Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Scooping the fingerboard.


Recommended Posts

What is the recommended manner/simplest way to put the scoop in a fingerboard.

I recently purchased two machine made ones and thinned them to size and continued the recessed area underneath back to the end of the neck.

One had a nice scoop and just needed the radius altering a little to 41mm and smoothing the little bumps out. The other was dead flat so have made the scoop using a small plane on the angle, then reset the radius and smoothed the surface, all of which has taken most of an afternoon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Still a novice, but my sense is that the scoop begins at the nut, ends at the fingerboard end, and is deepest midway between, although I also see the deepest spot a bit more towards the nut. Is that an OK thing?

I use two straight edges, one long enough to cover the length of the board and another about 3" long, or 75mm to check for bumps. I mostly use the short one to confirm what I find by sighting from the nut end towards a linear feature in the background, like the edge of a window or fluorescent fixture, or a desk lamp turned sideways, so it makes a narrow bright line. Searching the entire board with the short straightedge takes a while.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have talked to many other luthiers about where the deepest part of the scoop should be located. Common sense tells me that the deepest part of the scoop should be at the point where the octave harmonic is. Others have told me it should be in the center of the fingerboard. Can anybody shed some light as to which is correct?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not really sure where the deepest part should be but usually just make it in the center--kind of gradually even from end to end. I think that if it is too near the nut than the instrument can feel difficult to play in that area.I'm always told my instruments are very easy to play so never changed this.

However there may be a difference when doing a new violin as compared to a FB on an old one that is very concave at the neck flanks. I did one today like this and find because of the concavity it's almost unavoidable to make the deepest part in that area. I may be wrong but it seems if the neck flanks are very concave than this makes the FB surface in that area also more concave.

Hope we get some other opinions on this!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to Courtnall & Johnson, the scoop is centered along the length of the board, not at the octave harmonic (although only about 30 mm away). It should be about 1mm on the bass side, and .75mm on the treble.

So the scoop is pretty minimal--too much scoop is probably worse than flat as it makes the string action seem quite high. I don't try to measure it, but I just lay a straightedge on the board, hold the violin up to the light and see how much relief there is. I can't tell a mm exactly but close enough, I think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Alex

I was taught to first make the sides of the fingerboard slightly concave, then mark the edge thickness and finally plane it to a radius of 42mm. You'll still have to make small adjustments so the e-string side has a little less scoop than the g-string side, but provided the sides of the fingerboard are made carefully and gradually concave, the scoop on the surface should happen naturally.

Just remember to wear a mask as you scrape it and sand it.

This is just the way I've been doing it. And excuse me if you already knew all that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...