Trade secrets: An innovative method of neck setting

nagaishi 1

Gluing the neck to the ribs before the top and back plates allows for a more accurate and hassle-free process. By Hayato Nagaishi, luthier based in Cremona, Italy, and Tokyo, Japan

After building stringed instruments for ten years, I began to ask myself why today’s luthiers always set the neck after closing the instrument body – even though we know that the method of the classical Cremonese makers was to set the neck beforehand? With this in mind, I developed a new system of setting the neck. The advantage of this process is that it allows for a high degree of precision when gluing the neck, as well as making it easier to work the wood.

The method most commonly used today, in which the neck setting is done after the instrument’s body has been finished, probably derives from a restoration technique developed in the 19th century, following the modernisation of the violin neck. The modern set-up requires the neck to be set into the top-block at an angle, in order to raise the projection. The neck is joined, little by little, to four surfaces (three sides of the top-block and one side of the back plate at the button). It takes the utmost attention and precision to complete.

Subscribe now to keep reading …

This article is available exclusively to subscribers – subscribe now

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Strad subscription

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. To access this content you need to be a subscriber.

As a subscriber you’ll receive:

  • Monthly issues* packed with news, interviews and features
  • Special supplements including Accessories, Degrees, Cremona and String Courses
  • A monthly digital edition and an archive of online issues going back to January 2010
  • Full access to all premium online content on thestrad.com
  • Two posters a year and the annual Strad Directory*

*To receive the posters, the Strad Directory and issues and supplements in print, you will need to take out a print + online package

 If you are not ready to subscribe, register now to enjoy a selection of free content (excludes premium subscriber-only articles)