Preventive Maintenance of String Instruments by Albert C. Muller
Senior Member: American Society of Appraisers
Member: The American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, Inc
Member: The Violin Society of America
Note: Click on photos to enlarge
The very best maintenance is to guard your instrument from anyone who may not have the knowledge of how to handle a string instrument. Mishandling of instruments too often results in scratches to the varnish and/or dents to edges of the top or back, and even cracks that result in costly repairs by qualified people.
This same principle applies to the bows for string instruments:
- Always let the hairs loose when not in use.
- Do not attempt to rehair a bow yourself. This should always be done by expertly trained people.
In regards to the instrument:
- Do not glue anything in connection with a damaged instrument or allow helpful persons to do it. Commercially available glues and cements are unfit for the repair of stringed instruments. Take your instruments to experts only.
- Save all loose splinters, chips, or other fragments of damaged instruments, also loose parts, etc. and take them to the repair shop with the instrument.
- If there is damage to the peg box, a loose fingerboard, or loose neck, always loosen the strings, taking the tension off the broken part.
- Always keep your instrument clean and polished. Carefully wipe the rosin dust off the violin when through playing.