Help, Unusual violin neck


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Hi Everyone, I'm new here and I've got a violin I'm attempting to restore. I think it's German but the body is unusually long and the neck slightly short. I'm trying to work out how big to make the nut at the top and the measurements for everything to get the correct final bridge height etc. My question is, will it matter if the neck stop ends up being only 126mm? I know its usually 130..

FYI because of the slighter longer body the body stop is still 195mm. Is it going to work out or? Does it need a new neck?

Edited by LingWishes
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9 hours ago, LingWishes said:

Hi Everyone, I'm new here and I've got a violin I'm attempting to restore. I think it's German but the body is unusually long and the neck slightly short. I'm trying to work out how big to make the nut at the top and the measurements for everything to get the correct final bridge height etc. My question is, will it matter if the neck stop ends up being only 126mm? I know its usually 130..

FYI because of the slighter longer body the body stop is still 195mm. Is it going to work out or? Does it need a new neck?

If you don’t post pictures, it is almost impossible to judge. However, if you are making a new fingerboard, I would glue that on at 130mm, since the stop is 195

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Pay attention though to where your "chin" (mullet) is.  If you scooch the nut back to 130, you might creat havoc with some players in that they will play sharp in first position.  It's uncommon to have a shorter 126mm neck with a more standard 195 body stop on older German instruments.  I get lots of neck resets that wayB).  LIke Jacob said, show a pic at the nut area.

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12 hours ago, Jeff White said:

Pay attention though to where your "chin" (mullet) is.  If you scooch the nut back to 130, you might creat havoc with some players in that they will play sharp in first position.  It's uncommon to have a shorter 126mm neck with a more standard 195 body stop on older German instruments.  I get lots of neck resets that wayB).  LIke Jacob said, show a pic at the nut area.

I agree with Jeff. Don't mess with the nut/chin orientation. You could try just moving the bridge and sound post south by that 4mm. It will give you the 130mm, but it will mess a bit with the real high positions. That would be a problem with advanced players, but maybe not a country fiddler. If you want it real exact, a neck graft might be best. Bumping an existing neck out by 4mm might be less than ideal. (I've never done one by 4mm)

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If you look at old violins (e.g. 18th C) with original necks, you will notice that the nut is normally 3 or 4mm north of what is usual today. Moving the nut a few mm north is in my view far preferable, since the 13cm/19,5cm ratio means that the third position is there where one expects it

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2 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

If you look at old violins (e.g. 18th C) with original necks, you will notice that the nut is normally 3 or 4mm north of what is usual today. Moving the nut a few mm north is in my view far preferable, since the 13cm/19,5cm ratio means that the third position is there where one expects it

I agree with this, but in the case of a country fiddler, many rarely get out of first position, so the feel for 3rd position doesn't really matter.

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So, I went ahead and glued the thing on anyway cause I'm too impatient for answers, you know how it is at 11pm..

But hopefully you can see in the pictures how its just a tiny bit shy of the 130 to the nut. And I've glued on the new nut (not fashioned yet) and its already overhanging the pegbox by a bit. It's going to have to be quite small and it has shortened the fingerboard even there. 

Keep in mind this is the very first violin I've ever done and it's been sanded back, refinished and touched up before I've got to this point so be nice to me. I'm REALLY green. I literally have NO idea what I'm doing.The first pic of the 2 violins is to show you the dimensions pre gluing and to compare body sizes. The full violin measures 59cm and the body is 35.5cm. 
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Edited by LingWishes
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19 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

If you look at old violins (e.g. 18th C) with original necks, you will notice that the nut is normally 3 or 4mm north of what is usual today. Moving the nut a few mm north is in my view far preferable, since the 13cm/19,5cm ratio means that the third position is there where one expects it

 I am following the Strad Dancla poster at present and the body stop is given as 197 while the neck stop is 129, so a bit less than the 2/3 ratio. The string length is 328 so I imagine that someone thought that to be more important than keeping the ratio.  As it happens my body stop has increased slightly and I was thinking of  keeping the string length at 328 and making the neck stop a touch less.  That seemed to be the best bet for playability......do you think that's wrong?

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1 hour ago, Muswell said:

 I am following the Strad Dancla poster at present and the body stop is given as 197 while the neck stop is 129, so a bit less than the 2/3 ratio. The string length is 328 so I imagine that someone thought that to be more important than keeping the ratio.  As it happens my body stop has increased slightly and I was thinking of  keeping the string length at 328 and making the neck stop a touch less.  That seemed to be the best bet for playability......do you think that's wrong?

I wouldn't like to say that anyone is right or wrong, but I wouldn't do it like that. I would put the bridge at 195mm and make the neck 130mm regardless

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14 hours ago, LingWishes said:

So, I went ahead and glued the [nut] on...

You left a lot of excess wood.  I leave some excess for final fitting, but I find the whole process easier if I remove as much of the excess as possible before gluing a nut on.

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