Derek Roberts Violins

Violin Making
Day 23 Finishing the neck

This is one page in a series about violin making by hand in the traditional way. Please see the introduction for more, and our violin making courses if you are inspired to make a violin yourself.


Today violin maker Derek Roberts finishes shaping the neck and the back button. The neck is still only roughly shaped. It was fitted into the body of the violin in the previous stage.

The back button is the part of the back that is glued onto the heel of the neck.

Derek starts by marking out a semi-circle with dividers, to form the shape of the button.


He saws out the waste wood from the button with a coping saw, continuing the cut into the neck block.

Derek starts roughly shaping the neck with a knife.


He uses a chisel to cut out the semi-circular shape of the button and continue the shape into the neck.


A knife is used to continue shaping the neck.


Finer shaping of the neck is done with files.

A flat hand-cut rasp is used, and a half round file.


Derek uses callipers and a template to check the shape of the neck.


Finally Derek finishes the neck off with a scraper and with abrasive paper.

This has to be done very carefully because the neck is the part of the instrument which the player handles. It must not have any irregularities which the player might detect.

In the next stage Derek finishes work on the edge and does the final scraping.

Are you interested in learning to make a violin, or developing your violin making skills? See our Violin Making Courses. Our resources page has recommendations for books and suppliers for violin making.

All material on this site copyright Derek Roberts, Leamington Spa 1999, 2000, 2001, 2014