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Found 1 result

  1. In recent years I have had to deal with the resetting of two messed up necks (following M. Darnton's very well written explanations on the subject) and other various alignment issues. After struggling a bit (I am still very much an amateur at violin restoration) I have gradually evolved a method of being able to hold the body and neck in the position(s) that I require. A sort of "alignment cradle" if you will. While I have seen all kinds of helpful pictures and explanations on every subject under the sun here, I wondered why I have never seen much on the subject of how to hold a violin for initial alignment checks, accurate measurements, subsequent neck setting operations, or countless other "alignment sensitive" tasks. Or am I just obsessive/compulsive/insecure about how I do such things? Or just less skilled than most of you at this kinda thing, such that I need a fixture like this (ok, that is obviously true in any case )? How do the experts (or amateurs) on this forum hold the body of a violin securely when they have to repeatedly keep rechecking alignment and other such things, say when trimming the base of a neck? Does one eventually just get comfortable and good enough without such a "crutch", or are you guys holding out on me? A few pictures are attached of the method I now use to deal with my "dimensional insecurities". I have found it most useful in discovering where the outer edges of the bouts are relative to the endpin, base of the neck, scroll end of the neck, etc., etc. Basically this is just a good quality (dead flat of course) plywood board with some T-nuts installed in the back that allow me to adjust the maple supports that hold the body in exact position relative to the centerline marked on the board. On the board itself I pencil in all kinds of alignment info. I place the violin body in a position on the supports that seems to be the best centerline/string position relative to the centerline marked on the board. I note where the endpin is and where the base of the neck attaches to the body and try to figure out how to best align everything, be that moving the endpin, adjusting the neck (if really necessary), or whatever. By simply placing a small machinist's square or two in the right place I can find the position of the edges of any part of the violin relative to the assumed centerline/string path of the body. Still to be finished is a way to make an adjustable support under the scroll position and some other details. I sprayed it with cheap shellac to preserve the pencil notations. For me, the one disturbing thing about using a fixture like this is it becomes glaringly obvious how out-of-alignment many old fiddles were originally built. Apparently the common fiddle, as we know it today, is an admirable example of "fault tolerant" design. Am I the only "dimensionally insecure/obsessed" person here?
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