Make a Violin


Make a Violin

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

Tuition Assistance and Other Policies

Meeting Times
  1. Fri, 8/2/2024 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  2. Fri, 8/9/2024 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  3. Fri, 8/16/2024 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  4. Fri, 8/23/2024 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Fri, 8/2/2024 - Fri, 8/23/2024

Join Waitlist

See additional date options »

Class, Has Prerequisite

Woodworking & Small Boatbuilding Studio

General Woodworking, Hand Woodworking


Build, finish, and string a violin so it's ready to play.

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.

  • Sign up is done via email and limited to space availability.
    • Please click link above to add yourself to the wait list.  
    • Once space is available, all wait list members will be notified of next steps. 
  • Fees:
    • Member - Make a new violin $575
    • Member - Continuing to make your violin $ 250


  • You can sign up for this class at any time, with the fee covering 12 sessions.
  • 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.


Class Policies

  • Ages 14 and up are welcome.
  • 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.

BARN Policies

  • View BARN's Cancellation and Refund Policy.
  • Tuition Assistance is available. Fill out the application before registering.
  • BARN is committed to accessibility. We try to make accommodations when requested; the earlier you contact us, the more likely we can help. Please email to find out more or request an accommodation.
  • Sensory Statement: Makerspaces like BARN can be noisy and cluttered, smell strongly, and have bright or flickering lights.

Instructors or Guides

Clay Levit

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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