Salve Håkedal, violin maker
Making a baroque fingerboard
From the end of the 18-th century, fingerboards of solid ebony has been used. Until then, use of ebony was usually limited to a thin veneer on lighter and less expensive wood.
I'll explain how I make a baroque violin fingerboard:
The best wood for the core of the fingerboard is spruce. I use a straight grained piece from a little to heavy top-material. The edges are veneered with maple:
Next it is shaped like a modern fingerboard, but with a straighter curve
Two tricks is useful to prevent the thin ebony from cracking when fitted to the
Two lists is needed:
Moisten the veneer on the outside, and maybe dry it on the underside with a spirit lamp. Give it some time to curve.
Before taking off the rope, the veneer must dry overnight. It will then have a curved shape that makes the rest of the work possible.
Hide-glue should be used, but it gels before it is possible to lash the veneer
to the core, so a special procedure should be employed:
When dried, the fingerboard is given the correct shape and fitted to the neck. The ebony surface should not need more than some rubbing and polishing.