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I am working a box fiddle for the first time. In fact it is my first experience with a fiddle period. For me it makes sense that if I want to learn to play a fiddle, I want to learn all about it from construction up. So that is what I am doing. Plus for me I am more include to continue with learning something if I have already put a lot of effort into it.
I have read over all the discussions here and have gained alot of knowledge from all the builders, experinced and novice alike. I greatly appreciate all the info on dimensions that I have found. There is an abundance of info on the soundbox but little on neck dimensions. Now I know this is pobably mostly up to the builder but I am curious, about the width of the neck. General speaking about how wide should the neck be at the soundbox and at the nut? As well how thick should the neck be at the soundbox and nut? I imagine the neck has a lot o fstress on it from the strings.
Finally I read in one of the discussions that the bridge should be 6" from the tail. Is this specifically the tail of the instrument. or the the tailpiece where the strings attach?
If any of the questions have already been answered I apologies, and any aid would be thankfully accepted.
Six inches from the actual tail end of the instrument.
I'd recommend getting a pre-shaped factory fingerboard -- that is the hardest piece to get just right and makes a huge amount of difference. 13" scale (from bridge to nut), some neck angle and you are good to go!
For my fiddle I followed the dimensions of the neck from a plan in the plans section of this site. I think I used a piece of wood about 3/4 thick. I wouldn't worry too too much about the force of the strings here. It's really not that significant actually.
For the bridge I think the real rule of thumb should be to put it in the middle of the length of the box. This happens to be around 6 inches from the tail on a standard fiddle, but note how the body length is about equal to the scale length. If your box isn't 12 or 13 inches long, don't fret. your neck will just protrude from the body that much further. Whatever you do, don't put the bridge 6 inches up if your box is only 9 inches long! Just put it in the center, where it can have the best leverage on the top. The top is a diaphragm; The more it moves the better.