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  • Borrutje commented on treenerd's instructable "All about the bass" -repair in progress5 months ago
    "All about the bass" -repair in progress

    Right, now I see your bio - you're a cabinet maker. That explains your professionally executed graft. Now that that graft is done in PVA, I would just leave that be, PVA is strong enough, and a well-fitting joint with just a thin layer of glue should not creep either. PVA never really gets hard, and can therefore cause some damping of acoustic vibrations, but again for a thin layer that is not an important issue, and certainly not in the pegbox.Yes I was wondering about the back. It gave the impression of being ply, but I could not quite see. Or maybe there is an extra layer (with PVA?) over the button (that is the connection between the back of the heel and the back plate, where all the screws are, 4th picture). In my mind I had given it the benefit of doubt and assumed it would be a ...see more »Right, now I see your bio - you're a cabinet maker. That explains your professionally executed graft. Now that that graft is done in PVA, I would just leave that be, PVA is strong enough, and a well-fitting joint with just a thin layer of glue should not creep either. PVA never really gets hard, and can therefore cause some damping of acoustic vibrations, but again for a thin layer that is not an important issue, and certainly not in the pegbox.Yes I was wondering about the back. It gave the impression of being ply, but I could not quite see. Or maybe there is an extra layer (with PVA?) over the button (that is the connection between the back of the heel and the back plate, where all the screws are, 4th picture). In my mind I had given it the benefit of doubt and assumed it would be a solid flatback (which are more common). But a long time ago I had a ply flatback as well, also with a solid carved top and ply ribs, just like this one. In fact, it may well have been quite similar to yours, but it was a long time ago and I have no photos. The ply makes it probably a little bit younger, say 1930-1960. Mine came from Hungary, but was not necessarily made there.That top looks quite spectacular indeed, and that deserves to be preserved. An alcohol/shellac based finish is common in these sort of instruments, and I too like my instruments on the lighter side ('blonde' as it is called). Indeed, adding a stain to the final layers reduces translucency & can mask wood structures. On the other hand, entirely without stain can make for too bleak an instrument. You can consider to apply a water-based stain before french polishing; examples of this are attached (no filler was used). I would suggest not to sand all the dents & scratches away, in my mind (and in the mind of many others) it is OK for an instrument that has lived many decades to have some blemishes. It does not need to be new. Furthermore, fillers may impede acoustic performance, and for that reason also best keep your layers thin.Those screws in the back (in the button & in the neck block) are a bit of an abomination, in my mind. But as it is, they are probably required for structural integrity (to withstand the tension of the strings). If you just want to bring the instrument back to working order, you can leave them in, but if you want to improve the instrument, that area requires more attention. But then you are talking about restoration rather than repair, and it is likely to involve replacing the entire back. That is quite a bit of work & exposure, not to be taken lightly, including the bend in the back, and probably purfling (double basses & violins have purfling, no binding), and depending on the wood you choose may cost a bit too. (On the instrument I referred to above I did replace the back for a solid maple one, but without purfling.) Maybe best seen as a later stage upgrade.Though less focussed at double basses, it might also be useful for you to browse maestronet.com & mimf.com.Good luck!

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  • Borrutje commented on treenerd's instructable "All about the bass" -repair in progress5 months ago
    "All about the bass" -repair in progress

    Hi treenerd, From what I've seen so far you are doing a great job in bringing life back to this old guy! I particularly like the pegbox/neck graft you did, though hot hide glue (HHG) is conventionally preferred also for such a repair, over white (PVA) glue. It is particularly important to use HHG for the fingerboard, as it enables future removal. Fingerboards wear.I cannot judge what kind of double bass this is, but it might be a Germanic shop bass from the first half of the 20th century. But it might be something totally different as well; is there a label inside? While the screws used in previous 'repairs' have degraded the value, it can still be a competent instrument. If you would like to know more of its provenance, you could consider to post on talkbass.com (or maybe geba-online.d...see more »Hi treenerd, From what I've seen so far you are doing a great job in bringing life back to this old guy! I particularly like the pegbox/neck graft you did, though hot hide glue (HHG) is conventionally preferred also for such a repair, over white (PVA) glue. It is particularly important to use HHG for the fingerboard, as it enables future removal. Fingerboards wear.I cannot judge what kind of double bass this is, but it might be a Germanic shop bass from the first half of the 20th century. But it might be something totally different as well; is there a label inside? While the screws used in previous 'repairs' have degraded the value, it can still be a competent instrument. If you would like to know more of its provenance, you could consider to post on talkbass.com (or maybe geba-online.de) and you may get more information.If it has not already been done: what varnish are you considering for it? Alcohol/shellac-based, and oil-based are common choices, but it should best match the existing type. Congratulations with your repair, and I would love to see the finished instrument!

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