Keeping your bridge straight

I have a little clip on YouTube on how to keep your bridge straight. There are many reasons why bridges can warp.

  1. Humidity is a very big factor. Very high humidity it does not matter how well made, how seasoned & high quality the timber it will warp fast
  2. Badly filed grooves or winding of string broken at the bridge will pull the bridge more
  3. Always clean the strings and the top of the bridge after playing, that way the rosin dust does not make the strings stick in the grooves
  4. When the bridge top has moved in either direction and it does not get corrected it will warp
  5. Either if the neck angle is wrong, the saddle too high or low in short if the angle the strings are running over the bridge is that uneven so the bridge top gets pulled in one direction.
  6. Too high tension strings or a too high bridge due to a high neck angle

The best way of preventing it to warp is always keep your cello bridge stand straight as shown in the video

Opening Hours update 12-4-11

Hi everyone

I will be on Holidays this week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. My Shop will be open on Saturday the 16th of April and Tuesday the 19th of April.From the 20th of April until mid May I will be on a business trip up North. Please check my Blog for updates. Please email me for any inquiries to shop(at)   or fill in my contact form. I will see you all back in May


My beautiful violin shop

This afternoon, I was sitting in my shop drinking coffee and not doing any work, looking around thinking what a beautiful shop this is. I spend the last 9 Years nearly every day here creating violins with fantastic sound, doing restorations to give old violins a new live and having a lot of fun doing so.

New Studio Violins finished

These 2 Violins are my last two handmade Studio Violins which I just finished enf of June 2010

Here is a Photo of the last two  Studio Violins I finished.  I antiqued the varnish so they do not only sound beautiful but look it as well.

The Ilja Grawert Studio Violins are a special line of instrument handmade in the Violin Makers workshop. They are priced between AUS $ 4,995 to AUS $ 11,000. They are handcrafted after the model of famous Italian, French and German makers and are all varnished with varnishes made with old traditional violin varnish recipes. Through my unique and extensive  knowledge of how the sound of a violin works I fine tune the instruments  sound to a beauty usually only found in much more expensive instruments.

There are no other instruments with these superior features available.

What make the Studio Violins so special:

  • Outstanding quality
  • Extremely beautiful tone
  • Even sound over all four strings
  • They speak easily when played
  • The tone carries even to the people of the audience sitting furthest away 
  • They are structurally well made 
  • The timbers are used are the fine grained European spruce and maple aged for long years.
  • Setup for performance on the highest level.

Weekly Wisdom 37

Did you know that not all the pains you have playing a Double Bass, Viola, Violin, Cello  are your fault?

Some of the reasons for muscle tightness and other pains which can be instrument related:

1. too hollow fingerboard
2. wrong fingerboard curve
3. sound setup not properly done, instrument does not speak as easy as it should
4. too high bridge or wrong bridge curve
5. too high nut or uneven spacing of the grooves
6. wrong tension strings
7. bad bow re-hair
8. wrong choice of bow

9. the settings and choice of the chin rest and shoulder rest


Beautiful hand made Violins waiting in my workshop to get varnished.

I will use  varnish made from old Italian recipes. In the background of the first photo you already see three violins in different stages of the varnish process.

Dirty Violin/Clean Violin

I just cleaned a Violin over the past few days. Here are the before and after photos. That was a hard job, rewarding though. It is worthwhile to get the instrument serviced once a year if you are a professional player or a bit less often if you don’t play as much.

Wiping your Violin with a microfiber cloth after playing will keep it cleaner for much longer. Never user any cleaners not even violin cleaners as they often make the varnish sticky which causes the dirt to stick even more to the violin.

Weekly Wisdom 26

Violin strings last longer than guitar strings. Depending on your frequency and duration of practice they can last between ½ a year up to 1 ½ years. They do not only end their life when they break. When they start sounding dull they need to be changed. The same applies for Cello, Double Bass and Viola strings.

Tips to make strings last longer:

Always have short fingernails on your left hand,
do not use too much rosin,
,wash your hands before you play
do not tune strings too high,
make sure the finger board does not have groves or holes in the wood,
wipe your strings after you play,
always check the grooves in the bridge and the nut before you put a new string on and apply graphite with a 6b pencil in these grooves.