Derek Roberts Violins

Violin Making
Day 8 Preparing the neck block

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.

Checking the scroll block for square
Today violin maker Derek Roberts starts work on the neck and scroll of the violin. These are made from one solid block of flamed maple wood.

First the block must be planed square and to the correct dimensions. Here Derek checks the edge with a square.

Mark scroll outline
A template is used for the neck and scroll outline, which is marked onto the wood with a scriber.

Saw out the scroll Smooth the scroll outline
Derek uses a coping saw to roughly saw the outline. Then various tools are used to work down to the outline and shape the initial profile of the scroll.

File the scroll
Derek uses a gouge on the back of the pegbox and a file on the head of the scroll.


Now the final shape of the back of the pegbox is marked out. The marked lines will be used in the next stage to guide the removal of waste wood.


The four pegholes are drilled. Later on the pegholes will be enlarged and a taper cut with a reamer.

C lining mortice In the next stage, Derek carves the scroll.

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