Bass Restoration Fundamentals Tool List

Required Reading:

Weisshar-Shipman - Violin Restoration: A Manual for Violin Makers

Henry Strobel - Useful Measurements for Violin Makers

       - Violin Maker’s Notebook

Bruce Hoadley - Understanding Wood

Bob Flexner - Understanding Wood Finishing

R.G. McIntosh - Wood Drying (


Recommended Reading:

J.E. Gordon - The Science of Structures and Materials

Structures, Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down

Henry Strobel - see his website for other titles

George Sturt - The Wheelwright’s Shop


Recommended tools. I have marked with an asterisk (*) the tools I consider essential. You should acquire them if you don’t have them.

*notebook and pencils

*violinmaking knife 

*measuring tape

*6”, *12”, and 24” straightedge

*combination square or similar

*white wax china marker

fine-toothed saws, rip and crosscut



spindle clamps

long-reach clamps

hot hide glue, dry and mixed 

glue pot, brushes, rags

*small spatulas (palette knives)


sandpaper, sanding blocks, self-stick sandpaper

*bench light

*planes, finger planes, chisels (I use a 1” mostly)

*gouges (#3 x 20mm recommended)

heat gun



repair wood

sharpening equipment

cordless drill/driver


*mallet, hammer


I may use the following tools  in demonstrations:

heat blankets and control

laser, jigs for aligning the bass and neck

Tormek grinding wheel

grinding wheel

Aluminum oxide and Arkansas stones

diamond hones


glue pot

Titebond liquid hide glue

heat gun


spindle clamps

long-reach over-the-rib back clamps

Long-reach bass bar clamps

cordless drill/driver

sling psychrometer