Violin Making
An Illustrated Guide for the Amateur
2nd Edition Revised & Expanded
by Bruce Ossman

215 x 280mm

Published by Fox Chapel Publishing Co Inc, PA USA


ISBN 978-1-56523-435-2

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As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 147

Musical instruments such as guitars and violins are not high on the To Do list of most woodworkers. Is that because they are not interested in music, not interested in the kind of work involved, or simply because they are deterred by the apparent mystique that pervades the world of luthiers?

Those who have actually tried to make a violin tend to see their achievement differently. They are often surprised at how successful they have been and how pleasant their instrument sounds in the hands of someone trained to play it.

These woodworkers have found that while making a violin to equal a Stradivarius may be an unachievable goal, making one that looks great and plays well is certainly within the abilities of any reasonably able and experienced woodworker.

Bruce Ossman believes his book offers a faster than normal path to success in the venture.

He takes the unusual course of using the first six pages to preview the violin building process - 30 steps, each described in a few words and illustrated by a rendered line drawing.

This is followed by a Gallery showing instruments which serve to demonstrate that making beautiful violins is not confined to professional luthiers.

The next two Chapters are devoted to providing an understanding of the violin and its structure, then the preparation of materials.

The remaining 60 pages of the book consist of a step by step description of the making of a violin and a set of full-size patterns for its components.

Drawings: Black & White

Photos: Colour

Units of Measurement: Metric


A Preview of the Building Process


Chapter 1: Background and Structure

Chapter 2: Preparation of Materials

Chapter 3: Construction of the Violin

- Steps 1-50: Using the Form, Making the Ribs, and Shaping the Blocks

- Steps 51-71: Shaping the Belly and Back Plates

- Steps 72-84: Adding Detail to the Belly Creating the Bass Bar, f-holes, and End Rest Slot

- Steps 85-115: Creating the Neck, Pegbox, and Scroll Unit

- Steps 116-132: Shaping the Fingerboard

- Steps 133-182: Finishing Up

Appendix: Full Size Patterns and Templates