Harpsichord and Violin Building in the 18th Century

It seems to be a documentary from the Williamsburg Conservatory. Everything done with hand tools. Ivory was sawed from a tusk - Strictly prohibited these days.

A whole bunch easier with a kit.

Very little has changed in violin making.

There are some modern makers who eschew modern power tools and only use hand tools, for a variety of stated reasons, for example the Italian maker @domenico.statuto mentioned recently whose name escapes me.

I see no harm in things like bandsaws (electric) and table saws and dust extractors etc etc. But some people are against it. I find it merely quaint, but I can see the attraction in the physical work using only hand tools - something very satisfying and deep. But I bet they use electric light! :slight_smile:

Uhm, I can’t recall any Italian maker using only hand tools… Augusto Bonza is one of the most handtoolers, but even he does use a bandsaw and a mitre saw and electric drill.
However, I can’t understand why people should be against electric machinery. In the past, when such machinery and electricity didn’t even exist, the slavish work was done by apprehendists, while the master didn’t even touch the wood before it was properly thinned and squared. Lumber came in the shop already in planks, made in specialized sawmills with big saws with multiple blades, pulled by hand or by idraulic systems. Now we have electricity, let’s use it.

On the other hand, the more you become proficient in woodworking, the less you feel the need for machinery. Many years ago I purchased an electric hand planer because I couldn’t make a regular hand plane work properly. Or I invented all sorts of ingenuous (and dangerous!) jigs for cutting straight little things like jacks on my big table saw. Hours for designing and making such jigs that didn’t even work every time and needed rethinking etc. Now I simply draw a pencil line and saw by hand and refine with a plane. No fuss, no danger, no noise.

So, leave the machines to where they do fine, the bulk of the work; reject machines when you only need them as a substitute for a sub-par woodworkimg technique.