David Hopf Repair

September 16, 2009
Mr. Wheetman:
RE: Repair to David Hopf violin by Keller Strings.

The following is a description of restoration completed and impressions of prior repairs.

After the top was removed, we discovered many open old cracks.  A row of thin maple had been added to create a wider rib.  When this was done, there was too much material in several places causing the top to bulge and twist, particularly at the bottom bout where the saddle sits and on the upper left (E) bout. An older repair included several large tall and bulky cleats to the top cracks.  We cleaned all of the open cracks (approx. 8) and removed some of the tall cleats; reshaped and replaced them.  New cleats were added to reinforce.  The base bar crack was open at the lower 3 inches.  The old patch was removed and three L cleats were added to reinforce this crack.   Clear spirit varnish was added over the repaired cracks for protection.

No additional work was needed to the back cracks and previous cleats were left untouched although some were thinned.

The edge of the top on the lower bout on the G side was missing so a new edge was carved and installed.

Since the scroll box showed many older repairs including peg bushings, the decision was made to reinforce the interior of the box with 1 ½ mm thick maple.  Any further damage to the box will most likely require the replacement of the scroll and peg box with a scroll graft.  The shape and size of the existing peg holes was not changed.  The decision to replace the pegs was made as the old pegs were worn and too short.

French polish was added for appearance and more protection to the varnish.

Paula Keller Smith
John W. Smith