Picture of How to Make a Violin
Following is a basic outline of the construction of a violin in the manner of the old masters. 
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Step 1: Obtain Aged Wood

Picture of Obtain Aged Wood
Maple wood is typically used for the violin's back, ribs, and neck.

Spruce wood is used for the top or belly of the violin. Spruce is preferable for the top of the violin because it's a softer wood, so it vibrates more easily. 

Wood should be aged by at least five years, but the greater the better. 20 years of aging is the most preferable, but that wood is more expensive. 

Step 2: Some Tools Used

Picture of Some Tools Used
Shown below are a regular plane, and several sizes of finger planes. A plane is a shaping tool used for removing wood from a larger piece. 

Step 3: Select a mold

Picture of Select a mold

Favorite molds include the Stradivari, the Guarneri, and the Amati. 

In this picture, the mold is a Guarneri, and surrounded by maple ribs that have already been glued to the corner and end blocks in place around the mold. 

This finished stage is called the rib assembly. 

The upper portion of the violin (Top Guarneri in photo) is called the upper bout. The lower part of the violin (top in photo) is called the lower bout. The middle portion with two "C" shapes is called the C bouts. On the finished violin, the C bouts are called the waist of the violin. 

Step 4: Glue Linings to Ribs

Picture of Glue Linings to Ribs
Thin strips of wood called linings are glued along the upper parts of each rib on one side of the rib assembly only. The linings provide extra gluing surface for the plates later on, and provide support for the ribs. 

Be careful not to put linings on both sides. The other side of the rib assembly is where the mold is later removed. 

Step 5: Joined Plates Ready for Gouging

Picture of Joined Plates Ready for Gouging
Shown above are two joined plates that will later be the bottom and top of the violin. They are now ready for the violin shape to be cut out. 

Step 6: Gouge the Plates to Form a Rough Arch

Picture of Gouge the Plates to Form a Rough Arch
violin bDec 2006 022.jpg
The first image shows the gouging of a plate. The second image shows a finished maple arch. 
RolandoW11 month ago

very nice

VojtěchB2 months ago

Here is the link for a step-by-step guide on violin making. Included are vectorized plans for the Messiah violin.


TasfiaS11 months ago

Hi Marika214!

Can I use some of your images of the violin for my website and link the images to your site please?

Great instructables by the way...

RAULRO2 years ago
Could I use this technique to make a cello?
nice work
rimar20002 years ago
WOW, awesome work!