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Rimino

SETTING HEEL OF NECK PLANE

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Hello, 

I am trying to set the neck, the angle on the heel, with just the right tool(s) for the job that aren’t awkward so that I don’t have to make repeated attempts.  Does anyone know the by far best tool(s)/plane for this?  Thanks a lot everyone.

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1 hour ago, lpr5184 said:

This is the one I use...

neck angle gauge.jpg

Could one attach it to the FB with some rubber bands, and keep it there while doing a neck set? Or would that introduce too much tedium and error potentially?

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Sorry for not being specific enough.  I meant to ask for which specific tool to plane the heel of the neck, the part of the heel attaching to the button, since this is the most important place where the neck is set.  

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I cut to a very precise 18.5 degrees on a bandsaw, then use an Iwasaki float file to finish the surface.  (Avoids the chipping possible with a block plane.) Almost no refining of the neck angle is needed from there - so long as you're equally precise cutting the mortise in the top block.

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10 hours ago, Rimino said:

Sorry for not being specific enough.  I meant to ask for which specific tool to plane the heel of the neck, the part of the heel attaching to the button, since this is the most important place where the neck is set.  

In my work, all surfaces of the neck which attach to the instrument body are done with a plane.

Don't expect planing these surfaces to be easy the first time, or the tenth, especially without superb instruction. There is nothing easy about either making or playing violins at a high level.

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5 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

In my work, all surfaces of the neck which attach to the instrument body are done with a plane.

Don't expect planing these surfaces to be easy the first time, or the tenth, especially without superb instruction. There is nothing easy about either making or playing violins at a high level.

Ok.  Do you use a regular size block plane or a palm size block plane or can you learn equally well without undue frustration on either?

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46 minutes ago, Rimino said:

Ok.  Do you use a regular size block plane or a palm size block plane or can you learn equally well without undue frustration on either?

This is not plane terminology I am familiar with. Drop by sometime, or attend the Oberlin Restoration Workshop, and I will show you the planes I use and how I use them. I can show you more in and hour, in person, than I can teach by writing a book. That's not just me, but pretty much anyone who is well-trained in the trade.

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4 hours ago, David Burgess said:

This is not plane terminology I am familiar with. Drop by sometime, or attend the Oberlin Restoration Workshop, and I will show you the planes I use and how I use them. I can show you more in and hour, in person, than I can teach by writing a book. That's not just me, but pretty much anyone who is well-trained in the trade.

Ok, thanks for the help; I’ll try to do that soon.

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Stanley 9 1/2 block plane is what works for me, even if it needs some tuning of the sole. Otherwise something similar and more expensive can save the work of flattening the sole. https://www.ebay.it/itm/303084965302

The adjustable mouth adjusted as close as possible is a must to avoid making steps at the start of each stroke.

However, setting the angle immediately does not make much sense since the contact surface between the button and the heel is the last one that is planed with the rest of the mortise already set almost correctly.

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15 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

Stanley 9 1/2 block plane is what works for me

Do you think this one will work as skillfully and easily?:https://www.lie-nielsen.com/product/block-planes/adjustable-mouth-block-planes-?node=4072

17 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

setting the angle immediately does not make much sense

Do you mean setting the neck angle / working on the bottom of the heel(place between heel and button) after the mortise is cut?

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4 minutes ago, Rimino said:

Do you think this one will work as skillfully and easily?:https://www.lie-nielsen.com/product/block-planes/adjustable-mouth-block-planes-?node=4072

Do you mean setting the neck angle / working on the bottom of the heel(place between heel and button) after the mortise is cut?

You have the angle(projection) set by the neck joint-the front of the neck(end grain) is against the spruce block. That controls up/down and left/right.

The bottom surface that I think that you are wanting to fit is done as you lower the neck into the joint. The angle is already set when you are finishing this up. 

I believe that Weishaar said, in his repair book, that writing a chapter on setting a neck was more difficult than doing it. Inject our different native tongues and who calls what which and it is more difficult.

