Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Violin Bass Bar Repair: Open Heart Surgery at your Local Violin Shop

As I'm busy upstairs filling out online orders, the guys keep working on repairs downstairs. Openings and seams of instruments are the norm with the cold winter weather but the amount and frequency of these instruments checking in made the place seem like a hospital ward. I became the receptionist/nurse that had to quickly diagnose or take information from the visitors. The downstairs benches became bed space for any who were admitted.

I got a chance to head down and see what the "doctors" were up to. While the cellos were all waiting in line, a big open heart surgery of a violin's bass bar was in progress. I snapped a few shots of the inside to to find that the back has to be patched a number of times from previous repairs. Not only that, the top also had some open seams that needed to be closed. The inside of this thing was really a mess and the sound post was chewed up. But the biggest problem was carving a new bass bar so it would match the top.

Alex first has to start out with a block of spruce and plane it out.
Then, he has to use a smaller finger plane to get the curvature of the bass bar lined up with the top.
The bass bar in its correct position.

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