Sweat Is Eating My Violin!

July 22, 2004 at 02:24 AM · I have had this problem with sweat eating through the varnish on my violin. The last time that happened, it started to warp and came apart at the seam. The guy put 10 coats on it and in two months it was starting to wear down again. So my teacher put that stuff that you can laminate cards with along the side. That has pretty much solved that problem. But...it is starting to eat away at the top of the violin as well and around the side. The wood is literally being eaten by my acidic sweat! I can't help that I sweat so much! Plus, my fingerboard has dents in it from my fingers and where I hold it. What to do? What to do?

-Jennifer

Replies (3)

July 22, 2004 at 08:20 AM · I have sweaty hands and palms too but I do not have the same problem with the sweat eating through the varnish. My violin is a cheap 1980 Skylark yet after many years of playing I have never had the need to revarnish any part of the vioiln. That's mainly because I use a piece of tissue to wipe on top and under the fingerboard after every session of playing. Sometimes as frequent as after every piece of music. At the most my violin has slight normal wear. So the moral of the story is.... wipe your violin with a clean tissue or soft cloth frequently. Don't let the sweat has a chance of eating through the varnish. Best wishes,

AARON

July 22, 2004 at 08:32 AM · Hi,
Jennifer, the finger board of a violin is not forever, because it is subject to a lot of wear and tear. Ebony is a very tough wood, but still the strings and your hands will wear grooves and dents into it. A luthier can refashion the fingerboard several times (sanding it, I guess), but only so often before it has to be replaced.
The problem with sweat on the body of the violin is tougher. There are various "medical" ways to help with it: Check with a physician if he can help you with a drug/ointment to prevent excessive sweating. As a measure of last resort, I think sweat glands can be "killed" much like unwanted hair by a physician "burning" them with electricity.
Bye, J├╝rgen

July 23, 2004 at 02:16 AM · I think part of the problem with the varnish is that it is an old violin, so it doesn't have that shiny "I can take anything" dent-proof thick varnish. It is an old french violin, and though I do wipe my hands and my violin, it happens when I'm playing. Anyhow. Thanks for the advice. I wonder why I sweat anyway. Partly nerves. Could be something else as well, though , I suppose. Later,

Jennifer

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