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Cello build

 
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DonLeister
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Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 356
Location: Richmond, VA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:14 pm    Post subject: Cello build Reply with quote

Dave, we will have to do a cello build thread. I have been gathering wood for a cello too and thinking about models.
One reason; my son has been playing and is on a 3/4 now so a decent 4/4 will be useful. Another reason is I just want to build one!
I just need to find out what would be desirable as far as a model goes.

I'll move this into a cello thread so we don't derail Chet's bass thread.

What kind of model are you looking at Dave?
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Dave Chandler
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Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 682
Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking of building a cello this winter. I have an outline I inherited, which perfectly reflects the dimensions of a 1877 Collin-Mezin cello I found iinformation on at http://luthierslibrary.com, measurements with calipers so it should be pretty accurate. With the information there, I have the arching measurements, graduations, close ups of scroll, f-hole dimensions, edge dimensions, etc including nice photos.

I'm in process of procuring some nice old European maple, should be here in a couple weeks. Spruce will be Red Spruce from my neighborhood. I had a piece laying around for about 6 years, but it didn't split out to give me enough wood for a bookmatch pair, so its back into the woods. I have a tree in mind that blew down in the last 3-4 years, just need to go cut some slabs and dry them over the winter. It'll be spring before i get to that part anyway.

I don't have a cello book, but I do have Strobels "Usefull measurements" which include all the cello setup info. Armed with this info, and our friends here, what else do I need to take into consideration that you wouldn't come across building a violin?
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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Chet Bishop
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 642
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a lot of great cello plans available, especially if one is comfortable with deriving one's pattern from the technical drawing on the back of a Strad poster. I use the 1712 Davidov poster specifications, but there are many others and that one is out of print, now, anyway.

However: I coached a friend through his first cello, and he used the Henry Strobel plans; the cello he made is really a great instrument, and seems remarkably close to the Davidov plans I use.

The point is; Henry's book "Cello Making, Step by Step" includes plans for both a full size cello and a 7/8 size, already drawn with all details and measurements. You can hardly go wrong with them, especially on a first attempt.
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Chet Bishop
http://www.bluefiddles.com
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Dave Chandler
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Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uploading progress on cello mold (there's always room for cello). Have quite a ways to go, but taking shape. I've made two rib clamps so far, only 25 more to go. Using Strobel's 3-layer mold. OUter solid pieces will come off to allow addition of linings, while center section will continue to hold block and ribs in place.

[img][/img]

[img][/img]

[img][/img]
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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Chet Bishop
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Location: Forest Grove, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it!
Press on!
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Chet Bishop
http://www.bluefiddles.com
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Dave Chandler
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Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, here I am, trying to thin cello ribs with violin-making tools. What I discovered though is that after giving one side of the raw stock a fine finish, then thinning the ribs on the inside is easy to about 2mm using my 14" plane, as long as I watched the direction so as not to chip out chunks of wood.

Then, using a large block of polished granite (scrap from local granite counter-top dealer) I glued down a sheet of fine sandpaper to the polished surface to give my ribwood something to grip, and then used another scrap of polished granite, this one about 10" long and 4" wide, I glued a handle to it (a piece of maple violin-neck cutout scrap). This granite piece I attached a 120 grit sandpaper and took the rib stock down to its final 1.6-1.7mm thickness. It does an amazing job, and leaves me with ribs that do not vary more than 0.1mm from end to end, or from side to side.

All I have to do now, is final scrape the other side that escaped the sandpaper attack.

I've discovered that the 3m sandpaper I've shown in the photo, is absolutely the best stuff I've ever bought. It doesn't clog and wears very well. Look for it next time you need sandpaper. [img][/img]

[img][/img]
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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Dave Chandler
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Joined: 31 Oct 2007
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Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the video version

https://youtu.be/GL6U3XHXWUM
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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Michael Darnton
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a friend who wanted to be a cello maker when he was in high school. He got himself a summer job with a maker near him. The day he showed up, the guy put him in a separate room, showed him a huge stack of ribs, and handed him a belt sander. It was a very boring summer.

Me, I'd use a plane and scraper, but it's an interesting idea. I guess belt sanders aren't too expensive. It seems a bit risky, but it would be quick.
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Power tools scare me. Now that I've worked this out, they go pretty quick, maybe an hour for each rib piece. That's acceptable to me, knowing I'm not going to go through the wood. Ihave a small hand held 3.25" power planer, but again, hesitant to use it, preferring my trusty 14" plane.
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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Cliff Green
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Joined: 01 Apr 2007
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Location: Amissville, Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only made 5 cellos so take this comment with that in mind
The first two were built on the Strobel form. The problem I had was that since the center of the ribs were unsupported, some areas would become concave, especially at the transition from the corners to the bouts. The ribs were well cured and I only spritz the ribs while bending.
On the last 3 cellos I made a mould using two sheets of 3/4 inch plywood laminated together and made similar to the usual violin mould. Besides being simpler to make, the mould is lighter, easier to store and more importantly the shape of the ribs was better controlled. With 1 1/2 inches taken from the rib center there was enough room to insert the linings on the mould but enough support to maintain good shape. I'd never go back to the composite mould.
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to know, I think I have some ideas to improve this mold so as to avoid the ribs becoming concaved. Maybe a few "struts" in the bouts between top and bottom mold layer would help.
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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okawbow
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Joined: 31 Mar 2009
Posts: 50
Location: Southern Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:58 am    Post subject: cello Reply with quote

Hi all

Long time since I posted here.

My one and only cello, made about 12 years ago. I used the Stradivari "Davidov" 1712 model. I used a 1 piece internal mold, just like the ones I used for violins. The back and sides are red maple. The neck is big leaf maple. The belly is sitka spruce. I got the wood from Old Standard in Fulton, Mo.

Like you, Dave, I don't like power tools when I can help it. I made this cello entirely by hand. It has a wonderful sound. Wish I could play! before rubbing-out side by okawbow, on Flickr



before rubbing-out front full by okawbow, on Flickr
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okawbow
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

more pictures

before rubbing-out back by okawbow, on Flickr

before rubbing-out bridge by okawbow, on Flickr
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Michael Darnton
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's exciting!
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: cello Reply with quote

okawbow wrote:
My one and only cello, made about 12 years ago. I used the Stradivari "Davidov" 1712 model. I used a 1 piece internal mold, just like the ones I used for violins. The back and sides are red maple. The neck is big leaf maple. The belly is sitka spruce. I got the wood from Old Standard in Fulton, Mo.



Just the one cello?

I'm just starting to carve the back on my first cello, top will be Red Spruce I collected near home. Having to splice in the last inch or so in the outer edges of the lower bouts to get enough wood. Just could not find a log big enough.
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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