As I generally do, I began to research violins on the ‘net, just looking around, you know? I came across this picture –

of an Amati violin from 1613. Is that fabulous, or what?!? Visions of a blond violin began to dance in my head. I was dreaming of blond violins. Then I took a look at my bank balance. Yeah. Never gonna happen.

So I thought, “How hard can it be to build a violin?” It’s not rocket science, right? A bit of research revealed that, while it really isn’t rocket science, it is pretty close – finding the perfect blend of materials, shape and finish is actually quite a difficult feat, which is why the old violins are selling for outrageous prices.

Hmmm…People are still building violins, so there must be some info out there. I found an interesting book, “Violin Making, An Illustrated Guide for the Amateur” by Bruce Ossman. The “can-co” attitude really appeals to me. Bruce believes that anyone with a few woodworking skills is capable of building a violin that will sound good, if not as great as a 250-year-old instrument. The instructions are clear and seem to be easy enough.

But, in corresponding with a friend, Rob Ditterich, a violin maker in Australia, I was led to seek out Henry Strobel, a violin maker in not-too-far-away Aumsville, Oregon. We drove over one morning after a meeting and had a lovely chat with Henry Jr. about violins and bows and I bought Henry’s book “Violin Making Step by Step” which is chock full of great information.

However, I don’t think I’m ready to build a violin from slabs of wood yet. Looking around the web, I happened upon the Kit People. For around $150 I could get a partially assembled kit and finish it myself. Now that’s more like it! But…I was sure I could find a cheaper better price. I mean, they’re all made in China these days, right? I chose to go the eBay route and will report soon on quality, etc.

In the mean time, there’s still so much research to be done…