Over time the string projection of a violin, viola or cello can lower. The easiest way to make it easy to play again is to simply lower the bridge so that the string height is the correct distance from the fingerboard. Once the projection height (extend the line of the fingerboard to the bridge) measures less than 26mm it's getting too low. There will be less and less clearance when playing the e string because the bow will start to sometimes touch the "C" bout. Also the violin will loose some of it's projection.
There are a couple of ways to solve this problem.
The easiest and least intrusve way is to make a Dutchman wedge to raise the projection. First the fingerboard needs to be removed from the neck. If it's still thick enough and in good condition it can be reused. Then the neck needs to be planed a little to make sure the neck is perfectly flat. Then you fit a matching piece of maple to the neck and glue them together. The next day you plane the wedge so that the projection lands at about 28 mm. If the angle is not correct you can adjust this by the amount of taper of the wedge. If you want to raise it without adding additional tension on the violin the wedge is flatter. Then once the fingerobard fits the new wedge, it's glued on. The next day the wedge needs to be worked into the curve of the neck. The neck needs to be treated and a little varnish touch up is done under the fingerboard and at the body where the neck ends. A new bridge is fitted to match the new height.
This violin had low projection but I didn't want to increase the string pressure on the bridge, so I made the wedge less of an angle. Sorry, I didn't take a lot of the steps on this one.
IMG 20220226 164629 047 IMG 20220418 134120 470 IMG 20220418 134224 105
Here is a 3/4 size that needed the projection raised.
IMG 20210803 103000 472 IMG 20210803 105310 761 IMG 20210804 172204 426
IMG 20210805 121934 576 IMG 20210816 085202 635 IMG 20210816 115756 592
dutchman 20140222 162505 dutchman 20140306 171852
IMG 20180405 175418 IMG 20180406 140335 IMG 20180406 140405
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IMG 20180413 160005 IMG 20180416 113541 IMG 20180416 113605
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If the projection of the neck is too low because it has been set at an incorrect angle, then the neck can be removed and a small wedge can be glued to the heal of the neck. It can then be fitted similar to the way a new neck is fitted. Make the wedge wide enough for that there is enough wood to correct the angle and also center the neck if it's a little off center. Sorry the pictures are not too clear.
IMG 20161115 113648 IMG 20161115 113701 IMG 20161115 113939
IMG 20161115 114022 |
Pulling the Neck Back
Some repair people take the simple method of loosing the top from the upper bouts and the block. Then simply pulling the neck back to a higher projection and then cutting a little piece of wood to fill the slight gap that it creates between the heal of the neck and the top. Then gluing the top back on. The problem with this method is you are putting a little pressure on the button and it's really just a temporaty solution. The picture below is a neck that was raised using this method and it was still too low. Taking the neck out you can see the remnants of the shim they used. I think if you need to change the projection angle, it better to put a full size maple wedge onto the neck. Then just refit the neck like you would if you were making a new violin. That way you have full control of the height and the centering of the neck.
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