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Jordan McDowell's bench

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Hello maestronet. I am a violin builder currently living in Greensboro NC. This is how it all began.

In 2015, having played the violin for a number of years, I was looking to upgrade my instrument. I came to the realisation that I was going to have to spend a large sum to get what I wanted. I also somehow knew that not just one fiddle could ever satisfy me.

So instead, I read the Henry Strobel book,  bought some good tools and tonewood, and started the project. My first violin was finished sometime in the spring of '16. I will be assembling #6 this week. I've poured a lot of time over the past two and a half years into building, reading, researching violin making. It's become quite a passion. I've now read Sacconi's book and most of the Johnson Courtnall book which have both been extremely useful. 

I recently attended the WM Mason Violin making workshop in Fredericksburg VA with Joe Thrift. It was an excellent learning experience. It's worth every dime for anyone who is interested. Bill and Elaine are perfect hosts and their violin shop is top notch. I felt very much at home there. Had a hard time leaving and can't wait to do it again next year. Thank you Joe, Bill and Elaine. I'm also very grateful for the new friendships that developed while there.

I've been creeping around on MN for quite some time now and have found lots of very helpful information. So thanks to everyone who contributed to my journey and thank you Jeffrey for keeping this thing going for us. 

Here are a few photos of #6 for your viewing pleasure. The next steps with this instrument will be to trim the bassbar, assemble and set the neck. Then it's time for fitting up and setting up. 

You may like to know that I will be using Michael Darnton's method for shaping the bar which I've had success with in the past.

Ps. Don't worry, I'll fix the purfling.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. 


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Hey Jordan, It was a pleasure meeting you and seeing your work. Hope to see you next year!   We’ve hit the ground running in week 2. We’re actually starting earlier and finishing later.  Lots of ground applications today and varnishing planned for tomorrow. 



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