I believe in saving old well-played instruments. It started with woodwork at a young age, Matchbox derby in Cub Scouts, learning furniture refinishing while working in summer stock theater. Moved on to automotive restoration, then home restoration and furniture design. I found my way back to my passion for music in restoring old instruments. I wanted to pick up the cello as an interest, and my first used instrument arrived broken, which led me to many hours of research. This process continues to this day and, over many years, into the techniques applied to instrument creation and repair.
There are many takes on best practices. I try to take a little from each perspective and use what I believe necessary, bringing life back into what I consider a work of art. Some artist took the time to craft the piece, and I feel I am contributing to the process by bringing them back to the best possible outcome.
It has always been my position that the vibration of usage lends itself to the character of an instrument, that the age of the wood colors the sound and tambour. So I look for instruments that have been held by a family over the years. Some have been in ongoing usage; others have been stored in closets, attics, basements, and even barns. You never know the path the instrument might have taken. I purposely seek older instruments that need care.
Repair any cracks. Update the neck, and replace it if necessary. Fingerboards are upgraded when appropriate (Carbon fiber).
Replace and or upgrade the Tuning pegs (Planetary geared), Tailpieces, Bridge, Nut, and Sound post when warranted.
I take the time to apply a french polish finish enhancing the patina of the instrument. It takes more time, but I believe it to be worth the outcome.
Setting up the instrument:
I find the best shape and placement of the Nut, Bridge, Sound post, and Tailpiece through test and trial. I seek to deliver the best sound quality and playability of the particular instrument. All adding to its tone, projection, and balance.
I am not out seeking million-dollar pieces.
I hope I give life to affordable quality instruments and bring them back into the world to be enjoyed by both the artist and the audience for years to come.
Crack Repair :
Here is a fine example of a few generations in crack repairs.
The darker cross grain patch being the oldest, and light being the newest, as well a couple of older cloth patch reinforcements.
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