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Recently, all the cork that was between the base of my violin's chin rest and the instrument's body has been rubbed off and, as a result, the chin rest is "flowing around" the lower left part of the instrument's body. The time I realized this was during a live concert when I needed to adjust my shoulder rest and, suddenly, the chin rest moved from its position. At that time, I placed it back and tightened it a little bit using the two ledgers it has - my chin rest is exactly like this one; only black-coloured, if that matters.

So, now, I will need to replace it - I don't think that this is a reason to change my whole chin rest. As for that I have some questions:

  • Can I do this using some other material, for instance very soft cardboard - I cannot translate it nicely in english - or something else or will it affect my instruments sound colour, quality, etc?
  • Is it difficult to replace it, or it is just as simple as it seems; untighten the ledgers, insert carefully the cork and then tighten them again?
  • What can I do for maintenance of that part of my instrument?
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Pre-cut 'violin chin rest cork' is offered from several suppliers. Yes, you just loosen, insert new cork, tighten. Glue is optional. Or you can buy sheet cork from a craft store and cut it yourself. I bought a small sheet in a rather thicker gauge some 45 years ago. It has provided a lifetime's (so far) supply of replacement corks for water keys and rotary valve buffers on my trombones.

  • Hmm, that was very useful piece of information. I've heard from a friend of mine who's working as a carpenter and has some knowledge on musical instruments that glue should be in general avoided in wooden parts of instruments since it may reduce the quality of the sound they produce. Is it true in general? – Βασίλης Μάρκος Feb 8 '18 at 17:58
  • Well, you can't build a violin without glue! But this glue would be holding the cork to the chin-rest, not to the violin. – Laurence Payne Feb 8 '18 at 18:24
  • Oh, I see, you mean using glue so as to have the cork held on the chin-rest! Well, thank you very much for all the useful information! :) – Βασίλης Μάρκος Feb 8 '18 at 18:30
  • I think a chin-rest is normally provided with cork attached? – Laurence Payne Feb 8 '18 at 18:38
  • In the most models that's true, but some do not have cork attached. However, mine is the one that was attached to the violin when I bought it, so I have never been bothered until now with this problem. – Βασίλης Μάρκος Feb 8 '18 at 19:30

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