Aesthetic

One of Mike’s strong skills has become varnish re-touching.  After years of encountering a variety of interesting varnish situations, he has built a solid base which he continues to improve upon through research and practice. Based on budget and time constraints, restoration of unsightly damage to an instrument’s varnish can range from barely noticeable to practically invisible!

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SIMPLE CLEAN & POLISH

Most commonly, we professionally clean and polish instruments. Large amounts of rosin & dirt tend to build up over time, and the proper removal can lead to dramatic improvements in appearance!

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MONTAGNANA RE-TOUCHING

The owner of this nice Montagnana was pleased when we eliminated one small nick in the top of the instrument. The depth of the impacted areas creates special challenges.

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MISSING PURFLING

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SHOULDER REST DAMAGE

Very often damage occurs from the extended use of worn-out shoulder rests. Many layers were required to build up varnish on this one, but the outcome was great!

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OUTLINE DAMAGE

Here is a badly worn outline in the upper treble bout, along with some surrounding varnish wear.

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Another example of outline restoration-

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F-HOLE GRAFT

A small graft for the treble f-hole of a Sebastien Vuillaume violin.

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CORNER REPLACEMENT

We love making unsightly corner damage disappear!

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OIL vs ALCOHOL

While many restorers use only alcohol based materials for varnish touch-up, sometimes the best results are achieved using oils.  Due to lengthy drying times, the instrument may need to remain in our shop for weeks, and even months.

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EXCESSIVE SHOULDER WEAR

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UPPER BOUT DAMAGE

This damaged area was a result of the violin and accessories being improperly stored within the case.

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Heel Touchup After Neck Re-set

We do a lot of neck re-sets, and always try to match the heel piece extension as closely as possible.

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ULTRAVIOLET RE-TOUCHING

On valuable instruments, we insist on having newly re-touched areas match under ultraviolet light. All varnish used in re-touching is made here at our shop, each having distinct ultraviolet properties.

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