Finishing the nut
  1. Take a look at Fig. 1. Using a file, finalize the arching contour of the nut to 1 mm at h1 on the G side and 0.75 mm at h2 on the E side.
  2. Take a look at Fig. 2. which depicts the sloping of the top arch. The slope goes towards the pegbox and ends a little under the projected top of the fingerboard (see the red dashed line). The slope can be created by using a file moving in short strokes in the direction of the scroll, slightly angled. The angle of the file can be set by putting your finger underneath the handle, the finger serving as a wedge, sliding on the fingerboard.
  3. Finish the arching with fine sandpaper.
  4. Set your compass to 16.5 mm, w1 in Fig. 3. and at the top of the nut, mark the outter positions for the G and E strings, leaning a little to the G side so that the E string will have a little more space on the fingerboard.
  5. Set your compass to 5.5 mm (w2) and repeat to mark the inner positions for the D and A strings.
  6. Use a knife to cut through these marks, creating guides for a keyhole file. The guides for D and A strings are straight, those for G and E are cut at a slight angle, see Fig. 3.

    Using a four-sided keyhole file, create the final grooves for the strings. Do not make them too deep as the string should only be fixed in position by these grooves, not buried in them. The width of each groove should also reflect the thickness of the string it is to accommodate.
  7. The last step here is to create a smooth shaped bevel, so that the sloping front wall of the nut assumes the shape of letter D. See the red lines in Fig. 4. which depict the extent of the bevelling. Use your fine file to create the bevel. Finish with fine sandpaper.
  8. Using fine sandpaper go over the whole nut and soften the edges just a little.

Finishing the fingerboard

The top edges of the fingerboard are now softened. For that use a flat file, going in long strokes all the way. The nut is treated as part of the fingerboard in this, so it gets rounded off at the sides and the top as well. Use a scraper to finish the bevels and remove any remaining marks. See Fig. 5.

You should now be left with an almost finished neck - the final shaping of the nape, the underside of the neck and the heel are done with the neck glued to the violin body. Go over the volute again making sure the surfaces are are smooth, the fluting and the bevels are perfect, the pegbox is cleanly cut.

Category: Neck and scroll