maintenance is rehairing of the bow. The horsehair actually wears out from use and an unused bow, kept in its case may succumb to an infection of bow bugs that break the hairs off. Part ...
It stands to reason that if I need bridge jigs for a cello, [link 1] [link 2] I’ll need bridge jigs for a violin as well. I made these out of some scrap wood. The bridge fitting jig (on the right above) was made from oak. The string jack/lifter is from poplar. I made the blank for it at the time I made the blank for the cello string lifter. Brass hardware gives a tiny touch of class to jigs which are very utilitarian. I finished the string lifter with golden oak stain and th...
The rumors of my demise have been exaggerated. Between starting to learn this new job, mostly from home, and running my daughter back and forth to concert rehearsals, I’ve had little time to do much aside from gearing up to repair instruments. Which brings me to the title of this post. Right now these tools are living in a shoebox, both the ones I’m using and the ones I anticipate needing in the future. I’ve been thinking about what kind of tool box I could build to house...
This is a device that lifts the strings off of the bridge of a musical instrument so that the bridge can be removed during the fitting/adjustment process. I think i first saw one of these in a video on YouTube. After looking it up, I decided it was definitely something I could make. It’s basically a thick bridge, this one is for a 3/4 cello, which has a top piece which lifts with the assistance of a screw. The top piece runs on guides. The commercial products run in slides on the si...
I made these in anticipation of someday being tasked to repair cracks in violins. I made them from a, (or a few) Pend-A-flex hanger frames (one is shown above framing the three clamps.) The U-shaped part is threaded on both ends, while the straight bar has a threadable through hole in each end. I simply bent the frames into a C shape as small as possible on my machinists vise and fit either a 1/4 inch bolt or a #10 bolt in an appropriate hole. The smallest of the three I had to flatted th...
My first hair gauge [link] wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be so I kept an upgrade in the back of my head. The other night I spotted this string gauge [Below] and it inspired me to make something extremely similar to measure bow hair. I made this new hair gauge using brass strip 1/2 inch wide and about 2 inches long. I used a wood coffee stirer to space them apart about 1/16 of an inch and soldered a brass cleat along one edge on both sides. Then I cleaned it up with my benc...
won’t make this a regular thing, but I wanted to post this first one. This is a 3/4 size violin with a beak in the tuning peg box. The break was clean and simple to fix with glue. Epoxy was used because the break line went Right through a tuning peg hole. One clamp held everything perfectly in place while the glue cured. Just reiterating that these are student rental instruments. The idea is o keep them playable. In this case the repair is nearly invisible, but this will not al...
I think today I could mark as when I entered an ‘apprenticeship’ as an ‘Orchestral Instrument Repair Technician’. I’m doing piecework as I learn, but the owner of the shop wants me to be stationed there eventually. It’s better for business. I’ve got a steep learning curve ahead of me. the better and faster I work, the more I get paid. I’m repairing student rental instruments, so they aren’t going to be ‘restored’ to showr...
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