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Fiddle Kit

4.5
  • 27 Reviews
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Fiddle Kit

Item # 5342
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$199.95

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Fiddle Kit

About This Item

Take pride in making your own violin. Ease of assembly and an outstanding price make this one of our most popular kits.

You'll learn about instrument making, and have a lot of fun along the way! If you're a first-timer, this kit is a fine head start and a convenient alternative to building from scratch. Many guitarmakers tell us this kit gives them a fun break and a valuable learning experience, too.

All the parts to make a standard 4/4-size violin are included, for convenient one-step ordering. You won't need a fully equipped woodshop—hand tools will do, because the machine work has already been done for you. Complete easy-to-follow assembly instructions are included. Our fiddle kit is a fine head start for making your own violin.

When your Fiddle Kit arrives, the spruce top and curly maple back have been carved and sanded, and the back has been glued to the linings, blocks and curly maple ribs. Channels are already routed for easily installing the decorative purfling trim. The machine-shaped neck is ready for sanding and fitting to the instrument. Bass bar fitting, parts assembly, finishing and setup will complete a rewarding project. Sign your label with pride!

Also included:
Ebony fingerboard, nut and saddle, boxwood tailpiece with adjustable fastener, E-string adjuster, boxwood chinrest, endpin and tuning pegs, maple bridge, purflings, spruce bass bar, soundpost, and assembly instructions.

View our Fiddle kit instructions and our recommended tool list for building this kit.

Bow and strings sold separately.


Instructions

Product Instructions

Fiddle Kit Instructions

Downloadable assembly instructions for the Fiddle Kit, including a recommended tool list.

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4.5
  • 4.41 average rating from 27 reviews
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5.0

Great introduction to Classical strung instruments

By
(Customer's Reviews)


This is a quick build project, requiring little skill and few tools to complete. The greater majority of the work has been completed for the builder, as the more daunting task of carving the plates, neck and scroll have been accomplished, saving the builder many many hours of building time and frustration.
With that being said, the builder will have light finishing work to complete, with attention to detail with scrapers in hand devoted to such areas as the neck and scroll.

The overall build process is relatively strait forward, this given the builder follows the course as set by the manual. All matters as with a traditional violin building are done so in stages, stages which can not be jumped or rushed. Should the builder follow the steps accordingly, and proceed with patience, the end manifestation will its self speak volumes which only a purposefully built instrument may do.

First steps:
Upon arrival of your instrument, open the package with care, removing each component and checking to be sure that all items are in fact accounted for. This phase of the building would be best conducted on an open and clean surface,as for instance a work bench or counter top.

Overall quality is pretty good, taking into consideration the cost and pre-construction. The instrument is crafted of traditional woodworking species, Maple and spruce, Maple back, a two peice in this case, sides, and the neck/scroll. The belly or top is of two peice spruce. The fittings however, are not of the traditional ebony Gabon, rather a handsome boxwood I believe them to be. Either way, they make for a nice deviation from the traditional way. Does this in anyway effect quality, I think not. Traditionally, Ebony was / is used solely based on density and strength. It polishes well without need of coatings and is pleasing to the eye. Though I do believe that the supplied materials will in fact withstand the rigors of time and use.

With all part layer out in Thier corresponding order as prescribed by the manual, systematically begin construction of the instrument.

I will say, that as a violin maker, I have the luxury of owning several special tools that make this build a bit easier. As for instance, body clamps used to join the plates to the body. Available are spool clamps and a six peice clamp. These clamps make for sensational glue joints. Any miniscule gaps unbeknownst to the eye, will translate into a buzz to the ear, as the plates vibrate under acoustic resonance. There are other tools that may aid a build as this, though are not truly nessaccary.
If you do not have access to violin making tools, follow the manual and the building will be most rewarding.

Reccomonend tools:
Violin spool clamps
Neck gauge.
1/2 in flat chisel for forming the mortise joining the neck
Small violin scrapers
Perfling knife to evacuate perfling chanel

5.0

Worth every penny!

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I've built a few fiddles from this kit and they sound and look great! It takes a bit of skill to complete for first timers, but with patience and experience, you can produce some really nice instruments for a very low cost. You can't be certain of what the wood will look like, but of 4 kits, I've received 3 beautiful ones and a decent one. No complaints, worth every penny!

5.0

Great Kit

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I am very happy with this build - challenging, yet rewarding. As others have said before, the customer service is just as good. My fiddle top arrived warped, but did not realize it until after the bass bar and purfling was installed and was ready to glue to the back. I contacted StewMac about the issue and they sent me a brand new fiddle top (and matching back), more purfling, and another bass bar wood strip after verifying with photos with their technician. If you have a full time life, expect to spend several months on the fiddle. I have some wood working experience and the build was challenging, but definitely doable. If you are a novice to these kinds of projects, it may be very difficult. My advice is to read, re-read, and re-read the instructions again before making any cuts. Take your time and don't rush. I also had to google and/or ask my luthier friend about some processes as the instructions are detailed, but not THAT detailed. The section that gave me the most difficulties was fitting the next into the body. But like I said, cut slow and steady and check often and you should be okay. I followed the instructions pretty much to a T, but the varnishing process I did completely different. I choose to 'antique' my fiddle, as I love the look. Once the fiddle was in the white, I simple did several coats of black tea stain, a gelatin sealer, clear coat varnish followed by three color oil varnish, burnished with 0000 steel wool and did two coats of Tried and True Wood Oil Finish. If you left the oil varnish as is, it is super glossy, almost plastic looking, so with the steel wool burnish and T&T Oil Finish, it produces a nice silky, matte finish. Be prepared also to spend approx another $100 on tools/supplies. The sound: Fantastic! Rich and powerful, I was actually very surprised. Great projection and surpasses my student violin by far. I'd highly recommended this kit! -Shawn

5.0

Absolutely excellent!

