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Frequently Asked Questions
How long have I been making instruments?
- Began in 1999
How long does it take me to make an instrument?
- 100 hours minimum…usually over 150 hours for a violin or viola,
- 300 hours for a cello.
- 500 hours for a double bass…or more.
What woods am I using?
- For classical violins, I use European maple and spruce
- For violas and cellos, I use either domestic or European maple, with either domestic or European spruce.
- For five-string fiddles, I am open to experimentation: I have made their backs, sides and necks of domestic maple, Oregon myrtle, and Hawaiian Koa. I have made fronts of a variety of spruces and of Port Orford cedar. I have wood for a five-string fiddle made of bubinga, and another one of myrtle but have not begun the work on either.
- For fittings, I use nearly exclusively ebony, but am experimenting with Ipé, Osage Orange, and other non-threatened hardwoods.
Where do I buy my wood?
- Some wood I have personally harvested, cut up, and dried. Other wood I have bought from the individuals who harvested it and dried it. The European woods, I have bought from tonewood dealers, such as International Violin Co., in Baltimore, Maryland.
What finish am I using?
- I have used both oil varnishes and spirit varnishes. Currently I am using spirit varnishes. Both are deeply rooted in tradition.
What sizes do I make?
- So far, in violins, I have mostly made 4/4 size instruments, but I have a mold for a ¾ size, and have made one very nice instrument from it. I intend to make at least a few fractional sized instruments, as demand exists.
- In violas, I have made 14”, 14-7/8”, 15-3/4”, 16”, 16-1/4” & 16-1/2” instruments. Unless someone specifically orders one smaller or larger, that is probably as far as I would go. Big violas are fun to make and they sound wonderful, but very few people can comfortably play them. Smaller violas are difficult for most makers. I can make a very good 14” viola, but have never tried a smaller one.
- In cellos, I have only made 4/4-size, but I have a pattern for a 7/8-size cello, and may eventually try one of those.
- My basses are either 7/8 or 3/4-size. (The smaller one is technically a 5/8 size, but with 3/4 size bottom end, and a removable neck for travel.)
What is the price?
- Contact me, please, for pricing details
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