Monday, April 19, 2010
. . . . . actually, Gone Yesterday
Have I ever mentioned how much I love West Virginia? This week is Spring Augusta Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV. It used to be called Spring Dulcimer Week and is the start of our annual music pilgrimages, mostly to West Virginia. Betty comes here for classes and workshops each year and I come visit my friend, Bob Smakula, at his stringed instrument repair shop, Smakula Fretted Instruments. I get a week of good company and expert advice and counsel on the repair of whatever I've gathered over the winter.
First, West Virginia. We live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and while it has its own attractions it doesn't compare with the mountains of West Virginia.
Heading in yesterday-
That was yesterday. Today I started to repair a 3/4 size fiddle I bought at a coin shop the other day. A couple of years ago Betty took a "Fiddle From Scratch" class which is just what it sounds like. I thought she did well using one of my fiddles but her wrist got sore and the fiddle seemed a little too large for her. I thought maybe this one might suit her better.
It's basically in pretty good shape. It needs new tuning pegs, a new fingerboard, new tailpiece and endpin and a good cleaning.
Here I'm heating the fingerboard to remove it-
With the fingerboard out of the way I've now cleaned and polished the fiddle - I've not attempted to do any refinishing as I've previously discovered that that's above my pay grade
Here I'm using some stuff called 'friendly plastic' to build a form to clamp against -
And this is as it sits as I write this. The fingerboard is all glued and clamped and drying -