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Neck blank prep cut


CaseyLouque
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I was thinking I would have to temporarily glue some wood to the side and square it to fingerboard area.

Then cut out the general shape on my bandsaw.
Without removing any wood it seems to be about 42mm at the eye of the scroll. 
Any advice from makers on how I can go about this would be appreciated.

60E14C0C-9A48-42CF-82C0-B51388A200BB.thumb.jpeg.59174d7ea04775459ec30cb7e6284c1d.jpeg

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I think you have the right idea. I usually use whatever scrap wood I happen to have handy. It comes out looking something like: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-9sgm6DlMq/ for me. It should all get carved away as you do the turns of the scroll. If I have to do it on both sides I make sure at least one of them is most of the length of the block so I have a nice solid flat for reference while at the bandsaw. But if it's just the one side then that can be up while I cut so it only needs to be enough to trace the template.  I'm not sure if that answers your question or if there was something specific you were wondering about?

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Yes that picture illustrates what I was thinking of doing. 
i have scraps of wood hanging around as well.

I’ll just cut and glue some scraps to the block and square it off so I can put the template on the side  square and accurately bandsaw the template.

I’ll do both sides since I’m new to this the less ways I can muck it up the better.

then I’ll be done with the easy part :D

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This is how I proceed, make sure you have at least 25 mm of squared plane on the sides in order to include the whole eye of the scroll:

https://youtu.be/PZYSq36XqXg?t=511

A width of 42 mm is not strictly necessary, the average of the Stradivari for example is more around 41mm, Del Gesù also reaches up to about 38 mm:o. Not that I recommend it...

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10 hours ago, CaseyLouque said:

Thanks for all the input guys. Squared up one entire side with most of the other.

The piece I added can easily be seen in this shot. 
 

Now to square and smooth this out the last 1-0.5mm so we can get to marking and carving. 

 

5BD16C57-F4AB-4C0E-92B0-322CD077A29E.thumb.jpeg.18901b304f23584dfc4f771fde6efcef.jpeg

It seems you haven't heeded my suggestion to have at least 25mm of original block plane (maple). Now I'm afraid you'll find yourself with the right eye of the scroll made just of spruce...:o

1432248625_Larghezza(altezza)pianilateralibloccotesta.thumb.jpg.2e235cdd29cc3332603437cb0088ef1b.jpg

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I think I may have just barely gotten away with it. I drew a centerline though I’m not 100% done with squaring cleanup.
I have about 41.5mm wide on the maple for the 25mm area where the right eye sits. 
I have no desire for a spruce right eye. 

but if so I guess.

c'est la vie
 

and yes i have some shavings I need to clean up…

 


 

4AB9FAEB-BDCF-4AAE-B6D3-7F2B254AFB5C.thumb.jpeg.a19077d25f7ee23032f3236badca12d6.jpeg

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3 hours ago, CaseyLouque said:

I think I may have just barely gotten away with it. I drew a centerline though I’m not 100% done with squaring cleanup.
I have about 41.5mm wide on the maple for the 25mm area where the right eye sits. 
I have no desire for a spruce right eye.
but if so I guess.

c'est la vie
and yes i have some shavings I need to clean up…
 

To be sure that the entire surface of the eye is included in the maple, I prefer to square the block to the final width before gluing the spruce,  then I add the spruce and square it bringing to the maple size.

the purpose of the spruce wings is to be able to accurately trace the template without bending it, and to have a more stable support surface if you have to cut the outline with a band saw or make the holes for the pegs with a drill press.

If, on the other hand, you need to widen the block because it is too narrow, you should add maple wings instead of spruce, using the same wood as the block and taking care of the grain, flame and orientation like that of the block, at least in the eye area.

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I don't know if anyone has said this, but the first thing you should do is plane the angle of the front so that it is the same to both sides. Then you can plane in from either side keeping both sides identical back until you have the width. If you averaged the front correctly, both flat sides will be the same. Then you do not need to add wood to the sides--if the flat reaches past the eyes that's enough flat to mark, saw, and bore the holes. The whole side doesn't have to be flat. Also you can first average the front, then plane one side until you reach past the eye, then plane the other side until you reach thickness. That way you have a solid base for sawing, boring, etc. The template will need to be tilted a bit when drawing the first side, but not enough to matter.

Not once have I ever had to add extra wood. just to square up a face. If you have enough to get the eyes, you have enough flat to work with for the rest of the operations. Learned this one working at WH Lee where they were making 100s of instruments a year and didn't have time for time-wasting nonsense.

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1 hour ago, Michael Darnton said:

I don't know if anyone has said this, but the first thing you should do is plane the angle of the front so that it is the same to both sides. 

When you say 'front' are you referring to the surface that the fingerboard will be glued to? 

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15 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

I don't know if anyone has said this, but the first thing you should do is plane the angle of the front so that it is the same to both sides. Then you can plane in from either side keeping both sides identical back until you have the width. If you averaged the front correctly, both flat sides will be the same. Then you do not need to add wood to the sides--if the flat reaches past the eyes that's enough flat to mark, saw, and bore the holes. The whole side doesn't have to be flat. Also you can first average the front, then plane one side until you reach past the eye, then plane the other side until you reach thickness. That way you have a solid base for sawing, boring, etc. The template will need to be tilted a bit when drawing the first side, but not enough to matter.

