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Fiddle Kit

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

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Fiddle Kit
  Item# Description In stock Price Quantity
5342 Fiddle Kit Yes

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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.

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 Ratings and reviews
Fiddle Kit
Fiddle Kit
4.5 out of 5 stars
Based on 29 ratings Write a Review
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Displaying 21 – 29 < 1  2  3
5 1-10-2011
Best for this price

You get everything you need to build a decent fiddle. The quality of the material could be improved a little (i.e.: no micro knots on the back or narrower veins on the belly), but overall, this is a good kit.
Instructions leaflet is clear and informative. Being a professional luthier since 1987, I'll have no trouble completing this kit.
The belly has eventually to be worked down at some spots to get a better acoustical response, but if you skip this fussy step, a good sound can be obtained anyway.
If you live in Europe (as I do) think about customs and taxes.

Alfonso Garcia-Oliva  Cantabria, Northern Spain Read my reviews (3)
4 1-10-2011
A decent kit with great potential

Alright, first, let me say I bought this kit at a discount because it didn't have any instructions. Luckily, there are a number of these kits branded by various retailers and it was no problem to download acceptable instructions in a pdf format.

OK, so my kit didn't have marvelously flamed maple back like the photos in the catalog. But ugly wood can sound just as good as pretty wood. The wood doesn't know. The top is fine and looks good.

I assembled the violin using the instructions, for the most part, except for the neck joint, where I only cut the top block and ribs, rather than the much harder maple neck. I managed to get the correct neck angle. The nut required some careful attention, filing the slots. I bought a new bridge for $16 from a music shop/luthier. French. Nice. 3-stars. HARD maple. Sounds like *tink!* when you drop it on a table top.
But here is the most important part--you have to graduate the plates. They are way too thick. Luckily, there are graduation calipers available that make this job easier. I found the measurements for an actual Stradivarius violin plate thickness online. I duplicated those figures on this fiddle. This was, as it turns out, just the thing to do. The violin has very uninteresting appearing wood on the back, but the sound of the violin is GIANT. When you hear it, you really won't care what it looks like. It has the potential to sound that good.
I have done blind comparison tests with a German fiddle from the 1950s and a $1500 Cremona fiddle two years old. This one wins. But you have to be prepared to copy the strad dimensions into this fiddle. Good luck. Took me over a year (most of the time, it sat in a box under my workbench. If I had known how it was going to sound, I would have finished it in six weeks! Build one!!

Uncle Bob  San Ansemo, CA USA
Customer supplied image for review
2 12-23-2010
fiddle kit

I built this fiddle as a gift for someone. I was very unimpressed by the quality of the premade parts. Some of the smaller problems were a gouge from a chisel in the headstock which needed to be carved out, and there was a chip taken out of the back of the neck that needed to be carved out. Those were just minor issues though.

The big problem i had was the pre-assembled back and sides (after the top and neck were glued on) were not glued well and as a result the glue joint had failed and split along a quarter of the seam. So I ended up removing the back and re gluing it because I didn't trust the existing glue. The only thing that i believe was of good quality was the spruce top which has a very strait and tight grain. The instructions were okay but it would be helpful if they included some shop drawings or diagrams.

I.F Guitars  canada
4 12-14-2010
fiddle kit

The overall kit is very good, i only have one complaint with the product the company who made this violin had broken the headstock and glued it back together. I didn't spot this until i had built the entire body. I think if a company is going to sell a quality product they should not be gluing broken parts together and selling them.

donnar56  globe, AZ USA Read my reviews (2)
StewMac responds

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We apologize for the inconvenience and would be happy to provide you with a refund/replacement. Feel free to contact us.

4 11-10-2010
fiddle kit

The kit is very complete. The only part which i believe could have been clarified more was the thickness of the top and bottom. As it comes they are too thick by several thousands. Unless this is corrected the fiddle will not sound as good as it could. Other than that is sounds great and is well worth the price, and is a great experience for someone who is new to building fiddle's

donnar56  globe, AZ USA Read my reviews (2)
5 7-29-2010
Fiddle Kit

I have now used the violin I made from your Fiddle Kit for three years. The tone seems to get better as the years go by. It also keeps in tune (apart from the odd tweak) – something my Havemann (1736) does not quite keep up to. Nor do some of the other violins I play and own. The kit itself is fairly easy to build with the comprehensive instructions that accompany it. Building the ‘fiddle’ also helped me understand other stringed instruments better. My greatest challenges were fitting the neck snugly and inserting the sound post – both of which take a lot of patience. Problems faced by all luthiers. I am (by the way) only an amateur. To complement the instructions I did buy some extra tools from you and also bought some books on violin making. These helped along the way as there are many ways of making violins. They were not too expensive. I took the liberty of replacing your provided chin rest, tail piece and pegs in ebony . I made the fingerboard much lighter (in weight) by gouging out most of the back of it. This makes the instrument less heavy and easier to support. I also purchased another set of strings from Germany. For the price, and quality, your kit is outstanding. Mine is often the talking point of my family. It was (with other violins) passed around over fifty people at a recent event of my amateur radio club. After half and hour it was returned to me and, in perfect tune still, I played an excerpt from Massenet – Meditation from Thaïs. What more can I say? Except that your service is fast, efficient, friendly and second to none.

John Rooke  South Australia
5 7-27-2010
Lovely Kit

Years ago I saw a photo of a violin in a woodworking magazine which had been made by one of its readers. I never thought that I would be able to complete a project as intricate and precise as that. However your fiddle kit was a great challenge, and by following every step slowly and carefully, I ended up with a lovely instrument of which I am really proud. As you see I substituted ebony parts for the boxwood, but that's the beauty of a project like this - it can be personalised also. Sounds great too. many thanks.

John McCarthy  Ireland
Customer supplied image for review
4 7-02-2010
Wonderful Kit

This is a wonderful fiddle kit. There are a few issues which I will discuss below but over all I was very impressed with the quality of the top and bottom plate as well as the Flame on the pieces of wood I received.

The bad parts first:
1. The instructions are okay, and if you build it as they advised you will probably get a fiddle that makes some decent sound for what you paid for it. I recommend picking up a real violin making book ( The art of violin making) or reading online and finding other violin construction books.

2. The fittings for the violin are ok and cheap, however the chin rest, tailpiece, and pegs are good. Strings you can throw away as well as the fine tuner. The bridge blank will work fine but you might want to buy one local to your violin store.

3. The top and bottom plates arrive a bit thick for violins. It's up to your preference but I would recommend finding the correct thickness for each areas of the top and bottom plate to graduate( thin the wood ) to.

4. I would suggest making or buying the neck fitting tool to make sure you have the correct angle of the neck. My neck piece when cut to specifications was at the wrong angle and I needed to adjust a bit. The only piece that I saw any issue with but not a big deal to just trim it down to fit correctly.

The good things:

1. The quality of the wood for main parts of the violin seem very good.

2. If built properly, it sounds wonderful! My teacher played on it and was very impressed. Not only did it resonate very well and play well in the upper registers but it sound equal to or better than my $2500 violin ( which sounds as good as most 3K-4K violins). Mine did come out as a bright violin, but you can always make it to have whatever tonal properties you'd like.

3. It is a really great bargain and a wonderful learning experience. I do recommend you do have some wood-working experience and lots of tools as well as specific violin tools needed.

So some minor issues, but overall, a very nice kit to make your first fiddle with. I will be making a few more of these before doing the full body from scratch. It seems intimidating because it is, but it's very rewarding making something that sounds very beautiful all on your own.

kdkns  texas
Customer supplied image for review
5 6-20-2010
Fiddle Kit+

This is my project #3 fiddle kit with abalone and mother of pearl inlay. The best part is the violin sounds great.

Tim  Ormond Beach, Fl
Customer supplied image for review
Displaying 21 – 29 < 1  2  3 /\ Top of Reviews

Shown on page 97 of our latest catalog.
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