Guido

Fingerboard wedge or New York neck set?

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I’ve got this violin (picture) with a current projection of 23mm. Overstand is only 4mm to the edge or 5mm to the bottom of the channel (what’s the measurement convention here btw?).

me thinks a wedge 1.5mm at the overstand would bring both projection and overstand close to standard. Are those fingerboard wedges frowned upon?

else I could do a New York neck re-set, which would probably get the projection right and doesn’t come at the visual disadvantage of the wedge.

i would like to avoid re-setting the neck proper. At least for now.

what do you think?

1906EB80-3F42-4604-90C4-4D81E4F32253.jpeg

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If it is one of the (many) violins where the neck is on the point of falling out on it‘s own anyway, then a neck „re-set“ is the optimal repair. A „New York“ neck „re-set“ for such a large amount is IMHO a bodge (others disagree) and will leave you with little or no edge overlap. A wedge is better than „New York“ but probably more work than a proper re-set.

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What is the fingerboard thickness?  

How much is the overstand on the E string side?

is the neck centered to the body?

How thick is the neck?

sometimes it is an option to make an ebony wedge which, if joint well, does not look as weird as a maple wedge. Otherwise it might be possible to make a new fingerboard where the underside has a small angle. 

When making a new fingerboard it is additionally advisable to slightly scoop both glue surfaces which can raise a fingerboard between 0.5 and 1.0mm. 

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I agree that a reset is in order.  You won't get enough of an improvement in your extension with a NY set and the overstand will remain pretty much the same.  Others here will differ, but as much as I strive as many do to do the least amount of work necessary in the interest of the customer's pocketbook, there's no getting around a reset.

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4 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

 

When making a new fingerboard it is additionally advisable to slightly scoop both glue surfaces which can raise a fingerboard between 0.5 and 1.0mm. 

Does 0.5mm extra projection justify a new FB? I can't see that making a difference. Perhaps on a violin with a very low projection. 

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17 minutes ago, Nick Allen said:

Does 0.5mm extra projection justify a new FB? I can't see that making a difference. Perhaps on a violin with a very low projection. 

Certainly not. I meant to say that you can gain roughly 2mm (maybe even more) by tapering the fingerboard and additionally scoop both glueing surfaces. So something like 1.5mm gain from the fingerboard plus 0.5mm from scooping the glue surfaces.

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Guido wrote that his current neck projection is 23mm, so that only a re-set or a wedge would be enough. I would contend that ripping the neck out and re-fitting the neck, is not only the best solution, but the quickest

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7 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Certainly not. I meant to say that you can gain roughly 2mm (maybe even more) by tapering the fingerboard and additionally scoop both glueing surfaces. So something like 1.5mm gain from the fingerboard plus 0.5mm from scooping the glue surfaces.

Assuming the violin was made that way and the neck hasn't sunk, shaving just over 2mm from the nut end of either the fingerboard or the neck or a tiny bit more than 1mm from each will raise the projection to the desired height.

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26 minutes ago, sospiri said:

Assuming the violin was made that way and the neck hasn't sunk, shaving just over 2mm from the nut end of either the fingerboard or the neck or a tiny bit more than 1mm from each will raise the projection to the desired height.

With a neck projection of 23mm one may be pretty sure that it has either "sunk" or is in the process of faling out anyway.

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Just now, jacobsaunders said:

With a neck projection of 23mm one may be pretty sure that it has either "sunk" or is in the process of faling out anyway.

That is the conventional wisdom. But does it always apply? I am doubtful. Neck sets seem to vary a lot in new instruments don't they?

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Current "least invasive, and most reversible procedures" do tend to support the "New York" neck yank. I would look at many things, before I would decide on a neck reset being the best option.

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1 hour ago, sospiri said:

That is the conventional wisdom. But does it always apply? I am doubtful. Neck sets seem to vary a lot in new instruments don't they?

It is inconcievable that an original neck projection could have been 23mm, since anyone who wants to play the thing would crunch into the edgework with the frog of the bow all the time. Thus the „conventional wisdom“.

