“One of the worst areas is that these violins are made of a steel which has an oxidization level which is very low. These metals do not last very long. Even though they may initially be in good condition, they will show signs of this oxidation in the finish.”
What does that mean for you?
“The finish will give off an off-putting grey-ish coloration which I feel is pretty bad for violin playing. It also makes the violin brittle and it will be difficult to play as the wood will not conform to the strings. Also, a wood like maple that does not turn or stain very well will need extra care to keep it pristine. It will need to be cleaned and lacquers applied once it starts to deteriorate.”
There have also been some reports that some of the wood has been stripped to the point that it has deteriorated enough that the skin will become brittle.
“It is possible that a lot of the wood has been treated with something like borax, which is a known carcinogen. It is also possible that the wood has been bleached, in which case it may develop a layer of brown fuzz on it. It may also have been exposed to high temperatures from an open fire. It is also possible that the wood that is being treated is from a wood that was not treated properly. This may be the reason why some violins will show signs of oxidation after decades of use. Another possible reason is that some violins contain pieces that may have been put together with some sort of glue. The glue and the wood may have reacted and made some of the wood oxidize.”
What will happen with the violin?
“The most likely cause is that some of the wood will have been cut at a wrong angle (the string will not have a correct curve for the violin), meaning that the wood grain may also have a different texture which will render it brittle once the time for its final inspection passes. This is especially true if the bow has moved through the entire thickness of the violin. It is most critical that violin makers check their instruments and check these points as well as their equipment before they go to a professional for refinishing or repairs. The owner of my violin says that his instrument has taken a beating over the years but he still plays and plays well. This is not the case for most violins and other violins of this age.”
Are there other tips for getting your instrument back to perfection
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