Where to Find Us & Opening Hours
Mon to Fri - 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday - 10 am to 5 pm
26 Smith Street
Tel: +61 (0)3 9417 4930
Two Inches From Total Destruction
As an example of the restoration work we undertake, this violin miraculously escaped total destruction after being run over by a bus.
The wheels of the bus missed the body of the instrument by a hairsbreadth, crushing only the neck and head, which were delivered to us in a small plastic bag!
Although technically possible to piece everything together again, it was felt that the structural strength would have been compromised and so the decision was made to save the original scroll, but replace the pegbox and neck
The scroll, which was also shattered, is carefully pieced together. It is an unusual shape and so normal cramps are of little use. A “creative” use of vices and small wooden wedges apply pressure in the correct places whilst the glue dries.
When the scroll has been reconstructed, we choose a piece of wood which will form the new neck and pegbox. The wood is chosen so that the grain and figure, or “flame”, is similar to that of the scroll. We also look carefully to see which part of the piece of wood was closest to the centre of the tree, which end pointed to the sky and which faced the ground. All of these factors are important in selecting the right piece.
Having made our choice, the scroll is glued on.
At this stage, to make the piece easier and lighter to handle we cut away much of the waste wood. Then marking out begins…
With the marking out complete, the cutting and shaping begins. This is carried out with chisels and gouges in just the same way that a new violin would be made. This type of work is called “reductive carving” and we basically cut off all the bits of wood that are not a violin neck and pegbox.When this is complete, a new fingerboard is made from fine quality ebony and glued into place.
The new neck is then fitted back onto the body of the violin. All that remains is to varnish the new wood, taking care to ensure that it blends well with the existing colours and that it looks approximately the same age as the rest of the instrument.