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No corner blocks & Paganini stamp ??
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Rick M
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Joined: 18 Sep 2016
Posts: 51
Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:37 pm    Post subject: No corner blocks & Paganini stamp ?? Reply with quote

I've been reading through the posts here for the last few months (lurking?!?), really an impressive amount of information sharing!

I've just gotten a violin, that I assume(d) is one of the German factory made versions that you folks have talked about a bit. This one is unlabeled, other than a Paganini stamp under the button on the back.

What makes it a little unusual (in my very limited experience that is) is that it has no corner blocks and no neck block. I've read a little about the outside mould construction but was most surprised by the neck. Instead of any block, the neck is slotted and the ribs inserted and glued.

Although the construction is pretty poor (rough inside, bass bar carved with top, uneven thickness on plates etc.) the wood is pretty nice. Nicely flamed maple back and the top is very tight grained spruce.

I'm curious if these features point to a particular region or to a time frame of manufacture. Any clues appreciated!
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Mat Roop
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Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 854
Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rick... I am not qualified to give provenance information, but to me it is not unusual at all.... This sounds like it is a basic bottom line eastern europe (saxon) mass produced "thruneck" fiddle from the 17/1800's. Basic because it has no corner blocks... but then I understand some high end fiddles were also made with no corner blocks, but then the rough workmanship would likely rule out a valuable instrument.... etc etc etc.
Posting some good pics will help others chime in.

Here is a good start ... 3rd post in....
http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/326351-dilemma-verleger-mittenwald-or-dutzendarbeit/

Cheers, Mat
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Rick M
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Joined: 18 Sep 2016
Posts: 51
Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, here goes nothin'

https://www.flickr.com/photos/147670677@N08/shares/g72517

Mechanical tuners had been added somewhere during it's life

https://www.flickr.com/photos/147670677@N08/shares/3G450K

Corners - the tips of the rib corners do come almost even with the corners on the plates

https://www.flickr.com/photos/147670677@N08/shares/1e5372

https://www.flickr.com/photos/147670677@N08/shares/1Xo94j
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Rick M
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Joined: 18 Sep 2016
Posts: 51
Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Appear to have done something wrong with the pics.

Mat, thanks for the response.

Very interesting piece on m-net. One item in particular that caught my eye is the mention of the purfling channel being too deep. That's evident in this one and the edge needs some work in a couple of places because of it.
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Dave Chandler
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Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 691
Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick,
I think you need to have a minimum 10 postings before you can load up photos. i've taken the liberty to post these for you. Did you notice the wedges inserted to tighten the rib ends into the slots in the neck? I've rebuilt one of these fiddles because it had a broken neck, and I replaced the neck using a traditional neck block.

[img]IMG_2244 by Rick Milliken, on Flickr[/img]
[img]IMG_2245 by Rick Milliken, on Flickr[/img]
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Michael Darnton
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1136
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick, your links went to pages, not to photos, which is why they wouldn't show. A valid picture link will end with .jpg, and there are a couple of ways to get a photo link in flickr, by right clicking on the image itself, or using the share arrow to get a link to the photo.

I have edited the post so that the links show to the pages you reference.

Not to insult, but to name, in fine violin terms, yours falls into the junker class, where every unnecessary step that's an impediment to getting product out the door is skipped.
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Mat Roop
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Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the positive side, its a great opportunity to learn about provenance... and repair... assuming you will be doing the work:)
Keep the questions coming!... Cheers, Mat
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Michael Darnton
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another detail that tags this one is that the bass bar is not made separate and glued on, but just left there standing when the top is graduated around it.
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Rick M
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Joined: 18 Sep 2016
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Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, very useful.

I should have been clear at the outset. This is absolutely a learning project, no expectations other than a hope that I can put it back it good enough shape to make sounds resembling a violin.

One of the regular contributors wrote in a post a while ago - paraphrased - a good way to learn how to do repairs is to buy some junk instruments and try to make them playable. Seemed like a pretty good approach so that's what I've been doing and this is one of them.

So, Dave & Michael - thanks for the assist with the photos

Dave, yes little wedges in the bottoms of the slots on the neck

Michael, right again on the bass bar. Poorly carved plate, too, left rough and thickness very uneven. I get your point about getting it out the door.

Because it's a learning project for me I'll do some things that wouldn't be economical for you guys that do it for a living. Certainly, as Dave mentioned, fashion a neck block for it or replace the neck altogether.

A question though, is there structural value (or sound quality value) in working on reinforcing the corners?
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Michael Darnton
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't have to fix the corners. I would probably leave the neck alone, and spend my time on making sure the graduations were in the ballpark, and make a new bass bar. Then a new fingerboard if it needs one, and a good set up. It shouldn't sound too bad after that. These aren't really horrible violins, except for the things they skipped that you can fix.

I would fix the neck too, but that might be beyond what you want to or can do--making a new upper block, shaping the bottom of the neck, then resetting it.
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Mat Roop
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Joined: 24 Mar 2007
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Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to leave the thru necks as they are... but you need to verify that it is lined up exactly along the center of the body ( often they are not), and hopefully that will line up with the end pin... if not you may need to move the end pin or adjust the neck
As Michael said the parts that are a must is verifying the thicknesses and regraduating the top if necessary, and carving out the bass bar & replacing it.
Often the tops can be thin in places, and in these cases I tend to just do an averaging leaving some areas thicker. The results are generally quite good:)
Another variation that is common is that the stop lengths are not quite right, so you will need to assess that as well.
....Cheers, Mat
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Rick M
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Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took a little time, but finally an update.

Your comments and advice on the plate graduations was all spot on. A few very thin places, and a bunch of thick places too, both top and back. There were places where I took off 2-3mm and in places a little more.

I also took off the carved in place bass bar and fitted a new one. Also added some cleats to reinforce the cracked spot.



I fashioned a new neck block, and added a couple of mm at the base of the neck heel. I didn't post a picture of it earlier, but the original state included an odd shim between the finger board and the neck. The overstand was still pretty low, but with the shim removed it needed some more attention.

As Mat mentioned, the neck was not very well aligned, so that came into play too

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Rick M
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Joined: 18 Sep 2016
Posts: 51
Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other project that I would have blown the estimate on was repairing the pegbox. I had seen another post here some time ago where one of you had done a "cheek" repair (not sure of the correct term here). The violin came with a set of (really ugly) mechanical tuners.



I knew it would be a difficult fix, but have to confess that it was tougher than I expected, though as I said this one is all about learning so........





The first side, took time, but went fairly smoothly, this side took a couple of attempts to get piece fitted.

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kjb
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice work
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ollieken
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Joined: 26 Mar 2007
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Location: New Brunswick Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:56 pm    Post subject: old fiddle Reply with quote

Hello Rick
I have a Stainer fiddle that is just what you have . The neck was broken off & ribs in the neck no corner blocks high top. Michale Darnton told me how fix it that was a long long time ago It did not sound too bad
after the fix . A few years later I looked at it & a huge crack in the top
I made another top but never put it on I will get to it someday time flies eh . Nice work on your fiddle ken
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