Best glue for wood, a luthier choice

The world of chemistry has revolutionized the concept of adhesive and glue in all trades, including the sector of violin making. Until the early 1900s, animal bone glue by bone (strong) or by tissue (weak) was used, so the classical lutherie of the 1600s could only adopt this type of solution.

The animal glue has no excellent properties, since it is an organic glue its use is to be limited to some works. In violin making, it is recommended to use in certain types of restorations, especially when you do not want to mix two different compounds (an organic glue may not react well with another synthetic one). It is a reversible glue, it is cleaned with water and it melts with little heat. It is therefore necessary to be very careful with instruments glued with this type of glue, summer heat can cause the adhesion to come off. The animal bone glue or bag tissue, prepared at home, can mold up after 2 days, should be kept in the fridge, but its strong odor does not allow it. One of the best products on the market, ready to use and that does not spoil off the fridge is the Titebond hide glue.

The glues that are subsequent to the animal glue are the vinyl glues (polyvinyl acetate, Vinavil), rubbery glues of little use in our work. They are mainly used to glue chipboard or veneer. They have a good resistance to water and heat, but being rubbery they are not easy to work with. Not to be used in classical violin making, while in the electric one they can find some applications. If you need to use it other than violin making, buy it, because it is a glue that resists moisture (from outside).

 

Aliphatic glues (Titebond original and similar) are the American solution to the problem. They solve the weaknesses of animal glue, having a strength and elasticity equal to a vinyl, but retain the characteristics of reversibility. They are cleaned in water and melt (slowly) with water and heat, but a greater heat, which we will not find easily in the environment. So you can rest easy, without exaggerating. I remember using aliphatics on guitar bridges, which were then unstuck for leaving the instrument in the car in the sun. Available in three dispenser.

The polyurethane glue, is in the Titebond version (which I know) an exceptional glue, but with targeted and considered uses. It is not easily found and since it comes from America it is often found a glue already hardened and with a very short expiry date. It is a glue that inflates and attaches to everything it finds, adhering to almost all types of materials (not just porous, wood type). I recommend the use in operations made in economics and unlikely, for example pasting a broken pallet into a thousand parts (of which 50% are absent) of a tool of little value. Swelling can fill like a stucco. Be careful to close the cap well!

I advise you not to exaggerate in ordering large quantities, the glues dry up with time, even when they are closed they harden. Especially polyurethane.

Begin violin, viola or cello. A first look to the instrument.

italian language only

<< Today we have a study cello and I want you to see what give you the answers to the most frequent questions of a student, or of those who (for him) are interested in a stringed instrument for first time. Practically what customers usually asked me “What are the first things I have to do with my bowed instrument?” Because initially you buy it for studio, it will therefore be of a certain construction, inexpensive, that will have an equally economical quality control . As a result it needs some relatively simple maintenance setups, even quite economic. The first question is surely “But how do I play the violin or the cello?” It is not a superficial question, the strings with a non prepared bow do not sound because actually the bow runs on the string and does not grip it, let’s say it slips over it . So the first step is to take the rosin from the case, slightly nick it and rub it on the hair. Stretch the bow without exaggerating, the stick must be neither too straight nor too little, at this point begin to rub. Obviously it takes a few minutes, for the most inexperienced even a few good minutes! You need to make a quick movement because the heat spreads it faster. Next there will be a part 2 in which I explain what are the parts of the instrument that we should carry under maintenance the first time we buy a cello or a violin >>

To prepare the bow do not use rosin in the studio sets you buy, it is better to use a better pitch. The cost is negligible compared to the time you can use it. A package of it can last up to two years for a student. We recommend the following (Corelli Bernardel and Royal Oak rosin), you can also find them in more specialized physical stores.

Bonus Stradivari – 2018

We can guarantee the BONUS STRADIVARI 2018, until funds run out (10 million euros). The plafond is little compared to possible questions, so we advise you to immediately request a quote from Atelier Cesarini, starting already from January to look for your instrument.

