First of all, yes, I know that a quarter size viola doesn't make any sense. We are using violins for many of our viola students for El Sistema. I have all these photos organized in my computer by instrument so I am trying to stay true to what the instrument is being played as so I can keep track of what instruments I have done repairs on.
That being said, this was the trickiest repair I've had yet. Not only did this little bridge lose one of its feet, the one still attached was broken and falling off.
In order to make this bridge functional I needed to re-glue the broken foot back on and build a whole new foot out of whatever was lying around my house.
So, here we go...
First things first, make sure the instrument is safe during repairs including keeping tension on it so the sound post doesn't fall (am I clever or what?!)
Next step, glue foot.
Go teach a thousand lessons while the bridge dries a bit.
Come home and dig through all your crap to find some random old broken bridge that came from who-knows-where. Rip a chunk off of said bridge.
Just a little chunk...
Wing it for awhile while you formulate a plan
File some bits off.
Glue it all together.
Make a tower of clamps to hold it together/up
Wait forever for the glue to dry...
The next day
Looked a little rough around the edges but I tried breaking the legs off and they seemed stuck.
After filing down the new foot, I was pleasantly surprised how it turned out. The feet aren't 100% flush with the body of the viola but it's close enough. You'd think filing a bridge would be pretty simple but it's really hard to get everything to line up the right way. I'll stick with 'close enough' until I get more practice. The last thing I wanted to do was mess it up now that I had come so far.
Sounds pretty good now too!
P.S. C-strings on tiny instruments sound soooooo baaaaaaad. lol.