How a Violin is Made

comments (2) July 14th, 2009 in blogs, videos

Tom Tom McKenna, Managing Editor
thumbs up 12 users recommend

One of my favorite TV channels is Discovery. It features a bunch of reality-type shows, such as "Deadliest Catch" and "Dirty Jobs" that make me really appreciate the ho-hum (but temperature-controlled) experience of the office-cube environment.

One of my favorite shows, though, is "How It's Made." The episodes are short and slick, and they provide insights into how common household items and tools are built. I found a particularly cool episode on making a violin. It's quite interesting how many instrument-making techniques are used for making furniture. Check it out.

posted in: blogs, videos, musical instrument, violin making, discovery channel, violin maker, small handplane, instrument making

Comments (2)

Tom Tom writes: goodguy, thanks for your input and thoughtful comments. I'm happy the post brought back fond memories for you. (Thanks also for pointing out the mistake.)
Posted: 8:31 am on July 16th

goodguy goodguy writes: My father was a violin maker, so I can attest that most of this video is correct, even if it is “short and slick.” There was a great deal of information that was left out, by necessity for time. That’s a shame. The hand-tools and skills that are most admired in furniture making are similar to those most admired in other Fine Woodworking. I’m sure many FW readers would be interested to learn more.

One important mistake in this video: Rosin is not put on he bow’s horsehair to “keep it from slipping off the strings.” Rosin provides friction which makes the strings vibrate. That’s what make the violin and other bowed instruments work.

It’s curious how I could grow up my whole life in a violin shop and never really appreciate how much my dad taught me. Thanks for posting this video. It brings back fond memories and a great respect for my father’s heritage.
Posted: 10:27 am on July 15th

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking


Become a Better Woodworker


GlueTube is's video blog that features self-produced videos about woodworking submitted by woodworkers around the globe. The videos featured here stream direct from video file-sharing Web sites including YouTube, Howcast, Vimeo,, and Google Video.

Learn about our new format!

Archive: Temporarily unavailable. Stay tuned and sorry for the inconvenience.