Saturday, March 19, 2016

How to Set the Neck on a Fiddle

The proper technique for resetting the neck of a fiddle can make the difference between a botched violin and a restored masterpiece. Learning about the tricks and tools will help you to decide if you have the skill to complete this procedure on your own. Attempt this procedure only if there is something off about your current setup. Poorly aligned strings and an incorrectly mounted neck are both good reasons to perform this task. Be forewarned, this procedure will change the sound of the fiddle.

Step 1 Remove the strings from the fiddle by loosening the pegs at the neck and removing the fine-tuning screws near the bridge of the fiddle.

Step 2 Examine the fiddle to see if there are any screws holding the top and the bottom of the fiddle together. If there are, you will need to remove the screws by unscrewing them.

Step 3 Saw the heel of the neck off leaving some of the heel intact to prevent sawing through the back of the fiddle.

Step 4 Remove the neck from the fiddle by separating it from the back.

Step 5 Set a 10-millimeter strip of wood against the top of the fiddle neck using a small amount of wood glue. Use a clamp to hold the pieces together for two hours.

Practice on an inexpensive fiddle before attempting this procedure. This is as much an art as a science and it requires some experience with instrument repair. If you have never repaired an instrument, this is not the procedure to start with.