Not once have I ever had to add extra wood. just to square up a face. If you have enough to get the eyes, you have enough flat to work with for the rest of the operations. Learned this one working at WH Lee where they were making 100s of instruments a year and didn't have time for time-wasting nonsense.

I also start by planing the fingerboard side, but to make it as parallel as possible to the grain, not to get the same angle on the two sides. In an ideal case (block perfectly cut on the quarter) it would not make any difference, but this is not always the case. So I try to predict with a provisional tracing how to arrange the faces to obtain the same width of the sides with a minimum width of 25 mm for both.

1946452327_Scrollgrainorientation-eyewidth.thumb.jpg.c2a2959ece01f24222569e12a0d6e7fe.jpg

About adding spruce wings, of course this is not strictly necessary, you could trace where the template is raised simply trying to keep the marking point as perpendicular as possible and then worry about adjusting the line by eye during actual working with chisels and rasps, and trusting the reduced support surface for cutting and drilling.

But honestly, the "wasted time" in adding wings is so ridiculous that I prefer the greater accuracy they allow, even if when I buy the wood I try to take blocks large enough not to have to add wings at all, also because sometimes allow you to get two scrolls from the same block if it's worth it (nice old wood shouldn't be wasted).

508952588_Scrolltracingsprucewings.thumb.jpg.bacc204b9020571fca58ccbff928a2ad.jpg

 

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On 1/25/2022 at 6:52 PM, DonLeister said:

What would you do David? Don't leave us hanging!

Sorry, I get busy sometimes.

If I'm in a mood where I think that having the grain direction parallel to the fingerboard mating surface is important, I'll start by planing that surface at an angle to match the grain. This may leave one side or the other close enough to perpendicular with that surface, that scrap wood isn't needed on that side... just a little planing.

If I'm in a mood where I think that this precise grain alignment isn't that important, one side can be cleaned up with a plane, and the top surface (fingerboard gluing surface) planed perpendicular to that. This leaves the first side as a continuous large and very stable surface for sawing or drilling. Then the opposite side can be planed to the desired width, also at 90 degrees to the top, with scrap wood added or not, as desired. This side doesn't need to be stable against a table surface so much, since only one side needs to be used for that.

On cello necks, there is often so little surplus wood, that it needs to be done the way Michael describes, except that I always add scrap wood to both sides to get a stable platform against the band saw table. The throat depth on my bandsaw requires that I saw from both sides, and I don't like things to be tippy when bandsawing.

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12 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Sorry, I get busy sometimes.

If I'm in a mood where I think that having the grain direction parallel to the fingerboard mating surface is important, I'll start by planing that surface at an angle to match the grain. This may leave one side or the other close enough to perpendicular with that surface, that scrap wood isn't needed on that side... just a little planing.

If I'm in a mood where I think that this precise grain alignment isn't that important, one side can be cleaned up with a plane, and the top surface (fingerboard gluing surface) planed perpendicular to that. This leaves the first side as a continuous large and very stable surface for sawing or drilling. Then the opposite side can be planed to the desired width, also at 90 degrees to the top, with scrap wood added or not, as desired. This side doesn't need to be stable against a table surface so much, since only one side needs to be used for that.

On cello necks, there is often so little surplus wood, that it needs to be done the way Michael describes, except that I always add scrap wood to both sides to get a stable platform against the band saw table. The throat depth on my bandsaw requires that I saw from both sides, and I don't like things to be tippy when bandsawing.

Hi David,

apart from the cello, where the size of the piece and the alignment of the heel place obvious limits, what do you think are the cases in which the alignment of the grain (parallel to the plane of the fingerboard) is not important? The exact parallelism is not always achievable, but I still consider it as an ideal to aim for.

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1 hour ago, Davide Sora said:

Hi David,

apart from the cello, where the size of the piece and the alignment of the heel place obvious limits, what do you think are the cases in which the alignment of the grain (parallel to the plane of the fingerboard) is not important? The exact parallelism is not always achievable, but I still consider it as an ideal to aim for.

Davide, I was taught that it's important, but when later asked why, haven't been able to come up with a good answer. :lol:

I like doing it that way though, and like that you do it that way too. :)

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22 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Davide, I was taught that it's important, but when later asked why, haven't been able to come up with a good answer. :lol:

I like doing it that way though, and like that you do it that way too. :)

I think that the main reason is to prevent the neck from twisting with the movement of the wood due to variations in humidity. This might be a particularly serious problem if you take off the fingerboard for varnishing and with the use of the UV box. In fact, with the fingerboard glued on and with very seasoned and stable wood the problem becomes less important, and if you have left enough wood to be able to straighten the gluing surface of the neck in case it gets twisted. However, the scroll will remain slightly crooked with respect to the plane of the top plate, and although it is something you can live with, if I can avoid as much as possible the twist putting the grain parallel, I'm more happy:P

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8 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

In areas like this I am always of the mind that what Stradivari thought was important is good enough for me. :-)

Do we know what Stradivari thought, which method he used on necks, and why?

If the grain is not perfectly horizontal, do we know that he didn't get it as close as possible, given the piece of wood used?

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