The tool cabinet

I was inspired by Olivia Pelling’s tool cabinet in her workshop – she got the idea from Merton College where she studied.  It’s a large two-door, very shallow cabinet.  I decided to make mine out of pine, with a clear satin water-based finish.  This will be the centre piece of my new workshop, and will help to keep me organized.  It’s about 150cm high x 120 cm wide x 14cm deep (59’x48’x5.5″).  The cabinet isn’t full yet, but that problem will solve itself with time….

Where to put my f-hole cutter…

An f-hole cutter is used to cut the circular holes at the top and bottom of the f-holes.  This is the first step in cutting out the f-hole.  Commonly an f-hole cutter is used to prevent grain tear-out.  A pilot hole is drilled and the f-hole cutter is used to make the final cut, a bit from both sides.

My issue was that my f-hole cutter came in a bag.  After honing the cutters, I had nowhere to put them neatly, so they wouldn’t get damaged.  I solved this by building a small box.  The box is maple with paduke top and bottom, finished with tung nut oil.

New Website

Welcome to the new website.  This will be the home of Stephen Churchill Musical Instruments.  I am a relatively recent violin maker.  This website will be updated regularly with my activities.

Special thanks to Olivia Pelling, who has been kind enough to be providing me with formal and informal instruction.  Olivia is a luthier in the Ottawa area (

Watch for future updates!


I’ve recently had the pleasure of helping the OrKidStra group.  Olivia Pelling ( invited me to assist in repairing and setting up their stock of instruments in anticipation of the new school term.  OrKidStra’s mandate is to give children from under-served communities the opportunity to learn and make music together, inspired by El Sistema of Venezuela.