Realizing a fiddle is a delicate and fragile instrument which can be easily damaged and must be carefully cared for, I wrote a post a couple of months back about the concerns of Temperature and Humidity Exposure on the fine and sensitive wood used to build a fiddle. I also wrote another post about Violin Hangers and Holders and why they are an important accessory to keep this instrument from being damaged accidentally when it is not safe and sound inside its case.
During the Winter months, the humidity level in my house was so low, even with a room humidifier, I had no option but to keep my fiddle in its case with a Dampit so it was in a fiddle-friendly environment at around a 50% humidity level. Now that the outdoor temperatures are warmer, the humidity in my house has risen to a level where I can now keep my fiddle out of its case without having to worry about it being exposed to such severe dryness. This is good and bad.
The good part is my fiddle is now readily accessible, and I find I am picking it up more often. It may only be to bow a few notes as I transpose tunes to tabs, or for a quick practice of just a few minutes at different times of the day, both of which I seldom did during the Winter because it meant unzipping and unlatching the case and removing the Velcro holder. The bad part is I have yet to choose a suitable holder or stand for my fiddle. As a result, my fiddle stays rested in its open case on a low table next to my practice mirror, but this makes it prone to physical damage should I accidentally knock the case top down on it or drop something on my fiddle.
It’s not that I am neglecting the safety of my fiddle, it’s just that I haven’t found a fiddle stand or holder that I like…until yesterday. What I really want is not a floor or table stand, or even a wall bracket of some type. In the little room where I practice, and with my less-than-gentle-like-bull-in-a-china-shop ways, I know I can still easily damage my fiddle if it is kept on a table-top or floor stand. And any type of stand, holder or stand-alone wall bracket will allow my fiddle to collect dust 24/7.
The cabinet is constructed of solid hardwood with a glass door to protect the violin. It can be made of oak, walnut, cherry or maple, and the violin hanger is installed. The dimensions are 29.5 tall x 14.5″ wide x 5.75″ deep, but they will customize dimensions if requested. At an interior height of 26″, it is a bit short for my bow, so I am going to request it taller. Depending on the cost of the customization, I might just install a hook on the outside to hang my bow.
I think this wall-mounted cabinet will offer my fiddle the best protection, not only in the warmer months, but even in the dryer months since I also plan to dump my cool mist humidifier and replace it with an evaporative humidifier.
Not only is the cool mist humidifier insufficient for raising the humidity level sufficiently, it leaves a white film on all plastic and electronic objects in its vicinity. The evaporative humidifier can greatly increase the humidity level, and with the type of technology it uses, I won’t have to deal with the white film that needs to be cleaned daily.
So, by now, some of you are probably thinking overkill, huh? Maybe so, but I am happy with my choice…and, so is my fiddle! And, I am looking down the road. While this cabinet will cost almost as much as my fiddle, eventually I want to buy a better quality fiddle, so I look at this cabinet and humidifier as long-term investments that will already be in place to protect my forever fiddle when it arrives some day.
How do you protect your fiddle from physical and environmental damage? Let me know.