Sonyia's Violin
Stainer Copy
Circa 1920s

My buddy Mark Rubin brought me by a couple of "Fixer upper" Violins.
One Stainer copy, 1920s, one Maggini copy, 1920s
  I asked my daughter Sonyia which one she wanted and she said "The Striped one"
That means  the Jacobus clone, so I named him "Jake"
Jake Stainer just sounds all macho, like some Oil Driller :)

I will fix all the new top cracks, re-fix a couple old ones, seal up anything that needs it.
Then give it a new finish and set up with modern hardware.

Cracks repaired, top sealed back down on a couple corners, going well

Now I have things block sanded back to profile, for a smoother final outcome

Finish choice is "Honey Amber", with "Dark reddish brown"
That will subdue the old battle scars
I will use fine wool to satinize the finish, and add back in some patina

Stripping the old varnish from back and sides

All scuffed and ready for tint

I am going dark edges and a light center.
The tiger stripes will still "pop" but when you shoot pics, they are like a Tiger Eye stone, and you cannot see them as well from this angle.

Final finish coat applied alongside another pet project.
It can cure a few days, and then I will get it buffed out and begin the setup

It started as an ugly 60s  Asian Import Mandolute clone, that I am bound and determine to turn into something interesting!
After removing its hideous finish, I have dressed it up with some creative nuances and added a nice lacquer finish.

It always looks too shiny, until the buffing is completed.

After fingerboard planing, taking the rest down with a straight bar and chalk
A few "lows" left, almost there

Some oil for the board, and then a polish will be next

Taking all the sheen down with 0000 wool, I will buff it back to high shine and add back in a little patina, then satin the finish with wool again


Now that the parts are here, I will begin the setup

Now to ream the peg box and shape the new pegs, and then get on with the setup

Tapering done

Warming up on some old pegs, the new ones are ebony and oversize so it will take quite a bit of tapering

That was the amount needed to get to proper depth

Using my cordless to facilitate quicker removal until I get cloe, then I will finsh by hand

I will grind that overburden up for ebony dust repair powder
Now to cut the ends.

Fingerboard planed and then smoothed, wooled and oiled.
I will go with 0000 fine wool again on the finish and knock it to satin, knock a little off the edges here and there for patina.
I do not like a new look on vintage stuff.
That way she will not be scared to get a scratch on it :):).


Miles is clean... and ready to get down and dirty with it.
His Momma got me that bridge foot coutour tool for my birthday
Works like a charm.

I took a new bridge and cut it to the correct dimensions and arch.
Then I cut a new sound post and set it.
I have done them on Basses, but this one took me a while to get it right and to learn the tricks of the smaller tooling
After I was done, I sat down and ordered another 100.00 worth of tools.:)

OK, cutting to the chase,
Into the setup, things are getting close to the parameters needed.
Ebony Chin rest, Hun Shoulder rest installed
Pegs lubed and strung to pitch.
Fine tuners are working as they should
I will stop here for now and watch a few more YT's on fine tuning.
That way it can settle in and get used to being a fiddle again
When you know as little as I do, you go to people that have spent the time to show you everything you need to know.
Thank them when they teach you something.


Change fingerboard projection
After all the work I noticed something I should have seen in the beginning and that is the angle was low
When I cut the bridge I saw it
Oh well, price of learning,
will reverse it all and go back , reset the neck, and redo old repairs inside, and then a lighter finish.

Neck block is loose for one thing, that affected the projection and when it was under tension it showed it's face.

Came right out with the neck

All cleaned and back in tight

The Stainer has full corner blocks, well made.

Top cleaned for new cloth repairs

A reddish fade  this time

Clamping off the board
Projection is 27.5 mm now.

on the left.. not a severe fade, to show more stripes.

2nd Setup

All buffed, fingerboard radius'ed chinrest buffed to high shine.
New nut and saddle
I buffed some new patina back into the edges again, I do not like a new look.
Old bridge, strings now on fingerboard, thats a good thing!

Time to cut a new bridge and check tailpiece length to bridge, to see if the tail gut needs mod's

Feet done, now the arch

Tools matter.
Nut spaced Arch done, strings marked

String height now at optimum on both sides. Pleased

Now it is time to shape the bridge and final this baby on out,

After a night of setting in, checking my relief again
Tight on the G side

I will tune it down and do just a hair more on the E side that will get that dip down at the end of the fboard.

Much more volume and timbre, I think when it is dialed on in and opens back up, it will have that tight Stainer sound.