Advanced Restoration Techniques


This 6-month course is designed for those who already have some working experience in stringed instrument repair and would like to increase their knowledge and skill in repair and restoration techniques.
As with all of our courses, the Advanced Restoration Techniques course will incorporate teaching that is appropriate to the specific group and their requirements.
There are many restoration techniques which can be taught within this course and those included are determined by each group.
This course could be taken a number of times to cover every aspect of repair and restoration.

The philosophy of restoration underpins every approach and technique.
There are many considerations which must be always kept in mind when restoring an older instrument. It is important to keep as much of the original timber as possible and be faithful to the maker’s original intentions, yet the instrument must always remain structurally sound and in its optimum playing condition. This provides many challenges especially as each instrument will have its own set of circumstances.

To see a few examples of restoration work, please see our Restoration and Repairs page.


The course can include a combination of many different techniques, depending on your requirements. The following are some of the subject areas that will form the content of the course. These will be confirmed when you are offered your place.

Cleaning / Clamping / Glueing / Studding (or Cleating)

Reconstruction and Replacement of Corners and Edges
Timber selection / Timber treatment / Shaping / Sealing / Retouching

Preparation and pre varnish application / Colour application methods and considerations / Environmental considerations / Materials / Varnish application methods and considerations / Finishing

Types of patches including – soundpost, button, through, underedge, replacement of failed patch, bell patch / choice of timber / plastercasts and moulds used for patches / Removing and replacing patches

Plastercasts and Moulds
Uses e.g. patches, arching correction, registration of original arching, records of valuable instruments / methods of producing various plastercasts and moulds / plaster types, uses and availability / alternatives to plaster

Neck Grafts and Ebony Crowns
Reasons for undertaking a neck graft and or ebony crown / types of neck graft / techniques

Bushings – types and techniques / Pinning / Inside pegbox patches / pegbox and peghole cracks / casts and moulds

These are just some of the areas which can be covered in this course. It is also possible to spend the majority of the course learning just one particularly difficult and time-consuming technique. Please list all of your requirements of the Advanced Restoration Techniques course on your application form.


A comprehensive portfolio of the work undertaken to include lecture and demonstration notes and photographs of work in progress for future reference.


The schedule is flexible according to your needs and availability, we can offer anything from 1 day to 1 week to 1 month up to 6 months tuition.

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees depend on how many days or weeks you wish to study:

£70 per day

£280 per week

£5000 for 6 months

Materials, Tools, Timber and Accommodation are additional to the tuition fees.
Please see the relevant pages for further details.


© Chapel Violins 2005