Home storage

February 16, 2021, 10:29 PM · Have people found good ways to make storage of violins more effective? I know violin dealers have vaults-- what about people with less dedicated space? Any thoughts about gun safes? (And all you with Strads, feel free to post the combination.)

Replies (9)

February 17, 2021, 3:00 AM · Gun safes sound interesting. Presumably guns are so common in the USA that a gun safe is unlikely to be broken into, unless people commonly keep valuables in them?
February 17, 2021, 9:24 AM · Gun safes are always a target, and are meant to keep guns out of the hands of children and other untrained individuals inside the home. Guns are high-value stolen goods with strong illegal sales potential, a thief who can open a gun safe will do so.

Is there a compelling reason not to keep the instruments in their cases? If you aren’t a dealer, or a collector of valuable and important instruments, a vault seems overkill.

February 17, 2021, 9:50 AM · That's gonna be one angry thief who opens a gun safe and finds a violin. But seriously, don't you need something that is climate-controlled? I know you can rent space in climate-controlled vaults at dealers.
February 17, 2021, 11:18 AM · Gun safes are extremely difficult to crack as they have bearings to make the area around the lock drilling resistant. They are useful for storage of important papers, photographs, and documents as the best ones are fire resistant enough for the interior temperature to not get high enough to cause damage if there is a quick, hot building fire. However, they are not climate controlled, especially if they have been drilled for the insertion of a stick heater to prevent rust.

I wouldn't try to store violins in one.

Edited: February 17, 2021, 11:50 AM · I have heard of a gun being kept in a violin case, but never a violin kept in a gun case!
Edited: February 17, 2021, 12:00 PM · The maker of one of my violins kept his Amati in a safe in his shop and his Strad in a bank vault. So I got to play the Amati - but not the Strad. A lot of shops have safes for their most valuable "merchandise." When I visited Frank Passa in his home 20 years ago he had some of his instruments in big safes.

I guess a gun safe is OK if you want to protect and hide the violin. However if you want to be able to see it there are other large vertical glass & wood cabinets or glass & metal enclosures that protect from the elements but can keep your instruments visible.

February 17, 2021, 1:05 PM · Stephen, failing to adequately control the humidity levels is a larger hazard than theft. Granted, it is not as interesting, and doesn't get as much news coverage as theft.
February 17, 2021, 9:54 PM · Gun safes are fine for storing violins. Fireproof safes are desirable for obvious reasons. It’s important to monitor the humidity level inside, but as long as it’s decent, a safe can be useful.
Edited: February 18, 2021, 10:20 AM · Gordon, you got this wrong: Guns are so common in America that people would not break into them--if they weren't Americans...

Seriously, I don't think the requirements for gun storage and violin storage are at all identical. Constant climate, especially constant humidity, is priority number one for musical instruments, safety against thieves for guns.

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