Basic Violin Set-up and Tool Use - Tools and Materials

UNH Course: Basic Violin Set-up and Tool Use 
Instructor: Francis Morris

Two full-sized violins with ebony fingerboards. Inexpensive violins with or without pegs are recommended. They may be previously set up. We will be using these to fit new pegs, sound-posts, and bridges. They should be in good condition with no open cracks or seams. Other items needed include pegs (regular thickness and thick shaft), bridges, sound-post material, and strings.

Tools and Materials:

Two 4/4 Violins, older ones are fine if in good shape with no open cracks or seams.
Violin Pegs/count on a number of extra.
Two or more violin bridge blanks, 4/4 medium grade.
Two sets of strings, Dominants or others.
Sound post material, 6-6.5mm diameter.
Two each of violin tailpieces, tailguts, fine tuners and end buttons.
1⁄4” and 3⁄4” Hock Knife Blades (one each)
Stanley plane # 9 1⁄2 or something similar
Chisel 5/8” or wider
Metropolitan Peg Shaver
Peg hole reamer
Small fine tooth saw for cutting peg ends
Sound post Setter
Sound post retriever
Sound post mirror
Mousetail file or individual files for each string (come in sets) one mousetail works fine
Flat medium coarse file (0 gauge) don’t stress the gauge
Sandpaper 120, 220, 400, 600 sheets
Small dividers
Bend-a-light Pro by Steelman for looking inside instrument (Metropolitan carries these)
Ceramic Stones from Metropolitan 1000-6000 grit
Coarse diamond stone
Digital Calipers
Flexible 30 centimeters ruler
Grease pencil
Soft 9B pencil


Rigid 12"/30cm ruler (#)
Alcohol lamp (removing nut @ times)
1mm or 1/32" drill bit for peg string holes 
Power or hand drill
Chinrest key
Nut files 
Bridge template(s) (*#**)
Scraper set; Japanese (**)
Sound Post angle jig (*)
Parchments (*#**)
String lifter
Medium coarse diamond stone
Berber Peg Shaver or Alberti Design Shavers


Tool Suppliers:

Woodcraft Tool Supply                                  

Metropolitan Music Company(1)                    

International Violin Company, Ltd                

Stewart McDonald                                         

Japan Woodworker                                         

Diefenbacher Tools

Alberti Design

Lie Nielsen Toolworks

Lee Valley

Or hardware stores such as Ace, Home Depot, Lowes, Sears

* = available at
** = available from Metropolitan Music, Cat. #29230
# = available from Metropolitan Music & Howard Core

(1)CONTACT Metropolitan Music for a complete pre-packaged tool box for purchase at a discount. The cost of the tools and box package is $465.00. The normal price would be $600, a savings of $135. Call 866-846-5461 or email

Please be advised that having good and proper tools is critical for success in this course. Garage sale bought tools will probably be more trouble than they are worth.