Make or Repair a Violin

  • Friday, March 03, 2023
  • Friday, May 26, 2023
  • 13 sessions
  • Friday, March 03, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PST)
  • Friday, March 10, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PST)
  • Friday, March 17, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)
  • Friday, March 24, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)
  • Friday, March 31, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)
  • Friday, April 07, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)
  • Friday, April 14, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)
  • Friday, April 21, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)
  • Friday, April 28, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)
  • Friday, May 05, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)
  • Friday, May 12, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)
  • Friday, May 19, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)
  • Friday, May 26, 2023, 9:00 AM 12:00 PM (PDT)
  • BARN Woodshop Studio, Class Code: WO030323CL
  • 1


  • $250 + $325 materials fee
  • $250 - No Materials Included

Build, finish, and string a violin so it's ready to play. Or get an old, damaged violin back into playable shape.

About this Class

Building or repairing a violin is a challenging project, and not one that can be completed in a few class sessions. So this class is structured to let you work at your own pace with a minimum of stress. The class fee covers three hours a week of instructor time for 12 weeks — approximately three months. You can also work independently between sessions. If your instrument is not completed after three months, you can sign up for another 12 weeks (or more). It's likely that 12 weeks will not be enough to build a new violin, especially if you don't already have hand woodworking experience or if you can't devote much time to work on it between sessions.

The instructor will focus instruction on what each student needs. If you're building a violin, you will start with a bundle of wood and go through all the steps, from shaping the parts to assembling them, applying finish, and setting up your instrument so it's ready to play. If you're repairing a violin, the steps will depend on what is needed.

This class is open to beginning woodworkers and students who do not play the violin or fiddle (the instruments are the same; it's the playing that differs). But experience with either or both crafts would be an asset.


  • You can sign up for this class at any time, with the fee covering 12 sessions. If you want to join mid-month, please email Studio Support Coordinator [email protected].
  • The class overlaps with open studio - you'll be sharing the Bench Room with others.
  • This class is open to BARN members only. Because it overlaps with open studio and is structured so you'll probably want to use the tools during additional open studio hours, guest drop-in fees would total far more than the membership fee.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes. If you need to use power tools to shape any parts, you will also need to wear safety glasses, tie back long hair and avoid loose-fitting clothing and jewelry. We recommend bringing your own safety glasses.


  • If you register to build a new violin, the $320 materials fee included in the cost of the class will cover all the wood you need. If you want especially fancy wood, there will be an additional cost (discuss this with the instructor).
  • If you register to repair a violin, the instructor will help you figure out what materials you need to purchase.


Students mush have completed Orientation to the Woodshop, If you want to use any of the tools covered by Woodshop Tool Safety Checkout 1 and Woodshop Tool Safety Checkout 2, you must also have completed those. Multiple sessions are listed on the Woodworking Calendar

Class Policies


Clay Levit owned and operated Fiddler’s Green Music Shop, a stringed instrument store in Austin, Texas, for 15 years. He began learning violin building at the Violin Craftsmanship Institute in New Hampshire and studied varnishing with Joe Robson in Ohio. He loves the combination of art and science inherent in the craft of building violins or fiddles. Clay makes fiddles and does repairs in his workshop on Bainbridge Island. When he’s not making fiddles, you might find him playing Irish fiddle music in a pub session!
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