How bad is it for a violin to store it in a car/tent for a few months?
Hey guys, I was wondering how bad it actually is for a violin to store it in a car for long periods. I'm a tree planter/pine thinner, and hence live in a tent for a good 5-6 months a year for work, up until now I've never taken my violin for fear of killing it, but I'm in between contracts and I'm thinking of taking it with me for my next few contracts. It's hard to learn the violin when I keep on dropping it for months on end for one reason or the other
1)Will keeping it in my car be enough to protect it?
2)Are there any basic things I can do to increase it's survive-ability?
Or are violins less fragile than I imagine?
My violin is a cheaper beginners violin so if it bites the dust it ain't the end of the world, but I want to try to keep it in as good condition as I can
The only thing that could be worse is to keep it outside in the dirt. If you need a durable travel companion, carbon fibre violins may be a good option.
What is the maximum temperature that will build up in the car without the a/c running? My guess is >90 F at least once, and that will melt the varnish beyond repair.
If it’s a cheaper beginner violin as you say, it likely has a spray lacquer finish that would stand up to the temperature and humidity extremes better than a good violin. Even the glue might be better able to stand the conditions than a good violin. And it’s cheap anyway, so just take it. You’ll be able to tell if it’s reacting badly before it’s ruined, then you can just ship it home.
The Glasser is the first thing that occurred to me, too. The price is definitely in the right ballpark, and there are a number of reviews on YouTube if you're not already familiar with the model.
I think it would be fine in the tent. But don't leave it in a hot car!!
Arnold Steinhardt had a story about leaving his Storioni (if memory serves) in a trunk at a trailhead. when he came back it was soaked with petrol. Amazingly it was restored.
Second on the Glasser, but the soundpost and bridge are still made of wood.
I bought a very good case (musafia with extra insulation and waterproofing) for exactly this reason cause my fiddle goes camping regularly. I don't ever leave her in a car, but she's fine in a tent, provided I cover her with all my spare clothes if it's down near 0°C.
Inside a car in the summertime it'll basically come apart. I saw one where every single glue joint let go. Every one.
I moved from Los Angeles to Sacramento in the summer of 2010, and my violin and viola came in the car with me as it was the safest way I could transport them. It was a full day's drive in about 95°F heat. Although I tried to keep the instruments shaded by other items in the passenger compartment, there were unavoidable periods without air conditioning during stops for breakfast and lunch on the road, and when I was picking up my key and unloading the car at my new apartment.
Despite my rant on my Glasser viola on the other post, I would highly recommend a Glasser carbon fiber violin in your situation.
I've heard of a uke exploding in a hot car due to the string tension pulling everything apart - the hide glue gets humid and melts. A violin wouldn't enjoy the experience, but it might tend to hold together at least and might be more easily repairable. Or it might not. Maybe get a cheap VSO and Araldite the seams?
Btw the geared pegs don’t ‘pop’