Instrument Making

About Our Instrument Making

With over a decade of experience in making instruments in the violin family, Knoxville Fine Violins is uniquely qualified to fulfill commissions for your next instrument. Having trained at The Violin Making School of America, from which countless gold medal winners have graduated, you can be certain that you will love your next violin, viola, or cello. When commissioning an instrument, we will walk you through every step of the way, from choosing a model to tweaking the set up after it is finished, ensuring that you are satisfied with the result.  


2021 SVA violin making competition Gold Medal in Violin Tone
2021 SVA violin making competition Southern Maker’s award
2021 SVA violin making competition Certificate of Merit in violin workmanship

Our Work

The Process

When we begin the process of building a violin, we first work with the customer determining what kind of tone they hope to gain out of an instrument, from there we can determine which models might best fit that tonal description. Sometimes aesthetics are just as important to the customer as tone and we will allow a customer to peruse our collection of wood to choose for their instrument or we will facilitate finding the wood they want from another source. All violins are built from scratch without prefabricated parts (with the exception of fittings). We also cook and process our own, thoroughly researched, old world blend of resins and oils for the varnish applied to our instruments. Every part of the process is meticulously crafted to produce a unique and beautiful instrument. Below is a gallery of photos documenting the process of instruments already made.

Cost & Payment

Many people find that commissioning an instrument is a daunting idea, but at Knoxville Fine Violins it doesn't have to be. Our typical plan require's 1/3 of the cost up front (this includes a 12.5% non refundable deposit to cover the cost of materials), 1/3 of the cost after the instrument is varnished (but before it is set up), and the final 1/3 of the payment once we are certain that you love your new instrument. If you aren't entirely satisfied with your instrument, we will either make you another instrument you will love or we will credit the money you have paid towards an instrument in the shop. Although the cost can change, depending on the model, wood, and choice of fittings, the base amount we charge for commissioning an instrument is below