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Time taken to make my violins (and why China do not have much old aged wood of 20-30 years)

April 16, 2007

Q: How long is the time from: first assembly and glueing, until you finish and sell? How long do they sit and age after glueing? Thank you. Justin/USA

A: after they are glued and assembled, they sit for 4-6 months, to ensure no cracks or defects. Then the teacher will test the sound of them to pick out the top grade violins. Assembly takes 1-1.5 months. Hand varnishing takes another 25 days. When they reach my store, they normally rest for 1-2 months before they are sold off. So in total from assembly to the client's hand, it's 7-10.5 months, depending on model.

Before the luthier starts working on the wood, the wooden planks are dried for 3 years at the workshop. Before they reach the workshops, they are dried at the wood supplier for 6-10 years. Despite what many people claims, China still don't have 20 or 30 years wood. Even 15-18 years are hard to fine, because of China's short history in violin making, meaning many wood suppliers have just got started 10 years ago to store the wood. Before that, old wood and new wood sells for the same money so there's no incentive. Another reason for lack of 20-30 years wood is the finances to store them before selling them, as the wood suppliers are mainly poor villagers.

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