Electric Violin Woods and Finishing

Wood Notes

Regardless of the type of wood chosen by the artist for their instrument, care is taken to find stock with straight grain and consistent quality, in other words, no knots, sugar deposits, fungus, checking or twisting.

After these physical criteria have been met, woods with the most beautiful, interesting and most intense figure and flame are sought for the making of the violin body.

Every wood type has certain defining characteristics. DBCV strives to find the finest stock available for your instrument. Woods are usually dried to between 6% and 10% moisture content before work begins to ensure the stability of the wood from the very beginning of construction. If you have any questions, again, please feel free to ask.

I have pictured a variety of wood choices available for the making of the instrument you desire. Other woods may be used, depending on availability and inherent strength of the wood itself. These include, but are not limited to: Domestic woods (Apple, Redwood, Ash, etc.) and Exotic woods (Zebrawood, Mboti, Monkeypod, etc.) Again, feel free to ask about different wood types. Price of the instrument may vary depending on the wood chosen. This may be due to difficulty in finding fine examples of the wood desired, cost of the intial stock itself, and shipping costs. You may, also, have stock that you wish an instrument made from. This must meet the criteria I have outlined above with respect to the consistency of the wood's physical qualities. The dimensions of the stock the instrument is initially constructed from are: 28 inches long X 4 inches wide X 4 inches thick. Again, feel free to e-mail me or give me a call regarding wood choices. This is, after all, your violin.


A variety of finishes are available for the instrument you order, depending on the type of style and look you desire. Any oil or lacquer may darken the wood and/or bring out the flame and figure. Certain oils, such as Linseed will continue to darken a bit over time.

Some of the available finishes are:
1) Clear Lacquer - A very high gloss
2) Polyurethane - A clear protective finish; semi-gloss
3) Danish Oils, Tung Oil, Linseed Oil - A rich, satiny finish. Depending on the type of oil used, the natural color of the wood of the instrument can be darkened considerably, if desired.
4) Aniline dyes - The instrument is dyed to the color/shade desired using an aniline dye (or combination of aniline dyes), then sealed with catalysed or clear lacquer.
5) Colored Lacquers - The use of a colored lacquer, in combination with several primer coats for preparation, will result in an instrument of very high gloss. Colors are by request, and a sample of the color desired may be requested for matching. The actual wood surface will not be visible.