John Osnes Violins

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

As of this year I have completed 61 celli, 135 violins, and 51 violas. I have also built several guitars, a mandolin 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. At present I operate my shop in Anchorage by day and play violin in the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, the Anchorage Opera, and other groups by night.

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 antiqueing.

I've used several models over the years. One is a copy of a Brecian viola that at present is being played in the St. Louis Symphony. It is 16.2 inches long and has high arching and a short string length. Has a nice deep sound.
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.

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.


Violin: $7500

Viola: $8000

Cello: $14,000

Getting on my list sets the price. I usually call prior to starting an instrument to see if the person is still interested.
When the instrument is completed I allow two weeks trial to see if this is what the customer wants. Then the money is due.
Shipping both ways is the customer's responsibility.

Vintage and new Instruments and Bows:
I also have new and vintage violins, viola, celli and bows for sale in my shop.
I am a dealer for Arcus Bows , Coda Bows and now have Christopher Double Bassesin the shop.
New cases from Concord, Bam, Eastman Strings, Maurice Rouillard, and Bobelock are also available.

In the shop I do limited repairs to violin family instruments and rehair bows on Fridays. I buy and sell instruments, bows, cases, strings and most accessories dealing with the violin family.
My regular hours are Wednesday, Friday & Saturdays from 1-5 PM with other times by appointment.

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