Welcome to Doran Violins

Michael Doran is a Seattle-based maker of violins, violas and
cellos and an accomplished restorer of fine instruments. His
award-winning work is played by professional musicians and
advanced students. His evocative instruments reflect his excellent
technical foundation, innovation, and attention to detail.

He is a gifted maker who works closely with musicians to
find the instrument with which they will resonate and
bring forth their finest music.


  • Violins
  • Violas
  • Cellos

The Workbench Blog

Inlay

Purfling is the decorative inlay on violins. Purfling highlights the edges of the instrument and the outline. It also reinforces the top’s edge against small cracks that run with the grain. The total width of the purfling as well as the width fo...
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Posted on September 25, 2010

A Labor of Love

A Labor of Love is a photography series, including documentary shorts, by Narayan Mahon on Northwest craftspeople. I am one of the artisans featured. Follow the link below to watch my portion of the project and learn more about the series. A Labor of...
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Posted on May 2, 2010

Making Purfling

Purfling is decorative inlay. On violins it is the little black and white line that runs around the edge of the top and the back. Purfling is made from three pieces of wood sandwiched together to make a black-white-black pattern. A very small channel...
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Posted on December 23, 2009

A new (old) way to clamp ribs

This way of clamping with string and a dowel is very simple, it applies plenty of clamping pressure to the glue joint and it is light weight. I was introduced to this way of clamping ribs to the blocks by Joe Grubaugh at Oberlin this year. I was amazed....
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Posted on October 30, 2009

Building Bridges

Bridges are a very important piece of the the violin family instruments. Bridges allow the vibrations from the strings to be transferred to the large resonating body of the instrument. They also hold the strings away from the fingerboard at the proper...
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Posted on September 30, 2009
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