Completed Violin #1

Edited: October 9, 2019, 7:43 AM · So here it is...I've always helped my father with his instrument repairs throughout my whole life on and off. Only for the past 10 years have I consistently done violin, viola and cello repairs as a second job. Last year I decided to make a violin and use the same prints, template and guide my father used back in the 1970s to make his only violin. "You can make a Stradivarius" by Joseph Reed. I struggled with many things throughout the process but it all came together in the end. I would love to hear any comments or feedback. Good or Bad ill take it. I'm just happy its finished and I will move onto the next when I find the wood and time to start it. :)

Sorry if the pictures aren't that great.

Replies (35)

October 8, 2019, 3:25 PM · Congratulations! All your "strad" needs now is a fake label! LOL!!
October 8, 2019, 3:34 PM · Congratulation! You should embed the images in the post, though. After a couple of copy-paste operations to find another picture of just the scroll I almost lost interest....
October 8, 2019, 5:22 PM · Hey Mathew:

Pictures show it is too perfect for a totally hand-made violin. Did you used power tools such as bandsaw, routers, cnc etc?

October 8, 2019, 7:35 PM · Hi Bo, I apologize about the photo links. I do not know how to as you say it embed the images to the post. I'm going to look into it and try to edit the post.


October 8, 2019, 7:42 PM · Ted, the violin is 100% hand made by me. If you saw my shop you probably wouldn't even believe I made the violin at all but that's also the reason it took me over a year to make it. I dont even own a band saw,router and not one power tool was used to make it. Chisels, scrapers, gouges and some other very old tools my father has. I even used a violin case to hold the violin while I used the gouge. Lol. If you saw it in person you would not be saying how perfect it looks though. I could point out all the imperfections myself ;)

It sounds great though and it a wonderful 1st piece. I would love for some to purchase it but heck I wouldn't even know what to sell it for. I'm hopefully going to pick up some new tone would for my 2nd one.

October 8, 2019, 8:10 PM · I love it :)
October 8, 2019, 10:02 PM · It's a beauty! I never finished my first violin, and if I had it would not have looked this good (or sounded good I suspect). Congratulations!
October 8, 2019, 10:33 PM · It's definitely not CNC-perfect. Just look closely and you can see very slight asymmetries, for example when viewing the back (last linked image) and the pegbox (fifth image). Lots of violin makers rough stuff out with power saws is my guess. My deceased friend and violin-maker Daniel Foster had a band saw in his shop.
October 9, 2019, 5:07 AM · Fantastic work, well done you! How does it sound? Now that you’ve made one, would you go ahead and make another?
A good looking instrument, nice flame. I’m impressed!
October 9, 2019, 5:23 AM · This look amazing!!! I suspect that it sounds good.
October 9, 2019, 6:34 AM · I have a very pretty birds-eye-maple violin that was made by a guy who took up violin-making in his retirement. It's his "No. 24." It was made in 1972. It's beautiful but the sound is utterly without merit. Dalton Potter told me it would be hopeless to try to improve it.
Edited: October 9, 2019, 7:09 AM · Thanks, Tony!

It’s very pretty. You might consider replacing the E tuner with the type that doesn’t change the after length or risk gouging the top—a Hill tuner, I think.

Edited: October 9, 2019, 8:52 AM · Thank you all for the kind comments. I think I fixed the issue with the pictures so I hope that helps people stay interested :)

Tony: thank you for putting those links in i'm still not sure how to do that. I couldn't find the correct option for that.

Paul: I agree, some of it is not asymmetric. As well as some of the edge lines seem to straighten out slightly. This will all be corrected with the second one. I'm not sure what your seeing/saying about the peg box though.

Mary: Thank you so much I will look into the Hill tuner :)

Zilpah: Thank you very much, I will definitely be making a second on I haven't got around to purchasing the tone wood yet though. I had a experienced teacher play the Violin and look it over when I was finished an it sounded great. He thought so as well. For me though I would have liked it to be a little louder. This might come in part to my F holes being slightly narrow. I was debating whether I should open them up on this Violin or not.

