Repair & Restoration
"Perfection lies in the subtle imperfections. If it looks too perfect, something's been lost in translation," ~ Jim Robinson
We offer Repair and Restoration Services for all Bowed Instruments
Please call for Pricing and Service Availability.
We highly recommend that all repairs be done by a qualified luthier.However, some people enjoy attempting a repair on an inexpensive instrument, and there are some repairs that can be done by the layperson.
So here are some guidelines:
1. Do nothing that is irrevocable or will harm the instrument.
2. Don't try to fix anything unless you know what you are doing.
3. Be prepared to pay a professional to repair your 'fix'.
Fittings are not part of the instrument, so they are fair game for self-repair. You can safely:
glue a cracked tailpiece
put on or remove a fine tuner
tighten, loosen, replace, or move a chinrest
drill a new string hole in a peg
glue a cracked peg
Few non-luthiers use hot hide glue. There is a liquid hide glue on the market, but it is prone to creeping. It is fine to use on the nut, which the strings hold in place, but a fingerboard glued with liquid hide glue may slip. Plan on having it reglued by your luthier eventually.
The instrument itself should be approached with the greatest of caution. Most repairs to the body are best left to a professional luthier. In a pinch, you could glue an open seam (not a crack!) with liquid hide glue. Your luthier will probably have to reglue it, but it will hold for awhile.
1. NEVER use any sort of carpenter's glue or epoxy.
2. Do not attempt to re glue a crack.
3. Do not try to change the neckset.
4. Do not try to ream peg holes unless you have the proper equipment. Pegs are replaceable; the pegbox isn't.
5. It is best to have your luthier check over any repair that you do. A professional luthier has the tools and skills to repair your instrument properly, and the expertise to adjust it for the best possible sound.
How to Avoid Warping Your Bridge
A well-cut bridge can last for years and years, because it won’t play out. You can enhance the life expectancy of your bridge by keeping it from warping, which is caused by the constant tuning of the strings, and which gradually pulls the top of the bridge forward and stretches the wood out of shape. Make sure when you tune that the bridge has not been pulled forward; if it has, brace the body of the instrument with yours and, holding the top of the bridge firmly in both hands, gently pull it back toward you. It should move fairly easily; if it doesn’t, loosen the strings slightly, then pull the top of the bridge back a little further than necessary, so that when you tune it back up to pitch, it will bring the bridge forward to the proper place. A little graphite from a soft pencil put under the strings in the grooves will help. Be sure to place a washcloth or small towel between the tailpiece and the top so that, if the bridge does fall over, the underside of the tuners won’t gouge the top. You should be especially careful when you are replacing strings, particularly if you are putting on a new set, for this is when the bridge can be pulled far out of position. A warped bridge can be straightened, but, like a sprained ankle, it will never be as strong as it was.By James N. McKean