Contact Philip

Call 0422 945 752 

or email

Woobys Lane
Battery Point, TAS, 7004

+61 (0) 422945752

Philip Smith is a master maker of stringed instruments and their bows. A master of refined artistry and exquisite tones from his master crafted bows and instruments. One of Australia's finest luthiers!







Maker Restorer Repairs Sales of Violin Viola Cello Double Bass and their Bows
Traditional and Baroque
Tasmania Australia

Filtering by Tag: bass


Philip Smith

The violin making classes have been going for a couple of weeks on Tuesday nights. It's turning out to be quite the melting pot of ideas and creativity! There are two regular students and a couple readying themselves to put chisel to seasoned tone wood. Another is considering embarking on, my personal favourite project, making a double bass. After the success of Tuesday night's class (and the fact that 3 or 4 in the workshop takes up all the space), I am considering offering Thursday night classes as well.


So, if you have ever thought about making a stringed instrument - you can do it, with a little help from your friendly neighbourhood luthier. My contact details are on the side bar of the blog. Call or email and we can talk about the options.


Philip Smith

It's been another long time between posts, I'm sure you've been missing me terribly. However, as I am constantly being reminded, everything in this business takes a long time.



baguettes arrived from the US last week. This endangered wood is only available because it is reclaimed from floorboards, fence posts etc in Brazil. Ordered from the Government approved registered pernambuco dealer in Brazil three months ago, they had to sit in New York awaiting inspection by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for two months before being released. They arrived in Australia complete with a permit from the "Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora" to be held up at Australian Customs for a fortnight. It was not the authenticity or provenance that the Oz Customs were concerned about, but how much GST to charge. Such a frustrating process. Luckily the dealer sent extra baguettes, in this wondrous array of tones, to compensate for the delay. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to include the four bass sticks, which are the items I really need to get started on, so here we go again. Like I said, nothing in my business happens quickly.

With the completion of all my Churchill Fellowship commitments - the report handed in, speech made etc., I was given this medallion by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Thanks Winston, or should I say " Merci!" (although he isn't looking too happy about it, is he? )


Since I got back from France, full of the joys of bow making, two instrument commissions presented themselves. The first is for a smallish viola, my version of a Guadagnini, seen here with the first coat of coloured varnish. Now comes the tricky part of applying the darker colours. The viola was played by the owner in the white and was greatly appreciated for its tone, quick response and ergonomics.

This white violin, minus the neck which I am still making, is my trusted Guarneri 'del Gesu' model. This one should be ready to try in the white shortly. It's my violin number 12.


Now back to my recently acquired new skills. This is a partially finished bass frog, awaiting the pernambuco stick. Made from ebony, Sterling silver and mother of pearl, this is for my first bow commission from my long suffering mentor and double bass teacher. Hopefully his patience will soon be rewarded.

Au revoir! Bon Voyage!

Philip Smith

I know, I know, a long time between posts, but things have been tres busy around here. It took some time to get going on a new instrument after last year's cello frenzy. Now she has begun to take shape. Once the ribs are done you get a much better idea of the instrument's form. The

Francois Rabbath Quenoil Double Bass.

Aside from organising our upcoming French Odyssey, much scratching away on orchestral excerpts has been done by my good self in preparation for an audition for the

new Tasmanian Discovery Orchestra

. I am happy to say that I was successful and now I am 'primed to make the big bucks' as a professional orchestral musician when I get back from France. The orchestra's first concert will be in April and my first gig with them will be in June. While it will not, in fact, make me rich, I am looking forward to playing. See you there.


Ok, so as of this Friday we will be jet-setting our way across the globe to begin the Smith French Bow making Odyssey. Wish me luck as I have managed to master only two phrases in French, neither of which have anything to do with bow making. But they will know my name and where I am from, if they can comprehend my Tasmanian French accent.

I will attempt to keep you posted on the blog as to our adventures. I will update while recovering form a hard day in the workshop with a nice local fromage and a big glass of Bordeaux's finest.

Back on Monday the 24 May!

This could be you - check out the

Churchill Trust website


Off to Good Homes

Philip Smith


Cello numbers 6 and 7 have been delivered to their rightful owners, and while I am pleased to be finished, it's always a little sad to see them go.  I hope you enjoy them, guys, but make sure you bring them all back every now and again to visit, y'hear?'

My making schedule is now open if anyone would like an instrument hand made by me, you can jump to the head of the queue.

Meanwhile, back to a real sized  instrument. My version of the Francois Rabbath Quenoil Double Bass. A beautiful French form, focused sound and easy to play due to the sloping shoulders. I'll fight you for it when its finished!


Remember, I will be leaving for France in April so the shop will be closed from 1st April until the 25th May. If you would like any repairs done or bow rehairs, now would be a good time to bring them in. 

I will also be away working as one of the Double Bass tutors and fixer of broken hearts (no, no not hearts, instruments) at the LYCO Strings camp from the 25th to the 30th January. 


Philip Smith

This week saw travel south to the capital for an interview for a Churchill Fellowship. It was nerve-wracking, to say the least.  This luthier is more comfortable in a workshop behind a plane than making public presentations, but did his best and took the double bass along for moral support. The applicants had to make a ten minute presentation to a panel of 9 people around a boardroom table, after which they are peppered with questions. The reception by the panel was quite warm and most of the questions they fired had been anticipated but who knows? Great references and the double bass hopefully gave me an edge.

This week's musical selection in the workshop is featuring

Alberto Ginastera


Variaciones Concertantes

. Check variation 11 for 'shredding' bass solo.

Leave a comment. Any feedback you have on the blog, the work or the official web site will be gratefully received.