Bass Restoration Fundamentals Tool List

Bass Restoration Fundamentals - Tools and Materials

Instructor: Robert McIntosh

Questions can be directed via email to

You should bring with you (shipping not advised) one standard ¾ bass (due to space and time constraints). Select a repair you'd like to work on, based on the topics in the course description. You should bring tools and materials needed to do that repair. As projects will vary, we hope to reach out to you for information on your project prior to the workshop. This will help to ensure that you can complete or make good progress on your bass. For larger projects, we will either work out next steps for your own work or you might bring it back at a future workshop. 

Required Reading  
Bruce Hoadley Understanding Wood
R.G. McIntosh Wood Drying (


Recommended Reading  
J.E. Gordon  The Science of Structures and Materials
J.E. Gordon  Structures, Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down
Henry Strobel See his website for other titles
George Sturt The Wheelwright’s Shop
Weisshar-Shipman Violin Restoration: A Manual for Violin Makers
Henry Strobel Useful Measurements for Violin Makers
Henry Strobel Violin Maker’s Notebook
Bob Flexner Understanding Wood Finishing


Recommended Tools (You should acquire the essential tools if you do not have them)  
Notebook and pencils Essential         
Violinmaking knife  Essential
Measuring tape Essential
6”, *12”, and 24” straightedge Essential
Combination square or similar Essential
White wax china marker Essential
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) Essential
Scrapers Essential
Sandpaper, sanding blocks, self-stick sandpaper  
Bench light Essential
Planes, finger planes, chisels (I use a 1” mostly) Essential
Gouges (#3 x 20mm recommended) Essential
Heat gun  
Repair wood  
Sharpening equipment  
Cordless drill/driver  
Apron Essential
Mallet, hammer Essential
Tools that may be used 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