Trade Secrets: Making a partial plaster cast


A useful restoration method that can be used when a full cast is unnecessary

Some repairs require a plaster cast. However, it is not always necessary to make a cast of the entire plate. Someone recently brought to my shop a violin that had been damaged by a large falling object. Luckily it had only hit the corner, but there were several parallel cracks quite close together, as well as some cross-grain cracks.

After removing the top plate I pushed everything in place as well as I could, but the result was not satisfactory. The cracks were too close together to set clamps successfully, and the cross-grain crack would not settle back smoothly where the piece had torn away from the purfling. I therefore decided to make a partial plaster cast of the top plate. This allows for corrections, and forms the perfect counterpart when it comes to clamping…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.