Frequently Asked Questions:

  • I’m not a violin maker, would I be interested in these meetings?
    • All are welcome, musicians, woodworkers, those interested in science of acoustics, or just the beauty of the instrument’s construction and form!
  • I’ve never made a violin, will The Association help me?
    • The primary goal of the Association is to help people new to violin, viola, cello, and other stringed instruments, as well as those making bows, to learn and to improve their skills in making.  You will find there are as many opinions on how to make an instrument as there are instrument makers, discussions and hands-on instruction with members will help you find the method that works for you.
  • Do I need to be a member to a attend a meeting?
    • No, guests are welcome, but if you choose to frequent the Association meetings and to make use of its resources you are expected to pay the nominal membership fee.
  • Do you have resources and equipment?
    • The Association has a library of technical resources.  The Association does not own any equipment itself, but the member often open their workshops to those in need of accessing tools and equipment.
  • I am new to woodworking, can I make an instrument?
    • By its nature, stringed instrument making requires woodworking skills.  The Association can help you learn the necessary skills to build an instrument.
  • Do you focus solely on violins?  What about other instruments?
    • The Association is dedicated to violins, violas, cellos, and stringed instruments played with a bow, as well as the making of bows themselves.
  • How long does it take to make an instrument?
    • Typically a violin will take on the order of 100 to 300 hours of work, depending on the building method (machinery or by hand), your experience, and what you want to achieve.
  • Do I need allot of tools?
    • Not really, a stringed instrument can be made by hand with a small assortment of somewhat specialized tools.  Power tools can be used for some jobs to speed the process.  The use of power tools is a philosophical choice as well as practical one.
  • Do you sell instruments?
    • The Association is about making instruments, not selling them.  That being said, an instrument is meant to be played, not to spend life on a shelf; most members have some of their instruments for sale.  Please note, it takes hundreds of hours to make an instrument, and the price often reflects this.
  • Do you appraise instruments?
    • Members of the Association are happy to examine instruments, and to educate on the history of violins and violin making schools, all for free.  However, any suggestion of value is only an opinion.

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