The instrument I play and use on my recordings is a violin I made over several years. It is based on the outline of a Gagliano violin made in Naples, Italy in 1710.

One of the tools I used was a very old and worn Scottish-steel chisel that had been used many years before by my fiddle-playing grandfather. Long after his time it ended up used to open paint tins! I reconditioned this old chisel into a razor-sharp tool and through its use in making a fiddle it has played a role in linking our fiddle playing generations.

Here are a few photos of making that instrument, starting from the spruce (top) and quarter cut maple (back) wood and ending up with a beautiful sounding and looking instrument. It might inspire you to try to make an instrument!