At the Bench

2019 Contemporary Violin and Bow Makers Exhibition

2019 Contemporary Violin and Bow Makers Exhibition poster.jpg

   I will be participating in the 2019 Contemporary Violin and Bow Exhibition in New York City, in October. If you are in New York then stop by and play on my violin. For more information, you can access the Exhibition website here

2018 VSA certificate of Merit for Viola tone

Photo of 2018 VSA viola tone certificate

    At the recent Violin Society of America’s 23 International Competition in Cleveland, a viola I made received a Certificate of Merit for Tone.  The viola is a Stradivari model based on a viola called the”Mahler”, made in 1672. 

Some Thoughts on Hide Glue

Photo of dry hide glue crystals

    The adhesive used in most aspects of violin making is hide glue. It is made from the connective tissue (skin bones, tendons,etc) of animals. Hide glue has been in use for many thousands of years, although it is not as commonly used today. …

The Neck Setting Jig

Photo of neckset jig

    Setting the neck in violin, viola or cello is probably the most challenging task in the entire making or repair process. The maker or repairman has to make a tight fitting joint (in 3 planes) while simultaneously arriving at the correct final destination for at least a half dozen different measurements. …

Viola scroll shootout

Drawing showing layout of nut on violin style and 'cello style scrolls

    It might be said that the viola scroll suffers from a case of split personality. Violins have “violin style” scrolls and cellos have “cello style” scrolls however, any survey of violas is bound to turn up examples with scrolls like violins and like cellos. …

Selecting Wood

Photo of maple and spruce


    I have been looking through my wood pile to select the materials for a new instrument. I always look forward to the selection process with anticipation. Looking over the various pieces of wood I have acquired over the years is sort of like visiting with old friends. …

   © David Polstein 2018-2020