October 9, 2019, 12:51 PM · It looks great!
October 9, 2019, 5:16 PM · Nice work - congratulations!
October 9, 2019, 7:11 PM · Welcome Mathew,

What a way to make your debut here, with a post and pictures of your first violin. It must have been a surreal experience stringing it up and pullinv a bow across the strings for the first time!

October 9, 2019, 7:35 PM · How does it sound?
Edited: October 10, 2019, 7:15 AM · Jeff: It is amazing when I hold the Violin and to think how long it took me to make it and the processes involved. Sometimes I still hold it and say "Did I really make this?".

David: I can't really play anything worth listening too. I had an expert play it but not for very long (1 or 2 mins) and it sounded good to him and I. I would love for a real player to take it in their hands for a couple hours of playing time to see what they would think. That time will come eventually I hope.

October 10, 2019, 9:03 AM · hi mathew, where in long island are you located.
Edited: October 10, 2019, 9:08 AM · Hi Kyle, I'm off the LIE in Islandia. Take a look at my contact info. It has my email and phone number.
Edited: October 10, 2019, 9:11 AM · Mathew is could just be the camera is not perfectly perpendicular in the photo of the peg box. If you're holding it in your hands, you can see it much better than any photo. In any case we're talking about very tiny asymmetries -- only enough to prove it's not a CNC product.
Edited: October 10, 2019, 9:26 AM · oh wow i actually go to your neck of the wood very frequent, my friend lives at the foxgate studio condo. is that number your cell or land line
Edited: October 10, 2019, 9:46 AM · Paul: Yup, exactly.

Kyle: Yea that's not to far from me at all. Yes that is my cell.

October 10, 2019, 10:24 AM · Party at Mathew's place tomorrow, 6 PM. Single-malts cheerfully provided.
October 11, 2019, 1:19 PM · I am speechless and impressed. Well done man!
October 11, 2019, 1:30 PM · Ted, Thank you so much. Keep in mind it is for sale. ;)
October 17, 2019, 5:28 PM · i'm gonna write this while the sound is still fresh in my head haha.

just came back from matthew's place, him and his dad are awesome folks, spend an hour or so trying out different violins they have,

the one matthew made, has pretty good craftsmanship to it. no over run glue i can see from any joints and it projects well. the arch for top plate and the belly reminds of my violin and setup is pretty good too. the scroll is nicely carved with no sharp marks. basically textbook style on the the whole thing.

it handles well for 7th and above on the G, didn't choke out when i play intro to czardas.
4th and 5th on the A & E has very rich overtone, i totally forgot to do harmonic so maybe next time haha. i was able to transition through chords and double stop pretty fluently.

for the price he is asking i believe its well worth it over the similar priced violins you can get from fiddlershop or jay haide, which i also tried.

also kudos to matt for throwing dominant strings on there to keep all things equal, too many times i went tried out violins and the shop has pi strings or visions that makes the violin seen brighter.

October 18, 2019, 8:35 AM · Hi,there ,a very nice Violin,like the slightly softer edges on the scroll.Beautiful craftsmanship.
October 18, 2019, 11:07 AM · Malcolm; Thank you so much. I also am pleased with the way the scroll carving came about and its originality. :)
October 18, 2019, 4:51 PM · Looks nice. Can you make me one. ;)
October 19, 2019, 5:08 AM · Stewie - still for sale, I guess.
Mathew, just curious - do you see yourself in this business for the future, or shall this remain more a hobby?
October 19, 2019, 4:54 PM · Stewie I'm absolutely open to be commissioned and right now your be the first on the list :)
Edited: October 19, 2019, 4:59 PM · Nuuska, I loved making my first Violin. Unfortunately I have to work a different full time job to pay the bills but I'm going to be starting my next violin shortly. So yes I do see myself in this business for the future. I dream of the day I can make violins for a living :)
October 19, 2019, 5:02 PM · at least we know its better than wilbaux lol

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