Monday, December 31, 2007

American Fiddle Repair

Here is an American fiddle that I am currently working on. I have been working on it for a while actually. It has substantial damage, parts missing, pieces of ribs missing, a VERY unusual neck block, and a neck that has been grafted not once -- but twice! Here are a few pictures for you to take a look at.

This first picture shows the lining being glued back into the fiddle. This fiddle has the darkest color of hide glue that I have ever seen...and lots of it. I guess someone was afraid that it would come unglued (and indeed it did even after all of that glue!). I actually removed quite a bit of extra dried up glue.

These pictures show the neck block with the neck in place. This is before I disassembled everything to fix it.

These last three pictures show the process of adding in a piece of missing rib. The varnishing has not been completed, but you can see that it is getting close to the right color now.


Keith Rowell said...

thanks a million for the great photos and descriptions of your fiddle repair. I'm intrested in learning fiddle repair and would greatly appreciate any guidance or reference you might be willing to provide.

I've only just begun to take the backs off of two old fiddles. I'm guessing they don't have hide glue because the hot wet knife method isn't making much of an impact. After injecting the seam with alcohol we had some limited success with a hammer and knife.

Thanks in advance for your time.

want to learn more...

keith rowell

Chris Talley said...

Keith - Don't ever use alcohol on a fiddle. It can act exactly like stripper on some kinds of varnish or shellac. I encourage you to take some classes on fiddle repair. There are several good schools that offer summer programs for one or two weeks. This way you'll get good guidance and not just any person's comments or ideas off the internet. I think you would really enjoy something like this!