Stradivari Messiah 1716

The purpose of this guide is to give basic information about violin making. The aspiring violin maker will have the opportunity to build an instrument from start to finish with the help of step by step tutorials accompanied by drawn images.

To make the best of the electronic format, all the images are in vector graphic format SVG, drawn to exact real world dimensions. At every step of you building experience you can print out the plans and drawings and use them in direct comparison with what you have at hand. The SVG graphic format is supported by most modern browsers and editable by the free Inkscape.

My goal was to create a site that would give starting points to those interested in violin making. The work is by no means complete. There is always room for improvement and I encourage anyone who feel they might be able to contribute to do so, either by commenting on the pages, or sending their contributions to me at All additions will be duly credited.

Last but not least, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the authors of the exquisite publication named The art of violin making, which served as an unending source of information without which this site would have never been possible. Thank you very much.

To you all, enjoy your stay and keep your eyes open during the day.

Vojtěch Blahout

PS: You can now download the whole site as a PDF, see the link "PDF" on the front page.

Frequently asked questions

Q> I have a question/I don't understand what you mean by XY. Where do I get an answer?
A> If your question or a comment is about a section of the manual, please feel free to post a comment on the appropriate page or register in the forum and ask your question there. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible. Or you can always contact me by email

Q> I want to edit or add to the content on the website, where is the registration?
A> Due to massive spam attacks, I was forced to close down this option. Please send me an email and I'll set up an account for you. Commenting, at the bottom of every page, is available without registration, at least for now.

Q> I want to use the images on this site in my own project, presentation...
A> By all means, use whatever you need, but please consider linking back here or using any other suitable way to acknowledge the source. You can edit the images in Inkscape.

Q> I see no images on the right side of the text.
A> If you are having problems viewing the images, click to see whether your browser is supported. With some browsers, ie. Internet Explorer 6-8 there is the option to install the Adobe SVG plugin to correctly render the images.

Q> I use Internet Explorer and some of the images have wrong aspect ratio.
A> Please, if you can, use Chrome or Firefox to view the site. I haven't found a reliable method to display the SVG images across all browsers. The SVG rendering will hopefully get in line with other browsers in the next release of the browser. Clicking on the image will display the correct full size version even in Internet Explorer.

Q> I'm not sure my printer is precise enough to print the plans.
A> Please click on this Test file and print it out on your printer. Check that the ruler matches yours. If it doesn't you need to find a way to scale the output, usually in the printer's settings, so that the printout passes the comparison test.
Comment by
2013-10-19 02:56:03
How do I register for this site
Comment by
2013-10-30 19:21:56
You don't, at the moment. There is no need to register to access all the information on this site. If you would like to add material, please let me know via email, so that I can set up an account for you.
Comment by
2013-12-09 20:54:34
Can and I download the information as a file??
Comment by
2013-12-18 15:09:15
No, at the moment, you can't. Good idea though. I'll look into it.
Comment by
2014-01-02 01:43:02
I notice that there isn't a page for the tailpiece am I missing it?
Comment by Vojtech Blahout
2014-01-05 01:31:13
Thank you for letting me know. I'll add the page as soon as possible.
Comment by
2014-01-08 21:48:49
I see it but there are no instructions. This site is amazing and I am using it to build my first, along with other references. Thank you so much for the effort and passion it took to make this site.
Comment by Vojtech Blahout
2014-01-16 17:53:06
Thank you, I`m glad to hear someone finds the site useful. Unfortunatelly I have no spare time for corrections at the moment. Please if you can, add comments on pages where the instructions seem unclear. Some things become obvious only when you actually try to build an instrument from start to finish and what may seem obvious to me, may not be so to others.
Comment by
2014-12-08 01:48:33
For me, I found that this is already a really useful site - thank you so much for setting it up. I would suggest include some links to relevant threads on Maestronet and to well known and reliable violin making manuals, such as Courtnall and Johnson.
Comment by
2014-12-30 13:19:09
Thank you. There is a link at the frontpage, and it references the great Cournall book on violin making. It is a great idea to post links to Meastronet`s forums dealing with specific issues and I encourage people to put them in comments in the pertinent chapters.
Comment by
2014-12-08 01:56:04
Your use of Inkscape to provide the Messiah outline is very interesting, but I don't know much about the package. Is it easy to use? Does it allow easy modification of the outline to make small adjustments, if you want to come up with your own outline or switch to a different maker's model (eg. I would like to try making a Bergonzi outline)? Also, have you found a way to relate your computer digital outline to the methods of Francois Denis or the Russian author (I forget his name) who has analysed the violin outlines using mathematics.
Comment by
2014-12-30 13:15:01
Inkscape is very easy to use and everything that you draw in it is vector graphics, so it can be modified at will. I have not studied the above mentioned methods, even though I`m aware of them, so I made no comparisons.
Comment by
2016-03-03 20:15:38
Do you have a CAD file for the drawings on your site?
I would like to know all the steps required do draw an accurate PG-mold. I was not able to find this on the internet. Could you please help?
In order to import your drawings in Solidworks, I hat to convert svg into dxf. I figured out that the dimensions are a bit off. May be because of the svg into dxf conversion.
I would like to build an acurate 3D violin model for acoustic simulations.
Best Regards,
Comment by Vojtech Blahout
2016-03-08 08:53:08

all the images are done in Inkscape, so if you need exact sizes, open the svg files in this app. I`m not familiar with any CAD software, so I cannot help you there. The construction of the mould is described in the "Mould" section of the website.

Best of luck with your research,

Comment by
2016-07-09 20:55:26
Hola, si abres el archivo en inkscape, y lo guardas como archivo dxf, éste archivo resultante sale exacto.
Hello, if you open the file in inkscape, and save it as DXF file, the resulting file goes accurate.
Comment by
2016-03-14 07:41:46
Sorry, "caliper_thicknessing2.svg/caliper_thicknessing2.svg.php" is an unknown handler.

I want to know how to make it or it's picture..

Jeab Thailand
Comment by Vojtech Blahout
2016-03-15 09:55:05
Hello, I have corrected the link. VB
Comment by
2016-04-10 09:25:12
I only whant to thank Mr. Blahout for this usefull page. Your page is always a good help when I stay in trouble with my violins. Thank you.
Comment by Vojtech Blahout
2016-04-14 01:42:04
Thank YOU :)
Comment by
2017-08-29 08:28:34
Is there a file with all drawings. The pdf is only linking to your site.
Comment by
2017-08-29 16:05:20
Sorry, no one file with all the drawings in it is available.
Comment by
2017-10-15 16:01:39
Thank you for preparing this comprehensive guide to violin making. Your drawings appear to be very precise and they illustrate the building process very well. I have built a number of guitars but would not have taken the challenge of building a violin without the guidance you have provided along with the many YouTube videos that are now published by professional violin builders.
I have used hand tools in my building efforts to date but have also used CAD/CAM software to cut templates on my CNC machine using your drawings.
With your permission, I can publish my files for free on the internet.
Comment by Vojtech Blahout
2017-10-18 11:35:36
Thank you for your response - great to hear the site is of help to you. Keep up the good work and have a nice day! :)