I have started to make a violin, my first for 2017. I will be using the wood shown in this photo:

I have decided to start with the pegbox and scroll. I think it’s nice to have the neck mostly finished before the body is complete, so that it won’t be long before the violin is playable after the body is finished.

A lot of time goes into work that’s not seen in the finished product. I can’t just take a piece of wood and start carving a scroll, it has to be squared up first, so that the template can accurately drawn on both sides. The only way the outline of the template can be exactly the same on both sides, is if the neck block is dead square. I do this with a hand plane.

Now that the block is dead square, I can trace the outline from a plastic template, made from a 1:1 scale photo.



Like some makers, I like to drill the peg holes at this stage while the neck block is square, other makers like to drill the holes last. The holes are small, and their position can be adjusted later with the reamer if I need to. I also like to get the cutting of the pegbox out of the way while the block is still solid, other makers cut the inside of the pegbox after carving the scroll. It doesn’t matter, as long as it gets done sometime. 🙂

Many makers these days like to drill much of the pegbox out first, but I like to do it all with a chisel, like making a mortise and tenon join in furniture. It’s how I was taught, and I can do this fairly quickly.


With the pegbox mostly done, the neck and scroll can be cut out. The final finishing of the pegbox will be done later in the finishing stage.


Now it’s time to remove wood to reveal the outer cheeks of the pegbox.



Next finally comes the fun bit. Carving the scroll.



That’s all for now, I’ll continue the photos in part 2! Click here for part 2.

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