Violin Information

Book Description

Violin Making and Repairs for the Novice - Notes from the Bench, is written with the beginner violin maker in mind. For the person who may want to consider this as a vocation and would like to get a taste of what it is like, or for the player that wants to make a violin for their own use. 

This is NOT a manual for someone to quickly hack out an instrument. Nor, if the goal is to become a professional violin maker, will this replace studying at a professional violin making school or apprenticing with a top level violin maker (see Links Page for a list of violin making schools).  The violin making section should be read prior to the repair section, as many of the descriptions and information on Making (such as the use of tools and procedures) will not be discussed again in the repair section.  Some of the required tools can be made while others must be purchased in order to get the accuracy needed to make a decent quality instrument. The cost of tools and materials is still significant as many professional quality tools are needed. 

The author has made over 170 instruments that are in the hands of amateurs, semi-professionals and professionals from all around the US.  In addition, the author has run his own very successful violin shop for 27 years - selling, renting, restoring, and repairing tens of thousands of  instruments in all quality levels. In addition to the screen shots below from the book, the Picture Diary on the Violin Making Page on this site offers some additional photos from the book which contains over 300 pages and 450 COLOR pictures and illustrations.

E- Book format - $45           USB format - $60 (shipping included)

Printed Book format - $160 - (shipping included)  

I only ship products within the USA, but the E-Book can be sent anywhere. 

The electronic versions are in PDF format and contain bookmarks to the chapters for quick access. The format also makes it easy to enlarge the view or even add notes if you copy the PDF file to your computer and will work on both Windows and Mac platforms.

The Print Book format book is spiral bound, which has the advantage to lie flat on the workbench for easy reference while working. The book has over 300 pages and 450 COLOpictures.

All versions of the book are available from the author with payment through PayPal. The large file size of the E-Book will require a download through, which is a free/no sign up large file transfer program. The Print version is also available from International Violin Co (BK400) - where many additional materials and tools can be purchased.

To purchase or ask any questions, send an email to , do NOT just send money through PayPal without contacting me first, in case I cannot process your order immediately due to travel or current stock.

For purchases, I will then send you instructions on how to pay through PayPal and download information for the E-Book purchases. 

Here are a few Screen Shots from the book.



Table of Contents 



GETTING READY                                                                   

Ch. 1    Workshop                                                                                 

Ch. 2    Sharpening                                                                               

Ch. 3    Body Pattern, Template and Form                                                       

Ch. 4    Making and Using Hide Glue                                                      


   Rib Assembly

Ch. 5    Blocks

Ch. 6    Ribs                                                                       

·         Using a Cabinet Scraper and Burnisher        

Ch. 7    Bending and Gluing the Ribs

Ch. 8    Linings


Ch. 9    Back and Belly Wood

Ch. 10  Starting the Top and Back - Flattening

Ch. 11  Center Seam

Ch. 12  Arching

Ch. 13  Overhang

Ch. 14  Scooping Out the Inside

Ch. 15  Finishing the Edge

Ch. 16  Purfling

·        Marking

·        Cutting the Groove

·        Channel

Ch. 17  Back Graduation

Ch. 18  "f" Holes

Ch. 19  Top Graduation

Ch. 20  Bassbar

Ch. 21  Rounding the Inside Edges

Ch. 22  Gluing on the Plates

Ch. 23  Saddle

Ch. 24  Neck and Scroll

Ch. 25  Fingerboard

Ch. 26  Cutting the Heel and Mortise

·        Cutting the Heel

·        Cutting the Mortise

Ch. 27  Button and Fitting the Neck

·        Button

·        Fitting the Neck

Ch. 28  Shaping the Neck


Ch. 29  Aging and Sealing the Wood

Ch. 30  Color Varnish

Ch. 31  Finish Coats and Rubbing Out

·        Steps for an Easy Oil Varnish

·        Oil and Spirit Varnish Recipes


Ch. 32  Fittings and Setting Up

·        Gluing the Fingerboard

·        Pegs

·        Nut

·        Endpin

·        Tailpiece and Gut

Ch. 33  Soundpost and Tonal Adjustments

Ch. 34  Bridge

Ch. 35  Strings and Chinrest

·        Strings

·        Chinrest



Ch. 36  Rehairing a Bow

Ch. 37  Bow Screw Eyelets

Ch. 38  Slide

Ch. 39  Recamber or Staighten 

Ch. 40  Tip

Ch. 41  Pearl Eye

Ch. 42  Leather Bolster and Grips

·        Leather Bolster

·        Grips - Metal Wire or Plastic Wrap

Ch. 43  Bow Cracks

•      End Bushing

•      Head Spline


Ch. 44  Reasons that Strings Break

Ch. 45  Buzzes

Ch. 46  Removal of Top and Bassbar

·        Removal of Top

·        Bassbar

Ch. 47  New Wood on Edge

Ch. 48  Instrument Cracks

    Body Cracks     

·        Top or Back Cracks         

·        Sound Post Cracks

·        Rib Cracks


   Neck and Scroll Cracks


·        Boxwood Bushings

·        Spiral Bushings

·        Cheek Repairs

·        Heel Cracks

·        Neck Grafts


Ch. 49  Raising the Neck Angle

Ch. 50  Button Graft and Doubling

·        Button Graft

·        Doubling

Ch. 51  Warped Fingerboard or Neck

Ch. 52  Clean and Polish

·        French Polish

Ch. 53  Peg Problems

·        Some Reasons Pegs Slip

·        Some Reasons Pegs Stick

Ch. 54  Touch Up

Ch. 55  End Pin Shim and Raising the Saddle

Appendix 1 – Tools and Materials (in the order they are needed)

·        Alphabetical Index of Tools and Materials

Appendix 2 – Suppliers of Tools and Materials

Appendix 3 – Measurements for Violin Makers

Appendix 4 - Patterns and Arching Templates

Appendix 5 – General File Information

About the Author

This material is under Copyright. No portion of any format of the book can be reprinted (except the original purchasers personnel use) or shared via any media; print or electronic, without prior written permission from the author.