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Finished my first Kit Violin
Stewmac Violin Kit
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 

July 17, 2022 - 2:37 am
Member Since: January 29, 2018
Forum Posts: 15
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About 3 years ago my wife purchased me the StewMac Violin Kit. This is the one about 75% complete. Well I finally finished it!

It required installing purfling, carving the fluting/recurve, carving the mortise and setting the neck, cutting/installing soundpost, carving the bridge and fitting strings, etc. Then Varnishing.

Overall it went smooth, but there were some challenges/frustrations along the way.

Cutting the mortise and setting the neck was quite stressful to ensure it was straight and proper height, etc. but went mostly OK, I did have to add a little filler back in on an edge after I was done.

Next challenge was that I thought I needed to shape the pegs, so I attempted to do one and F-D it up. I then purchased another set of pegs and proceeded to F up another one. The next try I got the 1 peg shaped and didn't touch the other 3 originals. So for now I have a missed match set of pegs that the casual observer won't notice. Along with the pegs, the original endpin was undersized for the hole, so I had to replace that also.

Finally, varnishing, I used the Joha kit, the base layers and color layers went down beautifully, but the final clear coats were very frustrating as they would leave micro-bubbles that needed to be sanded out quite heavily. Ultimately I got it smooth and clean, but there are some imperfections that I can see and a real Luthier would notice right away, but overall it looks really good.

As for sound, well, it sounds great and projects very well with inexpensive D'Addario Ascente strings. I know I'll be swapping these out for better strings, I've actually already ordered a different E strings as this one seemed fairly shrill during initial testing.

The bow pictured is just the stock bow from the Tower Strings Legend set. I just ordered a Fiddlerman Brown Carbon Weave bow to go with this violin.


Not sure why, but the photos all rotated....

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July 17, 2022 - 6:01 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 5238
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Nice job. Thanks for sharing that.

Here is a link to @mkogan's original post about his kit:

Stewmac Kit for X-Mas


The Bumblebee Flies!

Please ignore any typos. My typing ability on a real typewriter did not transfer to these device key pads.


July 17, 2022 - 11:57 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 7588
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@mkogan -


Congratulations on getting it completed! 

Hope you'll share how it sounds sometime. 



- Emily


July 17, 2022 - 2:14 pm
Member Since: June 24, 2020
Forum Posts: 1510
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@mkogan  Looks great! The finish looks really good--Congrats on completing it! gold_star

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.


July 17, 2022 - 11:43 pm
Member Since: February 9, 2019
Forum Posts: 3807
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@mkogan that looks great!  very cool.  congrats on this.


July 18, 2022 - 12:38 am
Member Since: January 29, 2018
Forum Posts: 15
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Thanks, now I just have to practice and get past Twinkle Twinkle!!!  LOL

I'll see about getting some video once I get some practice in. 

In the meantime, I'm debating what my next project should be.

Thinking about one of the kits from International Violin. They appear to be 1 step up from this as the top is not glued to the back/ribs. After that step up to the one that is rough shaped front, back and rib material.

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