Friends, Violinists and Violin Makers,
Welcome to our workshop and our publications!
The pictures here are of me with my wife Susan and sons Henry Jr and George.
Nearly anyone can make a satisfactory violin, given the motivation, tool skills, and good information (although making a master instrument is not so easy!). These books are written for and used by professional violin shops as well as student or amateur makers. But there is an important difference between working on one's own new violin, and working on someone else's violin or one with artistic or historic value. Violin Maker's Notebook, in particular, describes some conservative repair procedures, but be aware that professional expertise is not learned from books alone. Heed Hippocrates and "First, do no harm."
Having said that, there are many of you who are well beyond the amateur level and will be interested in a new book, which is unique as a detailed "how to" for the operation of a small violin shop business. See My Real-World Violin Shop.
The adoption of these books by makers and students has been gratifying. I am honored to have been a silent partner at so many workbenches, a responsibility I do not take lightly in providing reliable, time-proven information. Useful Measurements for Violin Makers is the most referred-to book of its kind.
You will notice several new links on our front page, including about our local violin shop, Henry Strobel & Sons. There's also an article on Young Person's Guide to String Instrument Care and a short checklist on Adjusting a Violin. And Interesting Instruments will be added to from time to time, with descriptions and striking photographs. No, we are not trying to sell you these antiques.
We have a small, well respected commercial violin shop, twenty-five years at the present location in the country just east of Salem, Oregon. Please telephone first - we are in the yellow pages.
My son Henry Jr has been a partner for 12 years. Here's his picture. He made his first violin on entering the company. Here you can see how he varnished it! Yes, it sold quickly.
(Click on the small pictures to enlarge.)
My younger son George is a fine violinist, but has moved on from the shop. He comes back to help occasionally. He was concertmaster in the Salem Youth Symphony 50th Anniversary Alumni Concert in 2004. Henry Jr remains my indispensable business partner. And Susan is still the boss. Third from left is a photo of Henry Jr in the bass/cello shop - click to magnify it.Our recent publication, Setup and Repair of the Double Bass for Optimum Sound by Chuck Traeger, Bill Merchant, and David Brownell has already been followed by its "Coda".
Thanks for your interest; here's wishing you the best!
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