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Carving a chin rest
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L P Reedy
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Joined: 02 Apr 2009
Posts: 243
Location: Brevard, NC

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or leather. I much prefer leather to cork because it has less tendency to stick to the varnish. And the wood of the rest should be shaped to closely fit the edge of the top first. The padding should be just that and should not have to compensate for a bad fit.
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BK
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Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

L P Reedy wrote:
Or leather. I much prefer leather to cork because it has less tendency to stick to the varnish. And the wood of the rest should be shaped to closely fit the edge of the top first. The padding should be just that and should not have to compensate for a bad fit.


Now, if you were to use leather, would you put the skin side on the top plate and the flesh side against the chin rest?

Also, do you use just one piece of leather generally, or maybe two pieces of leather back-to-back?
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L P Reedy
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Location: Brevard, NC

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the orientation I use and just one layer. But stacking it shouldn't hurt. What I'm using now is thin pigskin book covers. I did recently add wood to the bottom of a rest for someone and then used 1/8" thick cowhide because I didn't have his fiddle to fit it to.
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Mat Roop
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Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 828
Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing wrong with leather... but as LP said you will need to shape the chin rest feet to the violin. Place the grain (smooth) side against the varnish because the split side will leave texture indents and even embed small pieces in the varnish.
Cheers, Mat
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BK
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I'll give this a shot.
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BK
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leather worked well.
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Perales
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Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, this is my first real post, so...
What would be the best finish for a chin rest? I am carving a chin rest from the cutoffs from the flamed maple back plate, I want to stain the wood to bring out the flame and also to make it darker in colour, but I suspect violin varnish may not be the best finish for constant skin contact.
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L P Reedy
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Joined: 02 Apr 2009
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Location: Brevard, NC

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You just need a very durable, moisture-resistant finish, mostly to isolate the stain from your skin. I would recommend Formby's Tung Oil Finish. It is a varnish that meets my requirements. I don't coat any chin rests except stained ones, and I haven't made any of those in a long time.
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kubasa
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Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Posts: 192

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The chinrest that I posted on this thread was treated with a tiny drop of mineral oil and rubbed in. That was it. It has held up well against my sandpaper face.

James
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Chet Bishop
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 642
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While we are talking about carving chinrests (I've done it, too), perhaps it would be good to remind folks that not all materials are safe to cuddle against your face. I recall seeing a photograph of a woman who had a chinrest made of cocobolo, and her entire jaw and neck were one raw, weeping mass of sores, due to a reaction to that wood.

Cocobolo is pretty stuff, and very hard, but some people are dangerously allergic to it: I expect that there may be other materials with similar caveats appropriate to the application.
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kubasa
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good point Chet. I know someone who is very allergic to birch. Her skin swells up and she has breathing problem.
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Perales
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Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kubasa wrote:
That's a good point Chet. I know someone who is very allergic to birch. Her skin swells up and she has breathing problem.

Cocobolo, I can understand being problematic, but I am surprised at birch being an issue. I have had reactions to cedar and lacewood, but mostly from working with them, not merely contact. I like the idea of Tung oil for a chinrest finish as it is durable and waterproof (seals well) and should not pose any allergy problems.
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