 

19 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Current "least invasive, and most reversible procedures" do tend to support the "New York" neck yank. I would look at many things, before I would decide on a neck reset being the best option.

Hardly, if, as in Guido‘s case, one should wish to raise the neck projection by some 4mm. I wonder who could want to „reverse“ a neck projection Adjustment back to 23mm? I suppose the clocks tick differently over there.

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19 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

 

Hardly, if, as in Guido‘s case, one should wish to raise the neck projection by some 4mm. I wonder who could want to „reverse“ a neck projection Adjustment back to 23mm? I suppose the clocks tick differently over there.

I was not at all suggesting reversing back to a 23mm neck projection, but suggesting that less invasive procedures than a neck reset or neck graft be used as long as possible, before starting over from scratch.

At some point, the more invasive procedure may need to be done, but I'd rather see it done once, rather than multiple times.

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10 hours ago, Guido said:

I’ve got this violin (picture) with a current projection of 23mm. Overstand is only 4mm to the edge or 5mm to the bottom of the channel (what’s the measurement convention here btw?).

 ( ... )

i would like to avoid re-setting the neck proper. At least for now.

what do you think?

 

9 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

What is the fingerboard thickness?  

How much is the overstand on the E string side?

is the neck centered to the body?

How thick is the neck?

sometimes it is an option to make an ebony wedge which, if joint well, does not look as weird as a maple wedge. Otherwise it might be possible to make a new fingerboard where the underside has a small angle. 

When making a new fingerboard it is additionally advisable to slightly scoop both glue surfaces which can raise a fingerboard between 0.5 and 1.0mm. 

The original question was about the choices of how to achieve a desired bridge height... and I am curious about the consensus myself.

But Maestro Preuss' questions, the response, appears to be valuable. Guido are there more details? If i were to guess, the neck on the instrument might have been worked on, if not replaced, guessing from the condition of the varnish. The arching appears to be flatter and this just is an observation. 

I recently encountered an instrument with a fine voice from a reputable shop and the projection was rather low. This student, who is developing as a player wanted more volume and "power" from the instrument and someone had suggested changing the projection. He asked me about "standardizing" the projection. The instrument was nicely restored but might have been re-graduated as the top was measurably thin. The instrument has been owned for less than one year by the student so it could develop further. To be cautious, i suggested a fingerboard taper if any change is to be made, but to re-visit the dealer that sold the instrument for the best suggestions.

There are optimized ranges for setting up instrument, and recently, the humidity had been relatively low and noticed the effect on several of my instruments. The effect was noticeable on this instrument too.

Assuming Guido's instrument is healthy, should a reset over-compensate at least a 1mm or a bit? Do we live in a climate-change era? This would suggest a la Maestro Saunders, taking off the neck? 

 

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5 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

With a neck projection of 23mm one may be pretty sure that it has either "sunk" or is in the process of faling out anyway.

I don't know how the instrument came to have this low projection. The neck is not in the process of falling out and I can see no indication of sinking. The instrument feels rather heavy and the graduation are probably on the safe side.

It was made in the early 1990 by a chap who was then 80 years old. I wouldn't exclude the possibility that it was made this way.

The only indication I see is that the fingerboard may not be original; and whoever did the new fingerboard may have planed the gluing surface (hence the low overstand) - maybe he wanted to correct what was initially too high of a projection and overdid it.

As for an approach to remedy I'm thinking to combine effects, rather than get it all from one thing. I think I will start with a gentle NY, not aiming to hit the right projection but to keeping my edge overhang acceptable. Then I will re-assess, hoping to get the rest from tapering the gluing surface of the fingerboard, possibly make a new one.

12 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

What is the fingerboard thickness?  

How much is the overstand on the E string side?

is the neck centered to the body?

How thick is the neck?

sometimes it is an option to make an ebony wedge which, if joint well, does not look as weird as a maple wedge. Otherwise it might be possible to make a new fingerboard where the underside has a small angle. 

When making a new fingerboard it is additionally advisable to slightly scoop both glue surfaces which can raise a fingerboard between 0.5 and 1.0mm. 

