All Making articles

  • Huehner l

    Ask the experts: What should a luthier look for when choosing tonewood?


    For a beginner luthier, choosing the perfect spruce and maple for an instrument can be a confusing process. Three experts in wood selection offer some guidelines

  • Notch
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    Baroque Set-up: In a Land without Rules


    With the growth in popularity of historically informed performance, more players are requesting Baroque-style instruments – but the process of converting an instrument is fraught with uncertainty. Sarah Peck presents an overview of the Baroque set-up process, and corrects some common misconceptions along the way

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    Lutherie Collectives: The Wisdom of Crowds


    Violin making is traditionally a solitary career, so why are so many luthiers and bow makers choosing to join collectives? Peter Somerford talks to the founders and members of such groups around the world to discover the benefits of pooling resources, knowledge and time

  • 14 Weird glasses
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    Luthiers and RSI: Taking the Strain


    For instrument makers, repetitive strain injuries can mean untold pain and misery – and possibly the end of their career. Luthier Cameron Robertson explains how, with the help of occupational therapist Sara Propes, he adapted his work process to guard against the problems of RSI in the future

  • Scrolls
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    Pöpel and Kurzendörffer: The Mists of Time Demystified


    Just three Vogtland instruments exist from before 1700. All violas, they were made by two of the founders of the region’s first violin making guild.Klaus Martius  explores what we know about the mysterious Johann Adam Pöpel and Johann Adam Kurzendörffer

  • digital 3
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    Digital Amati: project luthier


    A decade ago, François Denis’s Traité de Lutherie showed how the old Italians used Euclidean geometry to design their instruments. Now a computer program based on these principles allows luthiers to construct and adapt patterns quickly and easily. Its creator, Harry Mairson, explains the genesis of Digital Amati

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    9 tips on working with violin bridges


    Advice on how to fit, adjust and design your bridge from The Strad Archive

  • Madder root

    The alchemy of the madder root


    Madder root has been used since ancient times to create a deep red pigment – but the making process remains enigmatic

  • Plowden Del Gesu

    I shy away from copying models that are too individual, says violin maker Sam Zygmuntowicz


    The luthier's favourite instruments provide ideal models for his own making

  • Voller
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    When does a violin copy become a forgery?


    There's a fine line between copying an instrument and forging a masterpiece. Alan Coggins offers a humorous perspective on the perils luthiers face when interpreting past masters

  • Tim Phillips Revolin 2
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    Life out of balance


    While many luthiers are happy making stringed instruments to the standard form, others are keen to explore the possibilities of alternative patterns. Peter Somerford discovers how asymmetric designs can affect tone quality, projection, acoustics and player comfort 

  • Rose
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    An unexpected twist


    The few remaining guitars by Antonio Stradivari have distinctive characteristics – which proved useful when another example came to light recently in a museum collection. Emiliano Marinucci and Lorenzo Frignani tell the story

  • Dai Ting Chung
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    The Jewel of Taiwan: The Strad Calendar 2020


    The Chimei Museum in Taiwan houses the largest collection of stringed instruments in the world.The Strad Calendar 2020 marks 30 years since its founding, as Dai-Ting Chung and Andrew Guan highlight some of the remarkable treasures within its walls

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    Should violin makers embrace cutting edge computer analysis?


    Violin maker Sam Zygmuntowicz explores how high-tech ways of analysing violins and their sound could help makers and even influence the future forms of instruments

  • Dmitry Badiarov

    Closer to Nature – a documentary about violin maker Dmitry Badiarov


    The Russian violin-maker Dmitry Badiarov (based in the Netherlands) developed his love for carving wood after deciding to build his first sailing ship, aged 5. Since then his love for making violins has co-existed with his passion for sailing and the sea. In this film, which was presented at a ...

  • View from Alan Beavit's workshop

    Alan Beavitt: how I became a violin-maker on a remote Scottish peninsula


    The luthier shares his experience of living and working in Scorraig, a remote peninsula in the north-west Scottish highlands, recently featured in the news

  • Photo of Heifetz with Michael Yurkevitch (left) and Mr Rosenthal (right) from PM, 22 April, 1941

    Jascha Heifetz – champion of modern violins


    Dario Sarlo reveals a lesser-known passion of the great violinist, and how it led him to start his own lutherie competition

  • Schwarze

    Making fine violins out of fungus-treated wood


    In this video we hear from the researcher Francis Schwarze, who, together with a Swiss violin maker has treated wood used for instrument making with Physisporinus vitreus, a white-rot fungus that attacks and destroys certain structures in spruce, in order to build violins that sound as fine as antique masterpieces.

  • John Jordan

    The most exotic violin woods


    California-based electric violin maker John Jordan introduces us to some of his most exotic woods, ranging from the pricey Tasmanian tiger rose myrtle to the Swamp Kauri, which is dug up from bogs in New Zealand and is certified to be a minimum of 30000 years old. ...

  • Carbon Cello

    Making a cello from carbon


    In this video Tim Duerinck demonstrates how to make a cello from carbon by hand. The music to the video is also performed on the carbon cello. To read his article investigating the possibilities of flax, carbon, aramid and more in violin making click here.