Derek McCormick’s Violin Blog

Making a violin and other violin-related topics

Neck and Fingerboard


I start with a part-finished ebony blank. It is much too thick so the first thing to do is to thin it down a bit. I put it in a home made jig and plane off the excee thickness. It is also too wide so after this I plane the sides (using a "shooting board") until I have 24mm width at the narrow end and 42 mm at the wide end. I check the thickness at the edges and if it is more than about 4.5mm I return it to the jig and plane a bit more off it.


The fingerboard is glued onto the neck. It will be removed later before varnishing so I use just three dabs of fairly weak hide glue.


It is now time to remove the excess wood from the sides of the block. I make a series of saw cuts stopping just short of the fingerboard. I use a Japanese saw for most sawing operations. Unlike European saws it cuts on the "pull" stroke rather than the "push" and it can therefore be made much thinner.


The excess wood can then be removed between the saw cuts with a chisel, cutting away from the fingerboard to avoid the risk of damaging the ebony. An engineer's type vice is really useful when working with the neck/scroll - a couple of pieces of cork are lightly glued inside the jaws.


I have started shaping the neck by rasping off corners. Rasp and files will be used to continue the shaping.


Planing the sides of the neck root which will be morticed into the violin body.


Marking out the neck root. "A" is the overstand above the front. "B" is the thickness of the front and "C" is the rib depth at the point of insertion of the neck. These marks will be used as guidesd when fitting the neck. The hatched area will be gradually removed as the neck is fitted.


The neck and heel of the pegbox are almost finshed and will be finalized when the neck is attached to the body. Shaping of the neck root will also be carried out at that time.


July 24, 2009 - Posted by | (15) Neck and Fingerboard

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