Darnton Violins Blog

My Observations (Large and Small) About Violin Making and Restoration

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Making a Top Cast

I recently showed a violin getting a breast patch. Here’s a shot of that same top, prepared for making a plaster cast. The top has been spot tacked to a sheet of plywood, then a sheet of very thin latex stretched over it to protect it.
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A Dutch Job

Usually tops and backs are just glued directly to the ribs and linings, nothing fancy. At various places and times in the past, though, sometimes makers locked the top and back in place.
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A Breast Patch

Sometimes a violin’s arching is vulnerably flat, perhaps the wood is weak, or thin, or a combination of those, and the center under the bridge starts to collapse. Often this is accompanied by the top puffing up under the board and the tailpiece, towards the ends. In such a situation, the arching is first corrected back to the way it…
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unusual satellite soundpost

Another Good Idea!

I can’t remember where I got this soundpost. It speaks for itself. I’m sure there was an idea–perhaps something to do with resonance in the antennae. There have been a few ideas over the last  100 years of putting resonating objects inside of violins
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Logical harmony

Logical Harmony

My French doesn’t really exist: does this label offer a “bar of logical harmony”, while implying perfection? Of course after seeing this label under the (wrong side) f-hole, I pulled the end pin and took a look into the violin through the hole.
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A bunch of dust

What’s Inside?

You are probably slightly aware of something moving around inside your violin, but here’s how it starts, as a mess in some deep corner.
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Cremonese saddle traces

Traces of a Cremonese Saddle

In Cremona, the early makers glued the saddle onto the surface of the rib, extending it directly upwards through the top. These saddles are all gone, but once in a while, as on this beautiful Carlo Bergonzi violin, one gets to see the shadow of what originally was there,
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