Friday, April 24, 2009
Adventures at SFI
As promised, this is a cursory review of my time here while Betty was going to her Spring Dulcimer Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV.
As I mentioned, I get to spend the week with my friends at SFI (Smakula Fretted Instruments) working on whatever I may have gathered over the winter. This year I didn't collect much so I only had my fiddle to reglue where the top was starting to come loose and an old fiddle bow of mine that had gotten a really bad rehair job several years ago that I decided I'd try to rehair myself.
I forgot to take photos when I glued the top on my fiddle so you'll just have to try to imagine what I'm describing. The top was starting to seperate from the sides at the tailpiece end - almost imperceptible. I don't think I'd have noticed except Bob told me it was. That's a pretty simple repair job - open up the crack enough to be able brush in some hide glue, clean off the excess on the finish, clamp it and let it dry. As I said, I hadn't noticed that the top was coming loose but after I'd glued it back I was amazed at the difference in volume and power it made in the fiddle. I guess when things fade gradually we just don't notice that they have.
I was approaching the bow rehair with some trepidation and without much confidence. I even forgot to start taking photos here until I'd already half prepared the bow hair by tying the tip end, as you see here - - the black mark around the end of the hair near the tip. [Remember, these photos enlarge when you click them.]
This will show the tip and the end of the hair and the wedge to hold it in the tip.
And here is the hair wedged into the tip of the bow -
Next we move to the frog end of the bow -and its hair end tied off -
Unfortunately, here we have another lapse in the photographic record but suffice it to say that the hair is wedged into the frog in somewhat the same manner as at the tip.
The result should be a flat, orderly hair surface with which to contact the fiddle strings, as seen here -
My bow also had a winding end uncovered so I glued a piece of leather over it, again with hide glue -
resulting in this finished product: which turned out much better than I had expected.
A Caveat, however, some people shouldn't be allowed around sharp instruments, unsupervised -
And the annual lunch at Bob's Hot Dogs, just west of Elkins off Rt. 33, where my delicacy was a hotdog garnished with home fries, jalepenos and ramps! Yum!
Tomorrow it's back to Winchester and my dogs!