Woodcraft - Steve 

For much of my life I have loved to make things out of wood.  These "things" have included furniture and a pair of glass-panelled doors for our house, turned objects, a sea kayak, and several musical instruments. The musical instruments have been a special interest for a long time, and they are mostly ancient instruments - from the renaissance and baroque periods.

The first of these, in the 1970s, was a replica of a 17th-century Flemish harpsichord.  It was built from a Zuckermann kit from the USA, and worked very well.  It was followed by a small fretted clavichord, also built from a Zuckermann kit, a couple of classical guitars (built from raw wood), and a replica 13-course baroque lute.

The lute was built via an "Internet correspondence course" during 1999-2000 run by David Van Edwards, of Norwich in the UK.  What David doesn't know about lutes and luthiery isn't worth knowing.  He also ran a similar course for the construction of a renaissance lute a couple of years later, and both courses are now available in digital form as a DVD or on a USB stick.  When we visited UK in 2001 we had the pleasure of driving up to Norwich and meeting David in person.

The most recent instrument has been a violin, one I've had in mind to build for quite a while.  It was also built from a kit, this one from Stewart-MacDonald in the USA.  This particular kit is quite complete, with much of the complex carving and bending already done.  It's not a particularly high-quality thing, but quite OK for a first try.  If I like violins the next one will probably be made from raw wood.  I also intended to make the bow, but discovered that the bow is actually a very complex and exacting piece of equipment!  So I ended up buying a bow, and will think about that for the next violin, if there is a next one.

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