Laboratorio di Liuteria Antica



Violin *** Viola *** Cello *** Guitar



Violin *** Viola *** Cello *** Guitar


Naturally seasoned Spruce from Italian Alps

for violin, viola, cello, viola da gamba, guitar & lute


Wood suitable for making musical instrument 's belly is a special kind of wood. It is possible to obtain from some sort of quality spruce - picea excelsa (Picea abies H. Karsten)- which grows at high altitude (1000 till 1400 meters above the sea level). These trees, pyramidal in shape and evergreen, are extremely long-lived and cold-proof.

spruce trees during winter season and...

...mountain view during summer



Among these special trees, well known and appreciated from old Italian violin masters in the last past centuries, the only one used for instrument making is hazel spruce. Because in English speaking countries this kind of tree does not grow is the name only a translation from German haselfichte , Italian abete rosso (maschio) and Slovene smreka (mandelc).


This tree has some specific tonewood characteristic and distinguish from others for some small longitudinal few centimeters long furrows on the trunc under the bark (see picture)

These furrows, irregulary disposed, are usually more frequent only on one part of the tree, but continue through the radial section of the wood.


This important characteristic is typical for some species of spruce which grows in some areas of Italian Alps. This kind of trees produce light, elastic and very resistant wood which is suitable for making musical instruments. The planed wood is very glazing. Effort resistance, richness of harmonic sound and life of the instruments are synonym for this wood.



radial tree section with typical "V" design of annual rings



planed spruce plank (side view) with strongly marked tonewood characteristic





A very usefull tool for testing annual growth is the Pressler's increment borer which is also used to study characteristics and properties of growing trees.




An increment borer is similar to a hollow corkscrew which will after inserting it into the tree collect a small cylinder (sample) of wood






A 40 cm long core was extracted from the growing spruce tree.




Afterwards the extracted sample of wood is placed again in the same hole made by the borer.




This trees with additional characteristic such as regular and very narrow annual rings are cut down during early Autumn and Winter always in waning moon (the period of time after the full moon) to avoid wood-worms and wood-parasites(fungus). To obtain the best quality of wood are for instrument making used only trees which grow on the nord exposed and less inclined slope as well as on the shady side.



After beeing cutted down , those tree-truncs are left to dry on an open space for a while .

Finally the logs are quartered by sawing or splitting.

After beeing cutted on size are the planks left a bit to dry before getting covered with paraffin for crack prevention .

Afterwards the worked pieces follow a strict natural seasoning ( oven drying damnage the internal structure of the wood!) for a while till overtake a humidity of 12%.

Plancs of dried tone-woods are then carefully selected with the utmost care one by one.


Splitting knife originally made for shingles. It is a very usefull tool for hand splitting timber into boards.

The tool is hand-forged.

Approx. weight of the knife 1,300 g.

Approx. blade length 270 mm

price: 65,00 EUR

split timber

wooden roof with shingles in a mountain village





This wood produces a very clear sound and is after a recent research (1999) considered one of the best and the quickest acoustic conductor of sound-wave in the world.


First quality spruce violin plank


haselfichte spruce plank with strongly marked "tonewood" characteristic



Net price list in EURO for naturally seasoned spruce planks:

( currency converter )















II q







 I q






 II q haselfichte*






 I q haselfichte*







  master *







* not always available



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