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cleaning tight cracks

 
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Mat Roop
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Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 839
Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:53 pm    Post subject: cleaning tight cracks Reply with quote

I have a violin that has the back seam separating (previously repaired in the 60"s) the separation is about 4" long but the seam is tight at the tail block and at the center. Tough to open the crack for cleaning, so I plan to soak it with the ammonia solution, work the open part from the inside with a fine brush and blow out the dirt.... several times. I am anticipating that the crack will pull together with good hide glue and at the same time wetting the wood either side of the seam to help expand the wood to counter past shrinkage.

Good/ bad idea??? suggestions??
Cheers... Mat
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Michael Darnton
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Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't use ammonia--that will change the wood, in a bad way. Use, instead, distilled water, hot. Just keep pumping as much as you can to get the water through. For both washing and gluing I use a small suction cup to pump liquid through the crack, rather than using my dirty finger. That works well enough when the crack is tight.

Distilled or deionized water has a special hunger for dirt, on a chemical level, so it's not necessary to abrade anything and make things worse by damaging the surfaces. Don't rub with a brush or worse--let the constant refreshing and flow of the water do the job. Just keep pumping and adding fresh, clean water. Finish with a wash of hydrogen peroxide, which is a weak bleach. That should be enough.

You should avoid rubbing the joint. Any disturbance of the wood fibers makes it more difficult to glue the crack tightly enough to make it go away.
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Rick M
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Joined: 18 Sep 2016
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Location: Okotoks, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael, is the peroxide to deal with discolouration from oxidation or ??
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Michael Darnton
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes and yes. It brightens the wood a bit and does the last bit of cleaning.

I have never seen a crack that was too clean.
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Mat Roop
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Joined: 24 Mar 2007
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Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

while we are on the subject, I see that there is an article in The IPCI book entitled "Cleaning instruments Using Methyl Cellulose and Deionized Water" by David Polstein.
I've ordered a copy of that article from the library... don't Know if they'll actually copy it for me... we'll see.

.. cheers, Mat
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Cliff Green
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,
What type of suction cup are you using?
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Michael Darnton
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a suction cup that came with tiny bayonet spotlight bulbs at Ikea. One sticks it on the front of the bulb to handle it putting it into the fixture. It's about 35mm in diameter.

The peroxide I use comes from Sally Beauty Supply. I think it's 40 strength---that's strong, and if you get it on your hands, it will burn.
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