Neck Fitting.

I removed the neck (with great success!) and fit the new upper block. I first planed and glue sized the surfaces several times, paying close attention to the end grain. Here is the new block with the beginning of the mortise.

The glue needs to be cleaned up and the top surface dressed with a very sharp plane. I will glue size it once more.
The following photos are hard to tell apart mostly due to my camera. The first one of the neck heel rubbed with chalk for fitting. I use colored chalk to ease the process. White chalk is hard to see.

Below it the neck mortise with the initial markings from the heel. The blue marks need to be removed to get the final fit. Notice how the chalk has not touched the button yet. If it had I would have very little room for error. The neck needs to slowly slide into the mortise. If you over cut the sides you can't fit them any closer.

The process of chalk fitting is long but worth the effort as it gives a near perfect fit. Below is a brief explanation.
Chalk was initially rubbed on the heel of the neck and transferred to the mortise by inserting and wiggling the neck a little to transfer the chalk. The neck is then removed and cleaned. What you are left with in this process is a pattern of chalk showing where the neck fits the mortise. By slowly removing material covered in chalk you can achieve a perfect fit. The truly difficult part is that changing one surface during fitting always effects the fit of one or more of the other surfaces, as well as the geometry of the violins final set-up. This is a very very slow process with lots of checking and measuring.

Here is the mortise just before I clean it up for the final fit. Notice the button now has a dusting of chalk. Still some thin glue skin on the ribs that needs to be cleaned.

If you look close you can see the increase in surface contact between the two pictures. I will be gluing the neck today after a final check and a little scraping in the joint.

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