Archive for the ‘lutherie’ Category

Brass F-hole cleat clamps

February 12, 2018

Who doesn’t love clamps? I made these 5 light duty clamps so that I wouldn’t have to buy them. You can get the comercial variety for $16-$20 each plus shipping. Mine came in at about $5 each.

I made them from 5/32” brass rod, 10-24 threaded rod, nuts, a 6mm t coupling for air lines, and some JB Weld to put it all together. (more…)

Brass hair gauge

February 5, 2018

The other night I spotted this string gauge [Below] and it inspired me to make something extremely similar to measure bow hair.


Luthier’s Knife

February 3, 2018

The luthier’s knife looks very much to me like a common carpenter’s striking or marking knife. Be that as it may, I don’t have either, so I made one. (more…)

Ram’s horn soundpost setter

January 27, 2018

I was looking around for pictures of violin soundpost setters when I found one on eBay with a ram’s horn hook on one end (my term).

Its uniqueness attracted me, so I went down to my workshop, grabbed a length of 1/4 inch brass strip. I split one end with a hack saw and cold chisel and shaped the ram’s horns with taps of a ball peen hammer. After I got that end to look satisfactory, I used files, my belt and disc sander, and a brass wire wheel to shape and polish the instrument. I actually had to use it today on a 1/2 size violin and it worked like a champ. (more…)

Smaller soundpost setter

January 27, 2018

I already own two violin size sound post setting tools which I purchased online. The other day I was setting a sound post in a less than full size instrument and I got the feeling I was stretching the limits of the tool. I got the post set successfully, but it entered my mind that a smaller tool might be handy for if I should have to work on a 1/4 size violin or smaller someday. (more…)

DIY Violin and cello neck clamps

January 27, 2018

I’m going to post a few items here pertaining to my new craft as an orchestral repair technician. These posts previously lived on my LumberJocks blog. You can see the entire kit and kaboodle here [link] if you wish.

There are at least two instruments in the shop that need necks reattached. I was shown how to do this when the entire neck is detached, but two cellos are broken at the joint and the method shown me might not work so well. Google to the rescue! I found photos of commercially available models, selling for multiple tens of dollars, and decided I could make my own. (more…)

No Frets Shirt

October 12, 2017


no_frets_tshirtOccasionally I put a new shirt design up on CafePress. In this case I was trying for something that was about violins, but didn’t necesarily say that the wearer plays the instrument. In my new job as a repairer of violins and cellos I obviously know how to bow and pluck the strings so that I can test the instrument, but as of now I cannot be said that I actually have the ability to play the instrument.

If you like this shirt design and would like one, they are available via CafePress here: [link]  There are styles available for men and women, plus mugs!

Time to fiddle

March 20, 2017


Back in the 1990s I took some violin lessons, but eventually gave it up. I kept my fiddle though, even loaning it to my neice when she took lessons for a time in school. I still have everything that came with the kit, a violin kit from Sears which cost a little over $100. I added a metal chrome colored mute and a pitch pipe to the kit as well as a cleaning cloth, white hankerchief and shoulder rest. (more…)

Mountain Dulcimer

October 27, 2011

[Nun legebla en Esperanto]

Today I finished the dulcimer I made for my wife’s Christmas present. I finally bought the strings, put them on, tuned them up.  The dang thing works and sounds good! Not bad for stone knives and bear skins. The sound box is fashioned from nonconformist pine.  The fingerboard from a stick of oak which I took from an old pallet. The bridge and nut are from the spine of a hard rubber comb. The tuning head is that of a guitar and the frets are banjo frets, both of which I bought. The case in the background was also fashioned by me and sports brass corner and clasp hardware. I’m sure this will give my wife pleasure to play at home and at school for the kids.  I wonder if I could convince her to play it in church…

Mountain Dulcimer

My home made mountain dulcimer which is to be a Christmas gift to my wife.