John Osnes Violins


I am a violin maker living in Anchorage, Alaska. My name is John Osnes.

As of this year I have completed 66 celli, 146 violins, and 59 violas. I have also built several guitars, two mandolins, two Viol da Gamba and various other musical instruments.

I grew up in Everett, Washington, learning to play the violin at an early age. In 1976, I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Chemical Engineering and stayed in that field for only two years, before switching to instrument making.

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I have three models I work from. One is derived from the “Canon” by Guarnerius del Gesu with various modifications to suit my tastes. Body length is 14 inches and the string length is standard.
Another model I use is from the 1704 Stradivarius “Betts” violin.
The third model is based on a small Andrea Amati violin from 1566. The back is 13 3/4 inches long and the stop is 190 mm. The ribs and arching are full size resulting in a big sound.
I shade the varnish sometimes, but do no antiquing.

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At present I have been building a 15 3/4 to 16 inch viola with a large lower bout and pretty low arching resulting in a lot of power with a rich bottom end. My latest foray into viola making involves a 15 ½ inch copy of a 1580 Gasparo da Salo with double purfling.

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I have four models. One is a small Strad model with standard string measurements. The second is from a 1739 Domenico Montagnana model with the same string length as the Strad but a larger body. The third modeled after the King David Andrea Amati cello of 1572. The Amati’s body is longer, but the string length is shorter; resulting in a big sounding cello that is easy to get around. My latest addition is a copy of a 1715 Guidantus cello. I had the cello for a summer and was able to take exact measurements.

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The shop will be open Friday and Saturday from 1 to 5pm; other times by appointment. Please call or email for an appointment. or 346-3609. Afternoons are a good time to catch me. No texting… it’s a land line.


For 2019, bass bags and bass bows will be 50% off.



Vintage and new Instruments and Bows:

I have new and vintage violins, viola, celli, cases and bows for sale in my shop.
In the shop I do a limited amount of repairs to violin family instruments.

Links to Inventory for Sale:
Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass
Bows for Sale
Cases for Sale


Other Links:

Extra Pictures

Photo Documentation of building Osnes Cello #46
2.Fingerboard preparation
3.Carving a scroll
4.Mold set up
5.Bending the ribs
6.Top and back preparation
7.Arching Top & Back
8.Graduating the Plates
9.Purfling & Edges
10.Fitting the Neck

John Osnes
8900 Jupiter Drive
Anchorage, AK 99507