Cello Linings for Free!

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Free Willow Sources

I like to use Willow for cello linings and cello blocks, but willow is not a common timber to be able to just go and buy. Last year I got a small log of it, from a limb that blew off someone’s tree, but I have not yet cut it up, so, in spite of the fact that I “have” it, it is not particularly accessible right now.

Bruce Harvey, of Orcas Island Tonewoods,  once suggested that I learn what willow grain looks like and start watching the pallets and dunnage at work. (Apparently, though it is not popular for much else, it works for pallets and the like.) It took me a while to really learn what the grain looked like, but eventually I learned to spot it, and sure enough, a week or so ago, I spotted a likely candidate in a stack of dunnage (the timbers used to separate parts of a load of steel, for shipping purposes). I grabbed it (a 4 x 4, a little over 3′ long, dirty and battered) and checked it by whittling one corner. Bingo! Pay-off!

Tonight I needed a pile of linings for the new cello I am building, so, though I got home late after teaching a class, I walked out to the bandsaw, and, in five minutes (literally) I had a stack of linings big enough for two or three cellos…and lots more left over. (Thanks, Bruce!)

Tomorrow night I will get home a little earlier and expect that I will bend them all and install all the front linings. The following evening (or maybe Friday), I can install all the back linings. Then, Saturday, I can trace the back plate, I hope. (I haven’t even joined the front plate yet, so it will have to wait. Maybe I can get that done this weekend, too. 🙂

I’ll post pictures in another day or so. A pile of linings isn’t very exciting, unless you are building a cello. 🙂

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