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To make a long story short, I was given a box with a completely disassembled violin...and extra parts. I proceeded to rebuild, refinish. Not knowing the broken off tab on the back that joined the heel of the neck was a critical part of the structure. Now I have to disassemble and repair. This was assembled with hide glue, but I would like to know what the most reliable method is to safely separate the back from the violin?

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The standard approach is to find a spot where a thin palette knife can be worked into the joint and just work around separating the back. With the assumption that a violin will likely have to come apart for a repair at some point, they are usually put together with that in mind.

How did you attach the neck? What is your plan to replace the missing button on the back?

I used hide glue in the dovetail joint for the neck and for attaching the back.

I plan to create a keyhole shaped piece of hard maple (grain match to the base of the neck) that will be shaped to fit to the heel of the neck (cutting off enough of the neck heel to accommodate the new back extension piece) and carve a bit if a stair step to allow the base of the inside part of the 'patch' (large enough and thick enough 3/16") to glue down to the inside of the violin back and be flush with the violin back when joined to the neck. Create a 'heel extension' that will be then be shaped to the contour of the heel of the neck. Make sense as a solution? I am guessing the neck 'heel' extension created will be nearly 1/2" thick.  In the end, a seam will be seen at the neck, back connection and the neck will have a slightly different grain at its base. But since it is a new french polish shellac job, should blend fairly well.

Any tips? This is strictly a new adventure for me!

I don't know if you have the OR. piece or not??????? But if you do have it you can fix it by just taking it off the Violin neck heal and doing a blind repair and puting it back on again. you don't have to take the back off at all .That is the way repair some thing like that.If you don't understand what iam trying to tell you then mybe i can draw you a picture of it . I am not the best artist thought. Bill............

Ok  Bill, I'm curious....I'm not understanding the option you are describing. I do not have the piece that broke off of the back which the neck heel is supposed to be attached to. There was only a 1/4" chunk left when I received it.

Well Jerry I have tryed to make you a drawing of the repair and when i get the battery charged up for the cam. I will send the pic. But i will try to explain it to you first. You will take your Dremel and router out a cavity in the bottom of the heal of the neck deep enof for about a 1/8th"  piece of maple leaving about  3/32"nds of the heal wood around the outside so you don't see the repair.Then you drill 2or3 1/8th" holes  in under the back side of the back and through the neck block and clean it up with what ever as to make a slot for that end of the tung .When you glue it all in there you will be glueing the piece to the neck block as well as the back .Then you will make your new piece for the button and put it in place .I hope you can under stand all that i have tryed to explain.P.S if you have a fax number I could send you the picture  Good luck with your repairs Bill........... 

Hear is the drawing Jerry of the Violin repair

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Bill,

That is quite a clean method of making the repair! Thank you so much for the idea and help.

Will sent a pic when done!

Jerry

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