If you are a luthier, the technically correct name for a stringed instrument maker or a violin maker, or are about to become one, you understand that specialised tools and resources for luthiers are hard to obtain. Because shelf space is at a premium, most large hardware stores do not carry the specialised tools and equipment needed for violin making. However, hope is not lost. There are resources and associations available for luthiers, which makes your life a little easier.
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Vermont School of Violin Making
If you seriously want to become a professional luthier or repair technician, then the Vermont School of Violin Making may be an option. Led by master luthier Thurmond Knight, the school offers classes in taking wood from scratch to a completed violin, along with some common repairs and set-up techniques. Some musicians that play Knight's violins are Willie Docto, the general manager of the Georgetown Symphony Orchestra, and Joyce Hammann, the concertmaster of "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway.
Vermont School of Violin Making 385 Hinman Road Glover, VT 05839 802-525-3386 violinviolacello.com
Diefenbacher Tools is run by Ron Diefenbacher, a professional woodworker who has had years of experience crafting custom hardwood furniture. A full line of luthier's tools are available, including precision planes for violin making. The tools carried are not cheaply made, but are high quality European and American tools. Other tools carried include violin corner gouges, precision chisels and scroll carving gouges.
Diefenbacher Tools 12132 Old Big Bend St. Louis, MO 63122 800-326-5316 diefenbacher.com
Stewart-MacDonald is a large luthier supply house that stocks a variety of parts and tools for various instruments, including violin. Some of the items include wood blanks, premade parts (like the neck), fingerboards and metal hardware parts. It also carries a variety of tools, such as luthier's files and saws. It also stocks violin kits, which include all the parts to make a standard 4/4-size violin, and a luthier simply glues up all the parts, then apples finish.
Stewart-MacDonald 21 N. Shafer St. Athens, OH 45701 800-848-2273 stewmac.com
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