I wanted the kontrabas body to be a fairly dark colour, and initially thought that “Falun red” (the colour of all those little country cabins you see in Sweden) might be good. I couldn’t find any stain in local shops, and didn’t really want to have to order online; after a bit of thinking I realised I could make my own stain using my artists’ oil pigments. I used a mix of yellow ochre and cadmium red which has given a nice reddish brown colour. It was thinned a lot with spirit thinners before applying with a rag.

stained Continue reading

A rather thin session at the Diggers’ this evening – just 5 fiddles, a concertina and a nyckelharpa. Very enjoyable all the same, we played some nice tunes. Vicki Swan will be pleased to know that I was promoting the nyckelharpa strongly, and three or four of the fiddlers “had a go”.


I couldn’t resist getting a couple of strings on and seeing what it sounds like. She speaks! Now there will be a short interlude whilst I do the key drawings, slice up some more wood, etc., etc. …..

Not tuneful but dig that crazy polska rhythm ….

The tailpiece isn’t fastened to the body, just held in place by the tension of the strings and a retaining string or wire. It must be strong enough not to break under tension. I still haven’t decided whether or not to add a reinforcing screw – it’s probably not needed.

Here’s the wood it’s made from:

bit of piano Continue reading