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The Viola da Gamba Workshop

Make a viol, part one. Assemble the sides without a form.


Viol, viola da gamba, it's all the same. Two different names for the same instrument.

Make a viol part two. Setting the neck.
Bent viol tops. This technique uses much less wood than carving a top. I suppose that is why the English makers started using it-- England had been pretty well deforested, and the value of wood was recognized. It would be nice if folks recognized the value of forests before they are all cut, wouldn't it?
setting the viol neck

Viola da Gamba neck setting slide show.

A very different technique from the one shown above. Here a form was used for the viol body, and the neck was set after the back and belly were glued to the sides.

setting the viol neck

Decorative carving slide show.

I didn't get this viol finished in time for the Boston Early Music show, so I put a coat of varnish on to keep it clean, then after the show finished the details. Normally I would do the carving before starting the varnishing.

viola da gamba carving

I sometimes use wood linings on the back, sometimes linen. Sometimes wood corner blocks, sometimes linen. Here is a viol (viola da gamba) with no corner blocks and linen back linings.

viol pegs