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Need help restoring the back of a violin.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Radio Kaos 64, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. Radio Kaos 64

    Radio Kaos 64

    Oct 15, 2003
    Ok guys, I have a question for you. I recently purchased a violin from a friend for the princely sum of 5 dollars. It came in a box of parts, and has everything nessescary to get it up and running. One small problem.

    <img src="img.photobucket.com/album...viola.jpg" alt="Image hosted by Photobucket.com">


    The entire back is seperated at the seam, and is simply WAY seperated at the middle of the body. The body's integrity is holding, as I can put quite a bit of pressure on it. I can push it closed, so I know it can be glued. The questions are

    A, What kind of glue to use?
    B, what and where do I clamp this down?

    Any help from anyone on the subject would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks guys,
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    First, your image didn't work. But, by the description, you would want a glue that would not come apart. Good titebond would probably do the trick. It tends to pull the two pieces together as it cures anyways. I do know that hide glue is usually used for body parts that they want to be able to remove with heat later, but I don't think the back seam would be a place for this.
  3. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    Picture isn't working but the short answer is: take it to a qualified violin shop. The correct way to repair this involves removing the top of the instrument and the use of specialized tools, and is beyond the scope of instruction via internet forum. Whatever you do, don't use Titebond on it (sorry Trevorus). All Titebond will do is make it impossible to fix correctly later on.
  4. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    Could you describe a situatoin where you would want the glue to come apart? But anyways, TB is right with this one, this isn't he kind of think to be fixed at home. But then again this is a $5 violin, so if you ever wanted to learn anything about how violins are constructed, this would be a good candidate to mess with. At the risk of upsetting whoever you planned to give the violin too. But the bottom line is, if you want it fixed right take it to a pro. Titebonding this thing back together from the outside with a few clamps would be like duct taping the door closed on your ferrari.

    Also, do violins have soundposts like DB's? if so it is probably long gone, out of place, or flopping around in there.
  5. Radio Kaos 64

    Radio Kaos 64

    Oct 15, 2003
    I had my way with it with a hunting knife, a lighter, a large hammer and some tite-bond.


    ....that is, after all the cracks I made in the top are fixed.

  6. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    was that a joke, or for real...?
  7. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Well, what I was thinking is that the stripe between the two pieces on the back should not come apart. But the entire piece by itself should be able to come apart from the ribs. This is where hide glue is used. But, I am not really familiar with working on violins, so TB is right. Take it to someone qualified, unless it's really a cheapie.
  8. M_A_T_T


    Mar 4, 2004
    I was given a violin where someone had just poured wood glue into the crack, not even bothering to close the joint properly. :rollno: It was just a low-end chinese so I didn't bother to try and fix it...I ended up cutting it in half to make a "construction display" violin. :cool:

    Yes they do have a soundpost, and they're a HECK of a lot easier to fit!
  9. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    "Could you describe a situatoin where you would want the glue to come apart? "

    Gluing fingerboards :D