Beginning a New Cello

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Starting a new “Davidov” Cello

I decided a new cello was in order, and I hope to have it completed in time for the Marylhurst Musical Instrument Makers Show, the last weekend of April.

This will be another “Davidov” 1712 Stradivarius model, similar to the one on my Chronology page (instrument #16), but with a one-piece back. I like one-piece backs, but they are not very common on a cello. This wood (back, sides and neck) is from the same maple log as that from which instrument #19 (five-string fiddle #2) is made. The belly will be Sitka spruce. I plan to make the whole instrument darker than the last one was. Here is a photo of the slab from which the back will be made:

This is a slab of old-growth Big-leaf Maple heartwood. Not everyone will use heartwood, but I like it. I planed some of the rough surface off so that you can see the flame in the wood.

I will try to post photographs of the progress, as the cello emerges.


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3 Replies to “Beginning a New Cello”

  1. The blocks are in the mold, and the initial shaping of the blocks is completed. I usually do not shape the outer curves of the corner blocks, until after the C-bout ribs are glued in place, for fear the pressure of clamping the c-bout ribs may distort the shape of the delicate vertices of the blocks.

    Last night I thinned the ribs, using an abrasive thickness planer at my son’s house. The ribs now range from 1.6mm to 1.8mm, or less, and will be scraped (to remove scratches from the sanding), then cut to length, bent to shape, and glued to the blocks in the mold. Saturday, a young man building his first viola will be at the house, so I hope to spend the day working on the cello, while he spends the day working on his viola.

    I have not had much energy lately. Don’t know why….

    I will post more pictures this weekend.

  2. Chet,
    I’d love to come out some time and watch you work. I might even offer to help! (grin)
    Holler at me the next time you’re at Brian’s.

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