Small progress report on the cello–upper ribs installed

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Upper Ribs installed–Pegbox carved deeper

Tonight I shaped the upper sides of the upper corner blocks and the lower sides of the lower corner blocks to receive the upper and lower ribs.

Shaping the Blocks

I did some of the shaping on my oscillating spindle-sander–a very handy tool which has paid for itself many times over–and some with an incannel gouge (Curved, but beveled on the inside face, rather than the outer face), finally smoothing with a half-round rasp.

More work for the Bending Iron

I noticed that during the time the bent ribs have been languishing in the unheated shop, they had straightened a little, so I turned on both the bending iron and the glue-pot, and while I waited for them to get hot, I carved some more on the pegbox of the scroll. It is nearing completion, in terms of depth and inside dimensions, but there is a whole lot left to go before it is anywhere near final completion. It takes about 20-30 minutes for the bending iron to get really hot, and that is about right for the gluepot as well.

Installation procedure

I dry-fitted the ribs first, to make sure that once they were glued in place, both ends would fit correctly and the length of the ribs would lie flat along the curve of the mold. Then I loosened the lower end and slathered the hot hide glue on, and clamped the rib into the curve with a clamping caul (a elongated wooden block shaped to force the rib tightly into the curve of the corner block.) Once the corner block end was in place, I glued the upper end to the neck block.

Note to self: warm the wood before gluing!

The shop was awfully cold, and the glue was gelling very rapidly. I hope I achieved a good joint– if not I can correct it tomorrow. I should have heated the joints with my heat gun, before applying the glue, but I wasn’t sure where it was, and didn’t feel like stopping everything to go look for it…so I just worked very quickly. 🙂 We’ll see how it turns out.

My other work: barge-building

Tomorrow, Ann and I will attend a barge launch at Gunderson, LLC, in Portland, where I work. We build large ocean-going barges, and rail freight-cars, there. Here’s a video of an earlier launch, if you have never seen one:

(I would rather build cellos…) 🙂 When I get home I will try to get the lower ribs installed, and the pegbox completed.

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