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Shunyata

Violin Disassembly

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I have finally reached Don Noon's point of having made enough violins (purely amateur in my case) that I would like to take some apart and experiment.

I have one that sounds exceptionally nice, except the neck angle is WAY to high (I did say amateur, did I not?) and creates unhappy resonances.  I would like to take it apart and completely rework the neck root. 

Any suggestions?  In particular, I have no idea how to remove the back without buggering the button.  Is that even doable?

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32 minutes ago, Shunyata said:

I have finally reached Don Noon's point of having made enough violins (purely amateur in my case) that I would like to take some apart and experiment.

I have one that sounds exceptionally nice, except the neck angle is WAY to high (I did say amateur, did I not?) and creates unhappy resonances.  I would like to take it apart and completely rework the neck root. 

Any suggestions?  In particular, I have no idea how to remove the back without buggering the button.  Is that even doable?

Yes, but why do you want to remove the back?

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Yes, you won't need to remove either the back or belly, in order to remove the neck.

How high is the projection currently? There may be other ways to reduce this, depending on the measurements.

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Some points to consider:

firstly, it might be easier, if there’s enough room, to plane down the fingerboard surface, rather than messing with the entire root. Secondly, a wedge could be added to adjust the angle.

thirdly, if you do want to remove the neck, be very careful not to damage anything. The button can be removed from the neck with an opening knife, then cut into the sides of the neck root. Then the neck-top block joint needs to be undone. This is very precarious, so I would weaken the glue joint with alcohol first, then either risk it, or remove the fingerboard. I think triangle strings has a good video on how to remove a neck. 
I had to reglue a neck once, and I still have a fragment of the top block from it, which I had to replace. I learnt, not to do such things lightly. However, it’s better trying it on one’s own instrument than a strad. 

 

how high is the neck projection?

how thick does the neck measure?

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23mm projection, maybe just a tad more.  That makes for a very high bridge and the attendant problems.  I make sure that doesn't happen now!  :blink:

I did mention I am an ameteur hobbyist?

So I would like to try and fix this.

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9 minutes ago, Shunyata said:

23mm projection, maybe just a tad more.  That makes for a very high bridge and the attendant problems.  I make sure that doesn't happen now!  :blink:

I did mention I am an ameteur hobbyist?

So I would like to try and fix this.

Are you sure? 23 seems very low, it should be closer to 27.

I guess you are not measuring this at the bridge position like everyone else does.

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7 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

...23 seems very low, it should be closer to 27...

Right.

Shunyata:  Do you understand that "projection" does not mean the height of the fingerboard above the top at the end of the fingerboard?  It means the height above the top of the line of the top of the center of the fingerboard projected to the bridge position.

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9 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

Are you sure? 23 seems very low, it should be closer to 27.

I guess you are not measuring this at the bridge position like everyone else 

Top of the fingerboard projected to the bridge is 31mm, about 5mm too high.

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I agree with David, if you wish any of us to give you any advice, you will have to provide pictures, that we can understand your problem, since giving advice on something that we have neither seen nor understood is treacherous. The one thing that one may say with certainty is that demolishing violins into their constituent parts is quick, relatively easy and good fun. Putting them back together successfully is far more involved and tedious.

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Overstand  6mm

Projection  31mm

End of fingerboard to top 23mm

Issue is that bridge height is WAY too high.  Thought I would remove the neck and reshape to bring projection height down.  But your comments seem to point to other possibilities.

Thank you all for your interested comments!

20200217_174326.jpg

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25 minutes ago, Shunyata said:

Overstand  6mm

Projection  31mm

End of fingerboard to top 23mm

Issue is that bridge height is WAY too high.  Thought I would remove the neck and reshape to bring projection height down.  But your comments seem to point to other possibilities.y

Thank you all for your interested comments

I wouldn't recommend reducing the overstand below 5mm. While values as low as 3mm can be quite acceptable,. this isn't what most high-level violinists prefer. What market would you like to target?

It doesn't appear from your photos that the fingerboard has become highly warped, pushing things either up or down.

While I can't really see enough at the upper nut end from the photos, I will agree that it might be possible to put in a fingerboard wedge to move it in the direction  of more conventional values.

 

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What market?  That question is so far outside anything I have ever considered!  I am just an amateur making instruments for my own pleasure, and perhaps donating to a young student without the financial means for a decent instrument.

The fingerboard is actually 1-2mm thicker than I know to do now.  So reshaping the fingerboard a little, and perhaps using a wedge should completely fit the bill.

What is the best way to fit a wedge?  Glue on a shim and then plane?

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24 minutes ago, Shunyata said:

What market? 

I don't know. You tell me. Is it your goal to make giveaway violins? If so, I'd think that would be highly laudable.

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9 hours ago, Shunyata said:

Overstand  6mm

Projection  31mm

End of fingerboard to top 23mm

Issue is that bridge height is WAY too high.  Thought I would remove the neck and reshape to bring projection height down.  But your comments seem to point to other possibilities.

Thank you all for your interested comments!

20200217_174326.jpg

This bridge looks much too massive, that's where I would start (thickness, feet and heart/kidneys).

Reducing/tapering the fingerboard from nut to end for 1 mm could lower the projection far below 30 mm, if that's not enough the overstand could be planed down for half a millimeter, too. Taking out the neck without practicing this at some VSOs or the like could end up in a massacre.

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If I have understood correctly, I would remove the fingerboard, and re fit it, so that the "projection" to the bridge were 27 to 28mm. I see no need for a "wedge"

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21 hours ago, Shunyata said:

The fingerboard is actually 1-2mm thicker than I know to do now.  

I would teach myself to lose that 1 - 2 mm of ebony first.  Possibly make a dummy fingerboard out of a lesser wood to see what could work.

Then rework your bridge.  

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I removed the fingerboard this evening and will begin refining the thickness.  I suspect this will take care of most of my problem, if not all of it.  Only as a last resort will I start shaving the neck down.

A commenter also called out my overly thick bridge.  Thank you for that.  It's simply amazing how much impact bridge thickness has on Sound!

I will update you on progress.  Once done, I am giving this violin to an enthusiastic  young student who has been struggling with an awful rental.

Thank you again to everyone for your gracious help!

 

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