First of all, in order to build a quality violin, viola or cello, we need four types of wood. We need 1. Maple or maple (noble foxglove), Mountain maple or Acer pseudoplatanus. 2. Spruce or spruce (Picea abies) 3. Ebony (Diospyros) 4. Willow (Salix)

The maple tree occupies the largest area of ​​the instrument, it grows in certain areas of the country where the climate is very specific, but the moderately continental one makes it the best and most specific because over 900 meters above sea level it has particularly good characteristics, especially if it grows in a rocky area. Bosnia and Herzegovina is lucky that the instruments in the world made of Bosnian maple are the best because the most famous builders have been choosing maple from Bosnia since the 16th century. At least we can all Google it today and see for ourselves.

The elements that we have to prepare for drying and then for production, must be properly removed from the log. Each element is only valid if it is radially excluded from the log. Therefore, attention should also be paid to the aesthetic part, which is the most beautiful in the woody part and certainly has a very important role. So the core, the heart of the tree, the bark and the phellogen are unnecessary. picture

The correct way of cutting elements for making instruments

Tree felling, construction of elements and preparation for drying is done after the growing season. The proper way to dry is by placing the elements in rooms where there is no moisture, which are airy and not exposed to the sun. We have to arrange the elements crosswise so that air can flow between them to dry evenly. Only after two years we can remove the elements for making instruments, and it would be better if we wait a few more years of drying, we won't make a mistake because the older the wood, the instrument will sound and look better in the end. picture


The next step is to make a template and mold for the sides or frame of the violin. We can't go wrong in that, because with a little skill in technical drawing, knowledge of the geometry of mathematics and using the measurements from the tables that were written down in the 16th century, we will make the correct mold and every template we need to use to create a single violin body. It is recommended to use waterproof beech plywood for making molds, and 1mm thick plexiglass for templates. picture


If we want to act correctly and for the instrument to be authentic, we must work according to the hierarchy. The maple parts have to be from the same tree except for the narrower surface of the same so that the appearance could ultimately be unassailable and so the builder of his instrument stands proudly behind it and presents it with his signature printed on the plate inside


The frame consists of six spruce blocks of certain dimensions temporarily glued to a plywood mold, on which we glue previously prepared maple sides in sequence, which after drying are reinforced with thin willow slats. After that, we flatten the frame with a hand hobbler and trace the edge on the boards that we prepared earlier. We process the boards with a saw along the edge right next to the line we drew.



The bombatura of the upper plate and the lower one are not the same. A spruce speaker performs a different role and must be taller by one to two millimeters. The order of making the panels is not important, but after finishing, we first glue the upper panel to the frame, and then glue the lower one. We do this for the reason that the neck we are gluing can be clamped more easily against the upper block. Only after completion, do we level with a hob and prepare the frame for gluing with the bottom plate.

Tools for making the violin


After finishing, we expose the violin to the sun or improvised UV rays for a couple of days before we start varnishing. The place where we glue the pinch must remain clean while protecting, varnishing and polishing the violin. The process of varnishing and polishing can take two or three weeks in total, depending on the weather conditions and the builder, because each builder keeps the secrets of varnishing to himself, and the tradition of passing it down is only passed down from generation to generation.

Varnising violins


Setup is the last process before delivering the instrument to the customer. Usually not every builder knows that part of the job, but we can say that he created a violin only for a builder who, in addition to making it, also knows how to play it. Such builders are rare in the world.

Bosnian Violin maker and Bosnian traditional violin player Sifet Avdić