After college, David worked as a professional furniture maker. In 1982, he began bow making with William Salchow at the University of New Hampshire in the summers. Also during that time, he continued training with David Burgess and Mark Norfleet at Shar Products until 1985. In 1985 he moved on to work for Claire Givens Violins in Minneapolis until 1986. He worked independently in Madison and Seattle before returning to Ann Arbor in 1989.
Mr. Orlin has participated in the Violin Society of America's Oberlin Bow Maker's Workshop in 1996, 1997, and 2000. He was elected into the membership of the American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers (AFVBM) in 1996.
David has taught bow repair and restoration at the National String Workshops in Madison, Wisconsin since 1993 and for the Oberlin Bow Restoration Workshop since 2003. He has exhibited and presented at conventions of the AFVBM, VSA and the American String Teachers Association, and lectures frequently about bows. In 2001, he was featured on PBS Television's WNET production EGG: The Arts Show.
Specializing in restoration for over 25 years has afforded many opportunities for an in-depth study of old master's bows. Mr. Orlin's own bow models include historical patterns from Baroque and Classical through 19th century-inspired designs. Related activities include researching alternative bow woods, sculpting, and playing for contra dances.