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The Apprentice on carving an 1/8 size scroll for practice

The Apprentice’s violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays
The Apprentice’s violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays

Carving a scroll so much smaller than I typically would was a really interesting experience, one that I really enjoyed, and learned a lot from.

The Apprentice’s violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays
The Apprentice’s violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays
The Apprentice’s violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays
The Apprentice’s violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays

I ended up having to use a lot of the smaller gouges that I would usually have only needed for the finest work on a full-size for a lot more of the general work on this scroll.

The Apprentice’s violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays
The Apprentice’s violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays
The Apprentice’s violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays
The Apprentice’s violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays

In the end, it has its quirks but I’m quite happy with how it turned out.

From the apprentice’s workbench.

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7/8 cello update No 6

After closing the cello the cello was ready to have the neck fitted. I was so lost in the work on this cello that I totally forgot to take photos . It is very important that the neck is in the right position, in the right angle overlapping the top plate the perfect amount to create a well balanced system of tension within the instrument.

The neck was fitted, glued and now I am nearly finished shaping the neck so it is very comfortable for the hands of the cellist guiding its fingers into the right position.

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15.5″ Studio Viola project update No 1

Here is another one of my projects I am currently working on. A 15.5 inch studio viola…thicknessing the top-plate is finished, the bass bar wood is prepared to the right thickness. I chose a high quality, well seasoned, split peace of spruce. After checking all the proportions, lots of measuring & calculating I could mark the final length and exact positioning for the bass bar to ensure most vibration of the top. The bar gets roughly fitted and now everything is ready for fitting and gluing the positioning blocks…

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7/8 cello update No 5

7/8 studio cello at Ilja Grawert violin shop workshop Brisbane Australia

So the bass bar is glued as you saw in the last update. I removed the clamps grabbed my little thumb plane and started shaping the bass bar. It has to be supportive of the pressure onto the top plat from the strings and bridge as well as being able to spread the vibrations on the bottom strings as fast as possible over the whole plate. That way you get this beautiful deep growly sound we love with cellos. When done I glued the top plate onto the sides and started working on the back plate. I make use of some thickness templates which are only a guideline creating the right thickness and balance.

Shaving the inside of the top plate, fitting & shaping the bass bar & thicknessing the back plate accurately is very important in building a cello. This is one of the most essential parts in creating the beautiful sound which will eventual make people dance, burst into tears of beauty or just listen to the song being carried through the concert hall. This process transforms the cello from a furniture to a musical instrument… which then will be loved by the musician its companion for life.


Each cello carries a song of its own, telling a story of its proportions, the tools and the hands shaping it from a block of wood into this beautiful creation of sound.

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The apprentice’s studio violin

“This was the first instrument I fully tonally adjusted, and it is the one that I am now personally playing, at least until I make something that I like more.“ – Reuben Grawert

The Apprentice’s studio violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays
The Apprentice’s studio violin from the workshop of Ilja Grawert & son Violin makers Brisbane The Gap, Whitsundays

“I had a lot of fun adjusting, setting up, and varnishing this instrument, and even if I made a couple of mistakes along the way, I absolutely love how it plays.” – Reuben Grawert

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7/8 Cello Winter22 Update No4

I finished fitting the bass bar and glued it to the inner surface of the top plate in its proper position. Gluing is usually a high stress situation as the glues we use are one hundred percent natural hide glue. It needs to be heated and after application the clamps will have to be put in place in a very short time frame as this kind of glue set very fast (turn gelatin like) specially when it is cold. The drying & clamping time should always be 12 hours.

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7/8 Studio Cello update No.3

This is the third update fitting of my 7/8 cello project winter22. Here is a short description about using chalk for fitting the bass bar. This stage is always exciting as that marks the finishing of the top plate. Fitting with chalk takes around 6-8 hours and has to be very fine with super sharp tools. On this update we are still in the rough phase of fitting.

Are you interested in pre-order buying this cello you have a chance to take some influence on the making to make it a truly personelised cello. Follow the link below:

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Strad model ‘Beckerath’ made by Ilja Grawert

Beckerath stradivari copy handmade violin by Ilja Grawert violin shop workshop Brisbane Australia

I made this violin years ago and never offered it for sale before. This violin has been fully handmade by me following all the old traditions of violin making. It has a beautiful warm tone and is very pleasing to play. A good friend for the violinist. The varnish is an old traditional recipe with only natural colours.

“This violin was made with a lot of fun copying
an old Italian violin” Ilja Grawert

“This violin was made with a lot of fun copying
an old italian violin” Ilja Grawert

Please contact me for the price

  • has been fully handmade by me
  • contact me for the price
  • ‘Beckerath’ Stradivari copy violin
  • beautiful warm tone
  • very clean cut scroll
  • traditional varnish
  • European maple & spruce
  • a truly beautiful violin

Please contact me for the price of this beautiful violin

click on the image below for shop view

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Baroque violin made by Ilja Grawert

Baroque violin by Ilja Grawert violin shop workshop Brisbane Australia

Finally we got around to taking some beautiful pictures of the baroque violin I made years ago and never offered for sale before. This violin has been fully handmade by me following all the old traditions of how the instruments were made 300 years age. It has a couple of hand forged nails through the top block into the neck which is sitting on top of the ribs instead of being fitted into them. The neck has been straightened over the pins in the back and top plate before drawing the out line. The varnish is an old traditional recipe with only natural colours. This is a beautiful violin to play original baroque music.

“I loved making this baroque violin as it is so intriguing to build an instrument the same way the old Italian masters did.” Ilja Grawert

  • has been fully handmade by me
  • contact me for the price
  • Baroque violin
  • open gut strings
  • beautiful tone
  • carvings on the back of the scroll
  • traditional varnish
  • European maple & spruce
  • a truly unique violin

Please contact me for the price of this beautiful baroque violin

click on the image below for shop view

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7/8 Studio Cello No.2

After fitting and gluing the little wooden placement blocks to hold the bass bar in exactly the same position while fitting, I started with the rough fitting of the bass bar. I place the bass bar in the right position check the fit and use my little thumb planes to shave away some wood. I was hoping to do more but burned my index finger last night on a fire brick and decided I need to wait a day or two. Fitting the bass bar is always exciting as that marks the finishing of the top plate. Are you interested in pre-order buying this cello you have a chance to take some influence on the making to make it a truly personelised cello. Follow the link below: