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Violin Sizes

  • The following table specifies the different sizes of violins available. Note that these measurements may vary slightly with manufacturers.
Size Body Length Age
1/16 9"(230mm) 3 - 5 yrs
1/8 10"(255mm) 4 - 6 yrs
1/4 11"(280mm) 5 - 7 yrs
1/2 12"(305mm) 6 - 9 yrs
3/4 13"(330mm) 8 - 12 yrs
4/4 14"(356mm) 12 - 100 yrs



Bow Care




Varnish & Stains

  • Spirit varnish is commonly used for stringed instruments. It dries quickly, thus allowing a daily coating.  In order to prevent cracks, every coat must be completely dry before the next coat is applied.  Spirit varnish can be smoothed well with pumice stone or rotton stone and polished with an appropriate polish.
  • Oil varnish applies very well and virtually anyone can do a good job when using it.  it should be diluted a bit with balsam turpentine, despite the fact that it then takes longer to dry.  In the long run this varnish becomes somewhat harder than spirit varnish.  You can smooth this varnish too, with pumice or rotton stone and work a gentle shine with polish and gloss oil.
  • Stains & Primers: If the unfinished instrument is to have a beautiful basic color, it should be stained before varnishing.  But since the hardness of the wood can vary, thus absorbing the stain unevenly, it is recommended that the basic instrument be pretreated to ensure that the color is attractively even.
  • Water-based stains are available in many colors. Apply the stain evenly to the cleanly sanded instrument using a sponge or brush.  The unfinished instrument must be pretreated before these stains are used.  This may be done with gelatin powder dissolved in water.  Make sure there are no glue spots on the wood as these will prevent the stain from being obsorbed.


  • Although many varnishing methods are used and most luthier's have their own formula, the following information is a guide intended to assit you. We suggest using Oil Varnish as Spirit Varnish dries very quickly. Spirit Varnish can be used for touch-ups or repair work.
  • Pretreat the white instrument with a thin soulution of Gelatin Powder dissolved in Hot Water (cool before using) and lightly sand. This will seal the wood and prevent the stain and varnish from being absorbed. More tha one coat may be necessary.
  • If using stains, this would be the next step. Otherwise go to next step.
  • Varnish Primer and sand between coats, cleaning well before each step. More than one coat may be necessary.
  • Then apply colored varnish, as many coats as needed to obtain the color desired and sand briefly between each coat.
  • The finish coat should be colorless varnish. Again, several finishing coats may be required. Sand lightly betwwen coats.
  • If using Pumice and then Rottenstone powder mixed with Polishing Oil for polishing, use only after the last coat. Wash the instrument well with warm water after using these powders.
  • Finishing with a good polish, we recommend Joha instrument polish.
  • Drying is necessary between each coat of varnish.
  • You may use up to 7% color extract in colorless varnish if mixing colors.
  • When dilution is used, you may add up to 10% in oil varnish (may not be necessary).
  • Vienna Chalk Powder/Polishing Oil fro bright high gloss plishing after final coat.
  • If using Water-Base or Antique or Other Stains, the instrument must be sealed first.
  • Work in a room with reasonable temperature with humidity of 40-50%.

Ebony Care