I ordered and received some spruce 3mm sheets – perfect for making repair cleats. There is probably enough to last me for a lifetime of violin repairs!
The extensive cracks on the violin top certainly required reinforcement. I cut a series of 5mm squares and lightly sanded them to fit the curve of the inside top plate and glued them in place along the largest cracks with hide glue. Then I shaved each of them down to a low pyramid.
This process took a couple of hours as I needed to get each one in place and clamped and set, then when the glue was set, I began shaving them down with a very sharp chisel.
This last one is a little different, and is known as an ‘eyebrow patch’ which involves removing some of the original timber and inserting a piece of spruce and carefully shaving it down to be flush with the surrounding wood. This makes for a strong repair, and as it is still spruce – the same as the rest of the top, there should be little impact on the sound. It is the strongest way to repair an F-hole failure.