1899 Wilhelm Duerer violin restoration

Fugly!
Fugly!
Nope, it's not wet. Some nimrod decided to paint it.. Yikes.
Nope, it’s not wet. Some nimrod decided to paint it.. Yikes.
Chemical bath to soften the worst of the finish..
Chemical bath to soften the worst of the finish..

Stripped, scraped, and sanded clean.. I fixed seven cracks in the top alone.

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First attempt at French Polishing..DSCN1140 DSCN1143 DSCN1145

Developing the finish.. I’m still working on it. I mixed shellac from scratch, and am constantly modifying the formula to try to match the scroll and pegbox, which are original. It has been a struggle, but has come a long way.

I had not planned on doing a blog on this project, but here are some random pics to show some of the extensive work I did on this violin. Please excuse the disjointed nature of this blog, it is my first- and I’m trying to get the hang of the software. I will strive to improve on upcoming projects.

Repairing a crackimage

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Neck removed, made repairs to faulty neck block

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I scraped the top crack repair dead flush. This is a common practice, and leaves the wood in better shape for finishing than spot sanding.

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I applied heat and opened up the tail section to realign the tail block and sides. After some careful trimming and fitting, all was reassembled using hot hide glue.image

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I found a hole in the inside corner of the waist.. image

Did some preliminary sanding to the entire bodyimage

Trimmed the sides back to a flush surface, and reglued

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Sanded the new joint level. Looks great.  😉image

Reamed the endpin hole to a tapered hole

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Perfect fit!

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Closed up more open seams

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Sealer coat and rubbed.. Nice, but too yellow..

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Better now!  😉

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Original finish on scroll and pegbox

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After days of finishing work, still unsatisfied. Looks nice, but not consistent with the original character of the violin..

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Back to bare wood on the sides and back.   It’s worth the effort. 😉

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After countless hours of reformulation and experimentation, I am finally bringing the fiddle to an appropriate finish. These flash photos are not retouched, and the finish is still being developed. It has been challenging, but I think the result will justify the effort.

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I think one of my favorite features of this violin is the close placement of the purfling to the edge of the fiddle. It really is exquisite. 😉

Reglued the neck permanently.. Hot hide glue is great stuff!

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Finished up all the picky detail work and final polishing, then assembled and set it up..

 

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