Amate paper – A little local flavor

Amate paper – A little local flavor

I wanted to add some local spice to the viola that I made in Tepotzlan, Mexico.  Ernesto, my host, gave me some of the traditional Amate paper that he uses for his own labels. Amate is made from the bark of a spectacular Ficus tree. I saw this one in the Cacahuamilpa...
Reinforcing a cello rib with silk

Reinforcing a cello rib with silk

This was a quick test to look at the effectiveness of silk as a rib reinforcement rather than a more commonly used wood cleat. I used polyester in this test but later I did some simple tests and found that natural silk sticks better and doesn’t skid around and...
Markus Morscher – Organ builder

Markus Morscher – Organ builder

While driving up to Seattle I remembered that I had once ordered wood from an Austrian organ builder living in the area. It was a good opportunity to visit, acquire some good European violin wood, check out the organ shop and meet Markus Morscher who I’d heard is a...
Roaming Brazilian wood merchants

Roaming Brazilian wood merchants

These Brazilian guys drive the country selling Brazilian made bows and violin wood from Europe. For violin makers like me, far from any European wood mill or US wood wholesaler, this allows me to pick through the wood before buying it, an invaluable service.  Prices...
Fish glue

Fish glue

Updated 8.23.2012 – see below I came across this at Robertsons and Sons Violins where they have not used any other animal glue for many years. It is a good quality animal glue, liquid at room temperature and consequently has a long working time of several...