I will go and take some measurements. The fingerboard looks relatively thin. I appreciate thicknesses (also of the neck) are relevant when considering a wedge or tapering the gluing surfaces.

What I don't understand is how slightly scooping both gluing surfaces will have an effect on projection. I'm aware of the practice, but always thought it would rather help to ensure a good fit at the edges and less tendency to creep when gluing. But as I said, I don't seem to quite understand...

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10 minutes ago, Guido said:

maybe he wanted to correct what was initially too high of a projection and overdid it.

If this is the case then a fingerboard wedge might be the best, basically restoring the original neck dimensions. Is the neck on the thin side?

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23 hours ago, Guido said:

me thinks a wedge 1.5mm at the overstand would bring both projection and overstand close to standard. Are those fingerboard wedges frowned upon?

else I could do a New York neck re-set, which would probably get the projection right and doesn’t come at the visual disadvantage of the wedge.

i would like to avoid re-setting the neck proper. At least for now.

what do you think?

If this is a sort of autodidactical violin the original neck projection could be anyhow, but this doesn't mean that it has a benefit to keep it "original". If it shall be playable in a conventional way the projection has to be corrected to a somehow conventional height allowing this. BTW, the overstand seems to be well into the range which is acceptable for a flat arched violin.

Often the approach of correcting the projection is a matter of what you are used to do and what seems to be the less complicated, and for me this would always be to put out the neck and fit it to a proper angle. All other ways like NY, wedges, hollowing out surfaces (which is meaning to bend neck and FB to an higher angle with all possible complications) are IMO more or less provisorials leaving it to future repairers to set thigs into a right order again. But maybe that's my very personal approach only. For example I never had difficulties to remove necks with a soaking/thin knife method without using saws or "Karate" tricks.

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I decided to put on some Frank Sinatra and give it a go.

Attached is a pic of my remaining edge overhang after inserting a 0.6mm shim. It doesn’t seem to matter much in my eyes for the edge overhang but the projection increased a whopping 3mm to 26mm!

i think I’ll put in a 0.7mm shim and call it done

 

D6A2CE29-7DD1-4D49-AC88-F4BA9F751932.jpeg

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Ok, did a 0.8mm wedge which increased the projection to exactly 27mm. Surprised by the sensitivity.

The edge overstand looks better than before the trip to New York. Mua-haha.

Will post some pics tomorrow when the clamps are off.

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28 minutes ago, Guido said:

Ok, did a 0.8mm wedge which increased the projection to exactly 27mm. Surprised by the sensitivity.

The edge overstand looks better than before the trip to New York. Mua-haha.

Will post some pics tomorrow when the clamps are off.

Looks like a good choice in this situation,  Guido.

The projection may come down  very slightly when it all glued back together and strung up.

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Ok, summary and final outcome for those interested.

A 0.8mm shim in a New York neck reset raised the projection from 23mm to 27mm.

i have come to appreciate that if one works on a fine instrument with precise edge overhang this would have to be considered a bodge job.

but given that the instrument at hand had its edge overhang all over the place to start with, I reckon it happens to look better after the reset than before.

Pics attached and for comparison the edge at the tail end.

 

 

3D86A765-5108-44D7-A9BB-AD4553DFEBDF.jpeg

0F747582-7D90-4801-9E40-E4801908A9D6.jpeg

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On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 4:48 PM, jacobsaunders said:

It is inconcievable that an original neck projection could have been 23mm, since anyone who wants to play the thing would crunch into the edgework with the frog of the bow all the time.

It's not inconceivable at all. A slightly higher action would compensate without the frog hitting the edgework.

As I said before, neck sets vary. Some are made low and you can see this by the fact that the neck hasn't bowed and the neck root hasn't moved. They were just set with a lack of care and attention to the normal projection.

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57 minutes ago, sospiri said:

It's not inconceivable at all. A slightly higher action would compensate without the frog hitting the edgework.

As I said before, neck sets vary. Some are made low and you can see this by the fact that the neck hasn't bowed and the neck root hasn't moved. They were just set with a lack of care and attention to the normal projection.

boring

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