Finishing the Finish

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Finishing the Finish

Color Coats

When I last posted, I had only the yellow, base coats of varnish in place, so the violin looked like this:

Yellow Varnish
Yellow varnish


I added a rapid series of color coats; very thin, deeply-tinted varnish, and then it looked like this:

Color coat front
Color coat, front; emulating the wear patterns on the original 1715 “Titian” Stradivarius violin.


Color Coat, Back.
Color coat, back. Sorry for the poor quality photo…I used the zoom on my phone. Bad choice.


After that coat was good and dry, I continued to build the color in the areas that needed more, and trying to leave it appropriately light in the areas where the Old Master instrument had the most severe wear. I also noticed that there was a “bump”–a ridge in the spruce, near the purfling, which I had not been able to see in the clean, fresh wood, but which, under a reflective layer, became quite apparent. (Sigh...) So, I used a sharp scraper to bring the ridge down flat, and then began rebuilding the varnish layers to match the rest of the area.

Corrective “surgery”…removed a ridge in the spruce that I had missed earlier. Rebuilding the varnish, now.


The back was looking pretty nice, though:

Back nearly complete.
Back nearly complete.


And, today, I installed the soundpost, and then applied two coats of clear varnish. Afterward, I installed the end-pin, the tuning pegs, and the fingerboard. Here it is with the clamps still in place.

End-pin, fingerboard and pegs installed
End-pin, fingerboard and pegs installed; pegs still need to be trimmed to length.


Endpin couldn’t be seem in the previous photo…here it is.


Violin front, prior to set-up
Violin front, prior to set-up.


Violin back, prior to set-up.
Violin back, prior to set-up.


So: That’s as far as I got, today. Next time; the saddle, the nut and final set-up. This violin is nearly completed!


Thanks for looking.

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