Bonus 2018:

  • Extension of the Bonus to students of all the courses of the Conservatories, ISSMs and organizations authorized to issue recognized Afam qualifications: preaccademici, triennio, biennium and previous regulations. In addition, complementary instrument courses (excluded in 2016) are also included; Extension to the students of the Music High Schools;
  • The terms of the Bonus change: no more than 1,000 euros, but a 65% contribution on the purchase price, up to a maximum contribution of 2,500 euros;
  • The law will come into force from 2018 (still needs to be confirmed in which month), you can already book your instrument in January.

To know the sound of our instruments we recommend our Youtube channel, where there are many visual audio tests.

How to buy a violin or other musical instruments

This argument is certainly very long to deal with, I will only give some guidance indications that can be an help especially to musicians, music lovers and parents of music students.

violino antico
old violin

Giving value to old instruments, luthier’s services and other is an objective that Atelier Cesarini pursues from the beginning, the first step was to create a very detailed luthier price list of the most demanding services.
It was not a very first absolute, but certainly one of the first listprice to have a remarkable specificity, without leaving free interpretation.

Now let’s see which parameters are reliable to give a value to an bowed instrument or a bow, then we’ll try to figure out what we can buy with a certain budget.

Continue reading How to buy a violin or other musical instruments

Pro Student Instruments, musical instruments for sale

In this video, Mathilde Sigier plays a beautiful theme by John Williams, with our cello Cesarini Pro Studio, in its semi-professional version, and with Cesarini Selected cello bow.

Atelier Cesarini has created the semi-professional series to give the opportunity to all students with a forward-looking perspective (Academy) to buy a good cello with excellent timbre output and exceptional soundness, also the price is very interesting.

The amateur series is more suitable for all beginners, especially students who have to face the 4/4 seize for first time, but who do not want to buy an entry level.

Violoncello prezzi
Cello, semi professional

The price of a Cesarini Pro Studio cello is even less in case you opt for a package including bow and case.

Restoration of a musical instrument, antique violins value.

Comparing the opening of a violin to restore to a complex surgical operation, which is the opening of the chest, is it right? I would say no, but many similarities can be found.

Violino restauro

The opening of an instrument is always possible, sometimes uninvited because it is invasive, but which, on the other hand, is often indispensable, and above all, can be an improvement.

As a surgical operation that wants to restore the functions of the heart, similarly to the violin to be restored, it is intended to restore its “voice”

Continue reading Restoration of a musical instrument, antique violins value.

Children’s musical instruments, how to buy

The question is, how much to spend for a children’s musical instruments? 

50,00 euro, 100,00 euro, 200,00 euro, 500,00 euro, 1.500,00 euro, 2.500,00 euro, 10.000,00 euro, 20.000 euro?

An example of studio violin 3/4 size on pic.

violino da studio
studio violin 3/4 size

Parts of the instrument that need to be standard and well-regulated are not few. As a result, an bowed instrument, beyond its cost, must comply at least with some rules for being used in the study.

Do not value the instrument, it means not giving importance to the study. This can be considered as a general rule, which can surely lie in many other areas of study.

But how is it possible to understand what is the musical instrument that can be a good quality compromise? Surely the times change, the prices accordingly. A Chinese industrial violin 10 years ago cost 300 euros and was a trash , while an industrial violin today costs 200 euros and it’s done better.

Industrial production requires us to spend less, but we react accordingly, we want to spend less and less.

 

violoncello da studio

I look at some families that want to get a good timbre, a decent playability, a good reliability and a low price, from an entry level instrument set. These are things that unfortunately do not go well together.

My advice is to buy the second studio band, where we will begin to find a better quality instrument, better woods, more than sufficient playability, better strings, a true ebony keyboard and parts and a usable headband.
The Stentor II violin is for you, it is not the only one, but it is one of the most reliable along with Soundsation. Then a tune-up is always easy on those two. In the size 4/4.




