Étretat Chinrest

September 13, 2016 at 05:25 PM · (nothing really important here, just some self-indulging show-and-tell)

I'm getting a new violin (weeee~!), and because I use a custom chinrest on my primary one I decided to make a copy of that chinrest for the new violin which I intend to be using as much as the other (if not more).

As I was carving the shape, I started to wonder... where have I seen this before... Then it hit me, Étretat, France!

Cote Normande

So I'm calling it an Étretat chinrest style if nobody has dibs on the name yet! ;)

It's almost done, just needs some finishing touches...

Replies (16)

September 13, 2016 at 06:39 PM · Nice. Where is the spike?

September 13, 2016 at 09:46 PM · Very cool geological antecedent!

September 13, 2016 at 10:06 PM · Looking awesome Fox!

I'm curious, what kind of wood are you using?

September 13, 2016 at 11:47 PM · Nice craftsmanship !

September 14, 2016 at 01:51 AM · Thanks folks! :)

Rocky, I don't think OSHA or I would be happy if my chinrest had a big spike on it. So I'm gonna say it eroded away! ;)

The wood is Honduran mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla); I considered using ebony or boxwood but I've had this mahogany blank lying around for years... If it's good enough for Gibson it's good enough for me!

September 14, 2016 at 02:34 AM · Awesome, I must do something like that too someday! Are you planning on varnishing/treating it?

September 15, 2016 at 07:30 AM · Yep, I gave it a few coats of varnish to seal the wood.

September 15, 2016 at 10:20 AM · That chinrest you made looks very nice Fox and I do not recall ever seeing one made from mahogany.

September 15, 2016 at 06:43 PM · Thanks Jeff! I don't recall ever seeing anyone else use mahogany for violin parts either. But like I said I had that piece of wood around, and didn't have an ebony or boxwood blank big enough at hand; that and I love to work with mahogany! It's a very fine material, very expensive! ...mahogany!

(DBZAbridged - Mahogany - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14D5wKSVlXg)

September 18, 2016 at 07:55 AM · Excellent work! W.E. Hill & Sons used a very similar Cuban variety of mahogany, Swietenia mahagoni, for the exterior of their legendary "apostle" cases. You're in good company...

September 18, 2016 at 08:15 AM · Thanks Dimitri!

I have two small pieces of Cuban Mahogany salvaged from an antique table leg but it was just a fraction too small for this project; that mahogany was the standard back in the day but now is commercially extinct. :(

September 18, 2016 at 08:19 AM · Looks kind of like Durdle Door to me! ;-)

October 12, 2016 at 06:01 AM · Durdle Door or Étretat, I made another one!

I got a hunk of Pernambuco (imported way before CITES), so I decided I'm replacing the pegs and tailpiece and end pin on a violin for no reason other than 'because I can'! :)

Question, if anyone would know the answer: The chinrest looks pretty good to me simply with a good polish, but I've considered varnishing it to seal the wood. Do people normally varnish this kind of thing or are they left au naturel?

October 12, 2016 at 01:53 PM · Looks great!

I tried a pernambuco tailpiece once. It significantly brightened the tone of the violin. I was very surprised at the difference. For that violin it didn't need additional brightening.....So I had to take that beauty tailpiece off...

October 12, 2016 at 10:12 PM · I'm curious Fox, how long did it take? I think it's time for a new chinrest for me, and I just might make my own too over Christmas break.

October 13, 2016 at 04:50 AM · Uuhmm... Let's see, the mahogany one took about 8 hours. The pernambuco proved to be much harder (literally) because of how hard the wood is. I started on Sunday evening, worked on it for a while, then again some more Monday, and finished it Tuesday... about 15 hours of on and off work.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Our Kokopelli
Please support Violinist.com
your donation
or sponsorship campaign.

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music

Yamaha V3 Series Violin

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Metzler Violin Shop

Gliga Violins

Coda Bow

Corilon Violins

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance

Bobelock Cases



Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Pro-Am Strings

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop