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Fiddle Kit

Read 29 Reviews   |   Write a Review

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 11 – 20 < 1  2  3 >
2 3-04-2012
Hit or Miss

I'm not going to rant, rather warn. Check everything when it arrives.

Make sure things fit, that holes are drilled in the correct place, that the neck is not bowed or twisted. If I had double checked everything I would not have started working on it and would have happily returned it for another one (based on the all the rave reviews). My nice winter project has turned into months of doing it myself. On the up side... I learned a lot about making a violin by having to fix or remake kit parts that were substandard.
Did I mention... check everything before you start. If you're not happy, send it back.

Quintin  Georgetown, PEI Read my reviews (10)
5 1-19-2012
Purfling at the start.

You asked for my experiences with your violin kit. I have had the kit in my possession for about a month and just yesterday I finished bending the purfling. I measured the channel for the purfling and the width of the purfling and noted that the purfling is 0.006 inch wider than the channel so I am in the process of widening the channel.

This is a great kit and I enjoy working on it. Because of my other duties, this kit is one of my lower priorities but when I get it assembled, I will order the sandpaper and varnish to finish it. It is then that you will know that I have it assembled. I suspect that it will take until this summer before I am ready for the varnish. Thanks for your concern. I appreciate the challenge.

2ndfiddler  Iowa
5 12-22-2011
Fiddle Kit

I built the fiddle for my grandaughter's High School Graduation a couple of years ago. She is an accomplished violinist. It was a huge hit with her, her family, friends and music teachers at the graduation party. Everything in the kit was great.

I took several weeks to complete it, working a few hours at a time. I could not get the sound post set, so a repairman at a local Music Store did it for me & set a new bridge as well. He also buffed out my shelac finish to a nice gloss. When I picked it up, he made my day by saying, "This thing is a CANNON,it sounds wonderful" The only thing I had trouble with was the instructions on fitting the neck, but with careful measurements & cuts(and holding my breath a lot) it worked out beautifully. I do woodworking as a hobby. This was my 1st attempt at building any musical instrument and I learned a LOT.

I would reccomend this kit. Take your time,it is a rewarding project. Go for it !

FHBurgess  Trafalgar, IN USA
Customer supplied image for review
5 11-17-2011
#5342 FIDDLE kIT

This kit is a good value. Most of the hard work has been done, just finish it! Components appear to be of good quality.

MR. ED  OKLAHOMA Read my reviews (3)
5 11-02-2011
Violin Kits.

I recently built two of the Stew,mac violin kits and were very well satisfied with both of them.Thew turned out real good and had beautiful sound.I will give you five stars on the kits.Gilbert

Giolbert Riggins  Richmond Va. Read my reviews (2)
4 9-01-2011
I'm gonna buy another

The only negatives I had was the purfling groove did not finish across the back and the boxwood parts.

Joseph Fitzpatrick  Lexington KY Read my reviews (4)
5 4-10-2011
my most recent discovery

I have to rave about certain aspects of this kit, from the perspective of an amateur.
I made the discovery today that this fiddle holds a tune better than I could have possibly hoped. I didn't touch this instrument for over 6 weeks and I only needed to tweak the fine tuners slightly to get it into concert pitch. I was stunned. The tone of the instrument is very nice, though I'm not a fiddler so I can't compare, and quite loud.
I am not a trained woodworker in any sense, and I did not graduate the top and back, left them as-is. I see many reviewers took the time to do that, but if you're not comfortable with that task, you should know that it isn't required to get a good result.

Al Taylor  Chicago
Customer supplied image for review
4 4-09-2011
Awesome kit, and awesome customer service

I bought this kit recently, and was quite excited to open it up and check it out. The back is nicely flamed, and I'm really looking forward to putting it together.

I had one problem - the fingerboard was damaged. It has a weird stain on it, and it's pretty deep. I couldn't get it off, so I contacted customer service, and they're shipping me a new one free of charge.

I'm very happy with my purchase, and absolutely would buy this kit again.

mcoleman  Toronto, Canada
3 3-13-2011
Fiddel kit

I have recently orderd 3 fiddel kits from you and now the violin top doesn´t fit the bottom. It seems like the pre fabricated bottom wood and violin side wood has lost it´s shape during transport. Now we can´t fit the top to the bottom. This is a huge problem for us first timers. What to do?

bert fahller  sweden
4 3-08-2011
A solid learning experience

First, let me say that a kit is the ideal way to learn about fiddle/violin making. All of the heavy work is done and you can spend your time fumbling through the finesse.
I downloaded and read the assembly instructions first, but I had no idea what to expect, With kits costing anywhere from $80 to $325, it is fair to assume the $157 StewMac kit is a reasonable place to start.

Before beginning you need a GOOD book. I got the classic Johnson and Courtnall book, but there are other reasonable offerings out there. It is also worth watching as many related You Tube videos and reading as many violin-making blogs as you can. Once you've done all this, you can dispense with the kit instruction manual, because you won't be using it.

The neck was pretty well formed with a reasonable scroll. It required just enough work to complete to allow me to learn the limit of my abilities. The finished scroll isn't perfect, but it looks pretty good for an amateur. The inside of the pegbox was rough, but thinning the walls eliminated most of the nicks and tearout. Only a few (more serious) divots required a little Plastic Wood.

The fingerboard and nut were pretty much completed, but the fingerboard contained three relatively serious knots which interfered with further planing, shaping and smoothing. The fingerboard also began to bow a little, so I got a new fingerboard, nut and saddle from another supplier.

The front and back woods appear to be of reasonable quality, but I don't understand why the grain runout is in opposite directions on each side of both the front and back. It makes scraping difficult, so I resorted to sandpaper. Still, this is a learning process! Both the front and back were thick enough to allow any type of graduation you might choose.

The purfling was a little rough, and installing it was a bit of a challenge - before I learned about tapering the bottom corners (with a scraper) to ease insertion. FWIW this purfling is easily formed with a curling iron.

While getting the replacement fingerboard, I also replaced the bass bar, soundpost and bridge. The bassbar and soundpost may not have needed replaced, but for $0.50 each, I got wood of much finer and more even grain. This also provided an escape route in case I overcut the soundpost. Replacing the bridge with a better one also allowed practice forming/shaping on the original bridge.

So far, the work has been perfomed, in spare time over a period of weeks in a dry (50% humidity) cool (65° F) area and the wood has been responding as wood always does to a change in environment. No serious warping or twisting has occurred, but it is worth thoroughly acclimating the kit to your environment. The back appears to have straightened a little, since the ribs are a bit too wide for the front at the bottom of the C bout - just enough to position the point of the rib too close to the edge of the front. Since I don't want to compress this and build stress into the finished fiddle, I'm hoping that a slight increase in humidity and temperature might allow the back to return to normal.

The kit isn't finished yet, but it is far enough along to see that the materials and factory work are adequate, and the overall quality of the finished instrument is the responsibility of the person who builds it.
Do your resaearch, and enjoy the experience - you'll learn a lot - including where you need to polish your skills.

Jim Pletcher  Enola, PA
Displaying 11 – 20 < 1  2  3 > /\ Top of Reviews

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