Gagliano violin part 3

In the previous post about the making of this violin, I’d got to the point where the violin was finished “in the white”, meaning that the woodwork was essentially completed. From there, I start to prepare for ground and varnishing…. Read More ›

Recent Posts

  • Christmas critters

    If you are a bit squeamish, it might be better not to read any further. Recently, a client came to the shop, with what we term a loft violin, still in its original coffin case. A violin, which has been… Read More ›

  • Gagliano violin part 2

    Following on from the previous post, there has been something of a head down mentality following all the covid disruptions of the previous year. In doing so, I’ve neglected to take some photos along the way, as things progressed quickly…. Read More ›

  • Gagliano violin part 1

    I’m in the fortunate position as a restorer, where I get to work on some really amazing instruments from the golden age of Italian violin making.Most weeks, there is something inspirational crossing my bench, and out of these, various instruments… Read More ›

  • Quilted maple violin part 5

    Since my last post, which has certainly been a while, a lot has happened. Until April 12th, we once again had to shut down the workshop, due to the third national lockdown in the UK. Fortunately, during this time I’d… Read More ›

  • Quilted maple violin part 4

    In the previous post, I mentioned work on this violin had been held up by the national lockdown, due to COVID-19 cases rising significantly. That first one ran from March, until August, and then we were back to work. Since… Read More ›

  • Mittenwald violin neck repair

    This nice old Mittenwald violin came to the workshop following a catastrophic neck joint failure. Being left inside a car on a hot day proved too much for the historic, and poorly done neck repairs. Eventually the neck block became… Read More ›

  • Quilted maple violin part 3

    There has been a bit of an enforced break from working on the violin, namely due to Covid-19, and the subsequent lockdown here. The good news is that I haven’t forgotten what to do after all of this time, and… Read More ›

  • Scroll restoration.

    Scrolls can have a tough time, they are under constant tension and have four pegs wedged into them. Well fitted pegs work, but once they become worn and distorted, they don’t hold well, if at all. The tendency is to… Read More ›

  • And we’re back…

    It has taken a long time to get to this point, but finally will return to the bench from 3rd August. I’m pleased that my clients haven’t forgotten me, and have already taken some bookings for restoration work. Things are… Read More ›

  • Coronavirus Covid-19

    As for everyone else, the last six months of my life have changed out of all recognition. In December 2019, there were the first news stories of a new virus, originating in bats, emerging from Wuhan in China, their subsequent… Read More ›

  • My oldest tool

    Since I began my career,  I’ve always been interested in old tools, and dealt in them for many years. Part of this was to find tools for myself, the other part was borne from an interest in the designs, materials… Read More ›

  • Quilted maple violin part 2

    In my last post, I mentioned all the faffing around in a different order to get everything ready. Now with that part done, I can get on and start construction. With the back and belly already roughly sawn out, I… Read More ›

  • Quilted maple violin

    Some years ago, I was lucky enough to get four pieces of quilted maple from Bosnia. While they had a similar type of figure, each piece was also different to the others, and unique in its own way. I gave… Read More ›

  • 40cm viola part 5

    Previously, all the woodwork was finished, and it was time to get prepared for varnishing. As with anything, there is a considerable amount of preparation required for a successful outcome. After finishing an instrument, one of the first things I… Read More ›

  • 40cm viola part 4

    Previously, the body had been assembled, scroll carved and fingerboard made. Now it’s time to unite everything, and get the viola ready for varnishing. I’ve covered neck setting and shaping in detail in some past posts. It is proably the… Read More ›

  • Guarneri model violin part 3

    At the end of the last post, I’d got as far as grounding the violin. Not because it had been naughty, but rather to enhance the grain, give it some depth optically, and provide a sealing layer to prevent the… Read More ›

  • Guarneri model violin part 2

    In my last post about the Wilton, all the principal parts of the instrument had been made, and the body was assembled. Once the neck joint has been cut, the neck can be set and glued, then the fingerboard temporarily… Read More ›

  • 40cm viola part 3

    With the bulk of the rough work done, it’s time to move onto some of the more detailed and delicate jobs, such as cutting the soundholes, fitting a bassbar and carving the scroll. I place several location marks onto the… Read More ›

  • Viola cleaning

    Recently a client came to the workshop expecting to get some work done on the spot. I had to apologize, and tell him I couldn’t fit in any more work that day, as I already had something booked in. He… Read More ›