Guarneri violin part 4

To describe my varnishing procedure would be quite boring for most musicians, so I will quickly outline some of the steps and procedures involved. The varnish I use these days is an oil varnish, which is made from colophony (pine/larch… Read More ›

Recent Posts

  • Guarneri violin part 3

    In the last outing, I had reached the point of assembling the body. Now it’s time to fit the neck, and do the final detailing and preparation, in readiness for varnishing. When assembling the body, I’m very careful to make… Read More ›

  • A tall tail

    Although I’ve been restoring and making violins for decades, you just can’t ever say that you’ve seen it all. Quite often something will come into the workshop that just leaves you scratching your head.┬áThat was certainly the case when this… Read More ›

  • Guarneri violin part 2

    With the scroll now carved, it can be put to one side while I concentrate on making the body. As always, it begins with the ribs. Before the ribs can be made, I need to fit spruce blocks to the… Read More ›

  • Guarneri violin part 1

    The first violin of 2017 is finally under way. I don’t often start with the scroll, but in a fickle moment, that’s what I decided to do this time. It’s based on an early 1740’s Guarneri Del Ges├║, which is… Read More ›

  • Christmas leftovers

    Usually when making an instrument, there are some nice looking pieces of maple leftover as scraps. They always seem too good to throw out, but the small sizes of what is left, doesn’t really make them that useful. I’d imagine… Read More ›

  • French cello rib cracks

    A sad day for this rather nice French cello, when it was knocked over. Despite only falling a very short distance onto a carpeted floor, as you can see, the upper bass rib was quite badly cracked as a result…. Read More ›

  • Testore model violin

    Previously I’ve documented the making of this violin in several parts. Now that the varnish has had a chance to harden fully, the time to finish it off had arrived. It’s always a bit of a fight to resist the… Read More ›

  • Jones patent violin bridge

    Another patented violin accessory that promised to revolutionise the world of stringed instruments… If you look into the history of these kind of things, you will see that there have been hundreds and hundreds of attempts over the years, to… Read More ›

  • Before, during & after

    The C.G. Testore model violin I made recently, has been varnished since I last spoke about it. Now the varnish has been antiqued and left to harden for a few months to get it ready for final finishing and then… Read More ›

  • Woods of the world No.73: Turtlewood

    One of the most amazing things about timber, is the infinite variety of colours and patterns. Once the logs are cut open, the magic is finally revealed. Some woods have always been highly prized for their decorative appearance, be that… Read More ›

  • Varnish texture

    Recently I had an interesting conversation with a client about varnish texture. Clients often ask really good questions, usually by coming from an entirely different viewpoint. The question was about understanding the varnish texture, in photos of valuable antique instruments,… Read More ›

  • Blitz Sicher chinrest

    I love old things like this, but rarely do they have manufacturers markings, so it’s often left to a guess as to where they were made. No such trouble here though, with a massive logo on the underside, complete with… Read More ›

  • 15 3/4″ Viola

    After last months post about the Testore model violin I’m making, it dawned on me that I’d never got round to putting up some varnished pictures of the 15 3/4″ viola I made a while back. I used an oil… Read More ›

  • Testore violin part 6

    It’s now almost May, and winter is showing signs of finally coming to an end here. That being the case, it’s a good time to make some varnish, and finish the violin. Last time I covered carving the scroll, and… Read More ›

  • Wittner finetune demo peg

    Recently we were given this demo peg by the U.K. distributor, so that we could explain better to customers how Wittner finetune pegs work. Of course, it’s much easier to explain how things work if people can also see the… Read More ›