Ressusciter Les Mort
Rebuilding a family heirloom
“When Grandpa (Albert Massie) was a kid, in the back of magazines, there were ads, to find missing Stradivarius violins. He wanted to find out if it was a real one and dreamed of all the things he could do with the money if it was. They wanted you to send in the violin to find out and he knew not to do that. When he and grandma were married, they too thought what if it was the missing violin and they then had the dreams of fame and fortune. He said someone used to play it at the farm for entertainment, when he was a kid.” – Jan Massie
Before any repairs could happen I’d have to find out exactly what I had in my hands. Lucky for me there is another, more famous, Strad in Milwaukee and I was able to get the name of the craftsman that maintained it. A quick visit to him and I learned the following about our family violin:
At a later trip to the museum I saw the T-Rex had a bright white resin femur place holder unit they could get a real one. I assumed the stark contrast in color was to not confuse what was original and what was a replacement. I.D. Magazine also had an article about soem Dutch students repairing damaged wood furniture with lime green plastic replacement parts inlaid with the originals.
These use cases inspired me to try replacing the parts in some type of acrylic or pop color plastic replacement.
I measured out the Tuning Peg by hand, rebuilt in SketchUp (don’t laugh) and printed to a Makerbot Replicator for first run prototypes.
Similar models of the tailpiece and the chin rest were purchased, sanded down, painted a flat grey and then scanned on a 3D scanner.
Once all pieces scans were complete, it was time to bring it all together (Thingiverse STLs – Violin Peg, Chin Rest, Tail Piece). This was the easiest part, cause it just involved me handing someone a bag of money. Final edited STL’s were sent off to Shapeways to be printed and once returned all parts were taken to someone to be cleaned, assembled, strung and tuned.
So now that it is done, it’s time to get it into able hands to have it played for the living Massies.