In the size 3/4:



 

 

 

 

 


In the smaller sizes all the violins 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, look alike, you can spend less. Soundsation offers a low cost for “small sizes”.


 


Let’s have a look here to which are the characteristics that should have a entry level musical instument.

Why are luthiers still influenced by antique violin makers?

Building a violin, a cello or a viola with personal shapes and dimensions is always the right choice for Atelier Cesarini. But there are exceptions, some works are certainly inspired by the well-known stradivarian shapes and by dimensions of antique violin makers (Amati, Guarneri, Gasparo da Salò). Perhaps the most used, in general in violin making, is the “Cremonese” violin template (faciebat Stradivari, year 1715).

Costruzione violino
Violin making

violin holes
violin holes

The experimentation, of the various and possible forms of stringed instruments, has been widely done in the past years. Today it is difficult to reinvent something new in this sector.

The dimensions and volumes of classical lutherie have kept them unaltered, since the timbre of the instrument as it was conceived in the past, has been achieved following many empirical tests, which have fixed the sound canons in the ears of musicians and authors, who are past or modern.

It comes naturally to a classical orchestra musician, wanting to replicate the “sound” of a certain repertoire of the period, through an arched instrument that does not go too far from the known.

liutaio
Flamed maple crafting

Conceiving sounds in an abstract and inventive way is a luxury that unfortunately does not belong to the classical repertoire (it is called “classic” also for this reason). The canons are there, getting out from those, can lead to the non-compatibility of the musician with this world.

here you can see a restoration of an old violin. we’ll give you also some advice to understand antique instruments value 

Crime scene on the bench, an antique violin

Discovering a true antique violin from the 1800s or 1900s can be very interesting.

We need to consider that almost all the old musical instruments have now been undercovered, due to the strong interest of a multitude of people that want to take possession of them. So we need to be realistic when we find something, that maybe can have value. A real antique violin of 1800, for example, it can come real damaged, rarely in good condition, expecially the top spruce and varnish.

antique violin opening
antique violin opening

Be aware of flea markets, or not very transparent luthiers, who try to delude you of having a rediscovered a “pearl in the desert”, dated two hundred years. More plausible it is instead a violin that an old owner wants to undo it and then sells it, perhaps through an intermediary.

In the downer photo, the instrument in restoration, has just been rediscovered in an attic. This is a bit the clichet of classical lutherie: “Nonna told me that there is a Stradivari above!”.

It is not “Stradivari“, but a copy of an old German violin with a label bearing “Stradivarius Cremonensis, etc.”, is a copy, but it retains its interest. The woods of this instrument will certainly be very seasoned, even if a bit “bruised”. Finding it partly destroyed is the least that can be expected, we consider that almost a hundred years have passed, they are not few.

Violino rotto
Violino antico, ritrovato. Restauro presso Atelier Cesarini

Atelier Cesarini buy old violins and other antique instruments (also bows) during the year and we restore them. We call those “Cesarini Collection“.

 

Chinrest, how to choose it?

The chinrest is a wooden part (ebony, boxwood, tamarindo, rosewood), which is mounted on violins and viola, through metal clamps that tighten by threading. It was invented in the early 1900s, so by many past interpreters it was not used. With the request for a repertoire, increasingly difficult to play, the chinrest has become an integral part of the instrument, only a few do without it, thinking of ruining the vibration of the instrument with its presence.

Postura esempi
Position examples

In our opinion, the chinrest for violin and viola does not ruin the sound, being cantilevered (which can therefore ideally oscillate on vibration) and being placed on a low resonance area. The two clamps in fact tighten on the ribs, near the bottom block, non -“pulmonary” area of the picea soundboard.

 

 

The structure of the chinrest and the wood used, must respect the principles of vibration, certainly will not have to rest on “pulmonary areas” or on the tailpiece

THE DIMENSIONS (THE CONCAVITY AND THE HEIGHT) ARE IMPORTANT FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUONABILITY.

Mentoniera Guarneri ebano
Chinrest Guarneri ebony

Continue reading Chinrest, how to choose it?