A violin from a kit!

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Project by madburg posted 02-19-2016 10:35 AM 1442 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yes made from a US$150 kit from Stewart MacDonald, the well know luthier/guitar bits and pieces supplier. For that price I just had to have a go at making one – no intention of playing it. They are still only US$281, but such fantastic value.

The spruce top and curly maple back come carved and sanded, and the back has been glued to the linings, blocks and curly maple ribs. Channels are there for the decorative purfling trim, and the machine-shaped neck is ready for sanding and fitting. Every thing is there except a bow. Have a go!!

Very little work was needed to complete it and only very basic tools. Main skills were sanding, gluing and then varnishing!!! I added the stringing to the neck and back to make it a bit more special. It hangs on the wall and looks great complete with its US$10 bow from China. And it still hasn’t been played!

-- Madburg WA

8 comments so far

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3758 days

#1 posted 02-19-2016 11:26 AM

I can relate to making things you can’t play. Probably something genetic. I once seriously considered building a Nieuport 23 biplane in my garage. ...that I had no intention of learning to fly. The project was later consumed by better judgement. LOL

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Texcaster's profile


1292 posts in 2478 days

#2 posted 02-19-2016 01:01 PM

The stringing looks the part, well done. If you want to hear it played well, do a google search for an Irish session or a bluegrass jam in Perth. You might be inspired to start sawing away.

A fiddle presents well in a wall cabinet.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4236 days

#3 posted 02-19-2016 01:38 PM

Nicely done. Love the color and the stringing. Nothing wrong with a kit if it makes you enjoy the task at hand and you learn through the process. Well done.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View shipwright's profile


8570 posts in 3602 days

#4 posted 02-19-2016 02:14 PM

Looks good.
I’d be too curious about the sound not to have someone give it a go…..... maybe with a slightly better bow. :-)

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3671 days

#5 posted 02-19-2016 11:10 PM

It’s a beautiful instrument. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View tinnman65's profile


1405 posts in 4218 days

#6 posted 02-20-2016 12:09 AM

Very nice work, great job on the added stringing.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View jaguar1201's profile


22 posts in 1672 days

#7 posted 02-20-2016 05:27 AM

Martin, another great item that you have undertaken. We have more in common it appears…violins. I have my dear mother’s 95 year old copy of a Stat that she played in the Chicago Symphony, but have been lax at carrying out the restoration that it needs. I live very near a master restoration shop in Hartville, OH, but have yet to take it there, and I am not up to attempting the work myself. The horsehair bow stringing, now looks like unkept horse’s main, even though it has MOP inlay. Have her original case also. As a youngster, of course I had to take violin lessons, which took way to much time away from the boy sports that I loved more, so I rebeled, and sports won out. My father also played violin. They both loved opera, hence, my name.
Enrico Caruso

-- Enrico, Stow OHIO

View madburg's profile


280 posts in 1647 days

#8 posted 02-20-2016 09:54 AM

Thanks for the comments guys. And yes another commonality Enrico! I really don’t know how my violin would sound – its made from the right set of timbers, and came very well shaped, and thinned in all the right places. It also has its bass post installed. Not sure about the bow, and it probably needs some rosin on the horse hair. But it still looks great on the wall!

-- Madburg WA

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