I agree that if you are skillful with a file that you can do the final touching up, but most people just make it domed with the file, not flat. The lie-nielsen is a fine plane. I use them, but you don't need to spend that much on a decent plane.

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4 minutes ago, duane88 said:

You have the angle(projection) set by the neck joint-the front of the neck(end grain) is against the spruce block.

I set the neck with the fingerboard attached and can’t plane the angle on this part of the neck heel as a result; do you mean that the final angle is set by adjusting the mortise with a chisel?

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47 minutes ago, Nick Allen said:

That angle should already be sorted out by the time you go to set the neck.

So, I would guess that the belly height and the mortise at a right angle would be constant measurement features? Do you not at all, once the mortise is cut to fit the neck, make slight adjustments with a plane between the neck heel and the button (as though the neck heel is likewise one of the constant measurement features)?

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34 minutes ago, Rimino said:

So, I would guess that the belly height and the mortise at a right angle would be constant measurement features? Do you not at all, once the mortise is cut to fit the neck, make slight adjustments with a plane between the neck heel and the button (as though the neck heel is likewise one of the constant measurement features)?

The mortise, at least for violin and viola, will be cut back at an angle as you go. For cello, this is more important as you don't have as much block to work with relatively, I think. But if your belly height is within the normal range, then the mortise shall be undercut a bit. At least the way I learned. The angle that the bottom of the heel where it meets the button is arbitrary, as that is established real-time as you drop the neck heel into the mortise during fitting. 

The angle of the root, adjacent to the neck/FB joint, should be established before you glue the FB on, and the FB should be kept on during fitting, making adjusting the root angle either impossible, or very difficult.

I usually establish the angle of the root after I finish the scroll, and am ready to glue the FB on for neck roughing.

But everybody has their own order of operations for this. I mostly follow the J&C method outlined in the book, as it's pretty straightforward.

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8 minutes ago, Nick Allen said:

The angle that the bottom of the heel where it meets the button is arbitrary, as that is established real-time as you drop the neck heel into the mortise during fitting. 

Ok, so I think you mean that, after the root is planed to the correct angle to the fingerboard, the mortise (cut somewhat shallow at first) is adjusted to the final correct  overall fingerboard projection angle whereas the heel angle only compensates for the mortise adjustment (as the heel is not adjusted to create the correct overall fingerboard projection angle).

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1 hour ago, Rimino said:

Ok, so I think you mean that, after the root is planed to the correct angle to the fingerboard, the mortise (cut somewhat shallow at first) is adjusted to the final correct  overall fingerboard projection angle whereas the heel angle only compensates for the mortise adjustment (as the heel is not adjusted to create the correct overall fingerboard projection angle).

That’s the advantage to doing a neck set when you’re making vs. repairing/restoring—you can set the neck root at the desired angle and carve the mortise to match. If you’re doing repair work, it’s often the other way around, unless you’re rebuilding the floor of the mortise. 

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4 hours ago, Rimino said:

I set the neck with the fingerboard attached and can’t plane the angle on this part of the neck heel as a result; do you mean that the final angle is set by adjusting the mortise with a chisel?

I was taught and still do set the neck with the fingerboard tacked on. I remove it to varnish. 

I use a rubber band to stand the bridge in the center of a line at the mensur. I try to establish the correct angle early. Once that is done I remove wood from the sides of the mortice to lower the neck into place. It is at this point that I removed wood from the bottom of the neck  with a very sharp block plane. On a new instrument I find that it is more straightforward than a repair, as mentioned above.

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3 hours ago, Rimino said:

Ok, so I think you mean that, after the root is planed to the correct angle to the fingerboard, the mortise (cut somewhat shallow at first) is adjusted to the final correct  overall fingerboard projection angle whereas the heel angle only compensates for the mortise adjustment (as the heel is not adjusted to create the correct overall fingerboard projection angle).

Exactly. 

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