By
(Customer's Reviews)


This violin kit is a great product. Excellent materials, detailed instructions, overall quality at high level. The finishing I applied (resins-based and wax) simulates an antique violin. The sound is rich and powerful, the tuning is stable.
Last, but not the least, the customer care is superb. I hope to see in the future a viola kit.
Thank you Stewart-MacDonald!
Alessandro, Rome, Italy.

4.0

An enjoyable build

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I purchased this kit mainly on the good reviews it received and I must say that I agree with the previous reviewers. My only issues were that the purfling routing needed quite a cleanup in a couple of areas and that the purfling itself absorbed the glue and swelled rather quickly. I learned how to deal with this issue quickly and it soon became only a minor nuisance. I modeled my build after that of Hilmar Hansson (see his review below) but with a modification. I cut a partial mortise in the body and used the bolt-on-neck as Hilmard. My twist is that I used wooden shims to achieve the proper neck angle. It worked out perfectly.

4.0

Violin Kit

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I am happy with the purchase and quick delivery of my kitset violin. It is now assembled and I had no trouble gluing it together. I am up to finishing the carcass and find it very slow and frustrating. I am using shellac. I have found it impossible to purchase spirit stains locally. And, unsure what colour to purchase online as no colour swatches are offered. I am frustrated with the slow process to get a reasonable finish and had to strip it back once, then last night the front fell down onto newspaper so that I needed to sand it off which removed the colour off the top centre. Now would like a stain to bring it back. Shellac is fast drying e.g. 5 minutes but, don't re-coat for 4 hours. I tried to re-coat every hour then the atmosphere changed as it rained and this softened the shellac somewhat. I had planned to build a mandolin and next a guitar but put off due their expense and the need to purchase other parts for them not included in the price. In spite of being a violin player. I can't wait to play my kitset violin. Frustrated having to muck around while painting on shellac. In the end I don't want a shiny violin. No, I want a sweet playing violin.

4.0

A Great Way to Experiment

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I bought this kit to experiment with alternative ways of putting a fiddle together. I was mainly concerned with the neck joint. The mortise and tenon joint at the neck is notoriously difficult to cut with hand tools. Furthermore, the earliest violin builders (surprisingly, that includes Stradivarius) did not cut a mortice and tenon joint but nailed their neck to the sides of the violin. So I decided to try something similar, but instead of nailing the neck to the body I used the neck bolts available at stewmac to bolt the neck to the body. The final result was a nice sounding fiddle. Bolting on the neck had no impact on the sound while it was much easier to get the correct neck angle. The kit itself consisted of high quality wood. Nice straight grained spruce and nicely flamed maple. The scroll was really nicely carved as well. I would have given the kit 5 stars but there were number of tear outs on the back and the purfling channel was cut rather sloppily in some places. However, given that the majority of the work was already done this was a great way to experiment and the quality of the wood made up for any other short comings of the kit.

4.0

Looks Great, Sounds Great

By
(Customer's Reviews)


My first violin, loved building it, being a woodworker for many years, this was a new area for me. My friend who prodded me to take on such a project played it for the first time for me the other day and said it sounded great. After all that effort, if it looks great but sounds crappy, you don't have an instrument, but that was not the case, it got great reviews from some real good musicians. Got a little more help with some books and some online sources, but the instruction book pretty much covers most of it. One thing though, BUY rosin for your bow, the book does not mention this, and for a non-player this was new to me, minor detail, no rosin on bow, no sound. This one I'm keeping, but I will be ordering another kit shortly.

4.0

good parts, instructions and fun to build

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I'm not exactly the most experienced instrument builder, I do it as a hobby in my spare time, and this was my first fiddle. A friend of mine asked me to build this for him and it was mostly a pleasure. Putting the finish on was probably the most difficult part because it does not come with any finish and it's sort of up to you to get the right stuff, not being experienced in violins/ fiddles I had a little trouble. Also the grainy black and white photos in the instructions are not a great help, but aside from that the instructions were very detailed and helpful. Overall it probably would have been easier for me if I knew anything about violins or played one. In the end it came out looking and sounding great any way. I guess if you're inexperienced like me take the time to do the steps properly and the results will be good, and if you know what you're doing then the parts seemed great to work with.

4.0

Return to Rosin

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I first played the violin when I was about 12 years old. That was 55 years ago. I thought the Fiddle Kit was a way to renew an old friendship. To date I have the body completed and I am working on the neck and finger board. I had a problem with the top not being wide enough to leave material to round over the edges. I added four pieces of poplar and smoothed them in. This took a lot of time and could have been avoided if the top was more generous. The adventure continues! I made 16 spool clamps and they may be waiting for a mandolin kit.

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StewMac PDF Catalog, page 91 See Fiddle Kit
on page 91 of our StewMac Catalog PDF

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