(All photos © Henry Strobel)
My First Cello
Here is the first cello I made about twenty years ago for the prominent Oregon cellist, Mary Johnson. Her daughter Rhonda of the Salem Chamber Orchestra has now performed on it exclusively for many years.

Deborah and Dinah

Some More Instruments by Henry Strobel

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Here is the first violin I made forty years ago with its owner, my son George Strobel. It was made with prime Yugoslavian maple, tools, and patterns from my late friend and advisor Mittenwald graduate, teacher, and connoisseur Leon LaFosse of Palo Alto.

Violin No. 1My First Violin

Here is violin dealer Ed Thompson, 91, with his 1983 Strobel violin, my "red violin." I had the pleasure of seeing both him and it again in 2001. It was made from a slab-cut maple board - too thin for the scroll in one piece, hence the neck join, which, with the button ring, nut, etc. is of pernambuco. Ed passed away in 2003. I just purchased it back from Mrs. Thompson, and photographed it in the garden. Fiddles go good with garlic and grapes. (Click on the small images to magnify.)
Ed ThompsonNo. 10 ScrollNo. 10 Back

Two more recent Strobel violins with their owners. Left, Jim Charnholm, and Matt Manary. Below: Mr. Charnholm's 1992 Strobel violin in 2002. Like my other best instruments, it's made from wonderful Oregon trees.

2 Strobel Violins
Strobel ViolinStrobel Violin
It's July 2002, and Matt's fiddle (below) that I made in 1994 just walked in again.
Matt's 1994 Strobel Violin

Here are a couple of backyard snaps of a small viola I just completed as the demonstration viola for Viola Making, Step by Step. It is only 397 mm long (15 5/8 in), with the size and outline of a fine viola by Gasparo da Salo. Other style elements are mine. Despite its small size it is wonderful sounding and easy to play, with a 141 mm neck and a 212 mm stop. It has the same style and varnish, and is made from the same maple tree as the violin and cello that were demonstrated in Violin Making, Step by Step and Cello Making, Step by Step.

New Strobel Viola, Front

New Strobel Viola, Back

Here is a collage of an earlier Strobel viola in a different, "da Salo," style, but built on the same mold as the first.

Earlier Strobel Viola

Here are front and back views of a violin I made in 1982. The back is of an unusual and striking piece of slab-cut maple I had bought from my advisor in the '60s, Leon LaFosse. Here is also a detail showing the varnish at the lower back of this violin. The interesting "crackle" effect is the result of a (Bismarck brown) colored spirit varnish applied over a yellow oil varnish.



Varnish detail, back

More Conventional 1992 Strobel Violin

The construction of this violin provided illustrations for "Violin Making, Step by Step".

Small Strobel Viola, Front

The same intertwined double purfling pattern is seen below on the back of this small viola made in 1987.

Small Strobel Viola, Back

An illustration from "Cello Making, Step by Step" shows a newly cut sound hole in a Strobel cello. The wood surface here is scraped, unsanded, and unvarnished.

Cello Soundhole

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Copyright © 1994-2006 by Henry A. Strobel