Here's the block of maple as purchased from the vendor -- not quite rectangular in cross-section, but lots of curl in the wood.
I've glued a temporary piece of pine to one side of the maple and planed it parallel to the opposite side. Here, I am taking the top down to be square to the other two sides, which will also put the grain in a better orientation. You might be able to make out the horizontal line under the plane -- that's where I'm headed.
Ripping the maple to thickness (42 mm). This is a good workout on a summer day.
Here's the block after planing the newly sawn side. As you can see, even here, little of the temporary pine remains behind. I might have gotten by without it all together, had I been more clever. Now to lay-out the neck.
I really agonized over this template, finally settling on the neck root as in the Johnson & Courtnall book, with the "Viotti" Strad scroll.
After adjusting my cheap, old, benchtop bandsaw, I was actually able to cut out the neck fairly well. Here it is after cleaning it up to square and drilling the 4 pegholes.
This evening, I have roughed in the turns of the scroll. Still a lot of detail work to do on the scroll, not to mention the pegbox and neck, but at least it's starting to look like part of a violin.