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Making a violin is an artistic process. That's the reason why each instrument is unique. Each violin has its own birth and its own story to tell. It requires about 220 hours of work, from the wood choice to its assembling. It's a patient and accurate working, arose by years of experience. Now, let's try to describe it!

Step 1
Step 2
Choosing the proper wood is crucial for the future instrument acoustic and aesthetic quality. In this picture, a Balkans maple wood back with tangential cut.

Senior snowy spruce wood. The wood must be more than 10 years mature. It’s essential for the instrument acoustics.
Step 3
Step 4
Maple wood block for violin scroll sculpture.

Selection and marking of the pieces already planed by a model.
Step 5
Step 6
Belly (also known as soundboard or top plate) and back ready for roughing. Arching roughing by gouge. We use the same procedure for the back and the belly. The shape of the arching is extremely important for the sound.

Step 7
Step 8
Edge finishing, by knives and files. Channel cut for the inlay of purfling and its insertion. The purfling embellishes the instrument, in particular the beaks.

Step 9
Step 10
The purfling. Tips must fit together perfectly. Their aesthetics depends on violin maker's style.

Removal of the inside wood for purfling insertion in the arching, by using proper gouges.
Step 11
Step 12
Arching working by using wood planes, till reaching the desired shape.

Arching finishing by using screeds. Screeds are thin steal sharp blades removing a thin layer of wood.
Step 13
Step 14
Placement and cut of the F-holes. They are crucial for the violin, for its acoustics and aesthetics. As a luthier looks at a violin, the first things he notices are the “F”. Thickness profile carving by using chisels, wood planes and screeds. The thickness profiles of the belly and of the back are extremely important for the acoustics. Depending on flexibility and wood weight, the violin maker removes different parts of wood.

Step 15
Step 16
The bass bar, its pasting. The bass bar is a spruce wood small bar, set under the bass strings. It supports the board.

The ribs. They are made of spruce wood, possibly the same quality of the back. They are 1.2mm thick.

Step 1 7
Step 1 8
The ribs are thermo-bent and adapted to the selected model. In this picture, the ribs are finished by pasting the linings and the blocks, and are now ready for the extraction of the body (here, the external profile of the body).

Step 1 9
Step 20
The label and the brand. Each violinmaker brands his violin by his own label and brand.

The back is pasted on the ribs by using animal hot glue.
Step 21
Step 22
The belly and the back assembled, by special clamps.

Files and screeds smooth and soften the external surfaces.
Step 23
Step 24

Step 25
Step 26
The scroll sculpture goes on till its finishing. Then, it’s time to cut the pegbox, the housing of pegs and strings. After the violin maker pastes the fingerboard, the scroll is engaged at the board by a dovetail joint, perfectly made according to conventional standards.

Step 27
Step 28
Nose finishing. It's another distinguishing feature of the luthier. Varnishing. In this step, apenetrating sealer coats the maple wood elements and gives them a coloured background.

Step 29
Step 30
The varnishing starts off with a transparent coat, till the instrument reaches the desired colour. The varnish I personally produce and I usually use is alcohol-based with different dissolved natural resins.

The belly during its varnishing. On the surface, it's possible to highlight some wood grains by a proper procedure.
Step 31
Step 32
The varnishing at its end. Generally, the violin requires more than 20 coats!

The assembling. It's one of the crucial steps because it makes the violin sound. In this image, ebony pegs.
Step 33
Finally, the instrument is ready to be played!
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