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Everything posted by rgwebb6

  1. Finally, I'm on the move again. The skewed chisel took it down to almost the deepest tear out with minimal additional. Then I used a rasp and sandpaper to get it fairly flat and smooth, just to see if I could. I now have the bottom corner of the root touching the button and the fingerboard lined up with the centerline. I feel good. I have more to do to get the tilt of the fb up to 80-81mm at the bridge (right now it's about 75mm) and to flatten the bottom of the root to the button. But I am feeling like I am of the way. Thank you all again for all the help.
  2. Thanks. I'll try both /all three. Sandpaper, rasps and skew chisel.
  3. Thanks. It just seems like trying to remove 9mm of mortise depth with sandpaper is a really long project. But I like the idea of not taking the top off. And the idea of having a smooth mortise back to glue to. So now Plan A is now to try to sand the surface back. Would 80 or 100 grit work faster and then finish up with 150, or is that too coarse to keep it from continuing to tear out? Easu enough to check out I guess.
  4. I think that is my next attempt. I will size it, go deeper than required, and chalk fit a fill-wedge of correctly oriented material that I can then "smoothly" chisel to the right depth/angle. If that fails (I fail to do it successfully) I will take the top off and try to replace the whole block. So near and yet so far from finishing this cello up. I am really having to control myself from just rushing into it and possibly ruining the whole thing.
  5. I fully agree. But why in the world is something that important not emphasized or even mentioned in the several violin making books I have read over the years. At least I don't remember reading it. And none of the threads in MN that I can remember since joining in 2004. Has nobody ever made this mistake before? Am I the only dufus that would not know there is an up and a down to the block material? I guess I do remember something about splitting the wood for the blocks, but I just thought that was to ensure the grain was straight. I always figured if I bought the wood from the reputable dealer I always buy from and it was bought as block wood, I could trust them the grain was straight. But you are right I have learned a very PITA lesson and still am not sure how to solve the problem. Do I assume then that if I had split it from the wrong end it would tear out and the right end would split smoothly, thus telling me which end is up? Obviously I'm confused.
  6. I do have the end grain at 1. I don't really know much about wood grain, but it seem like I'm trying to work against it. It's like when you try to plain the wrong direction and the plain chatters. In this case the chisel, even when held almost perfectly flat against the wood, it catches under the grain and tears out a large chunk. Would that matter? Is it possible to have a block in upside down? Where one direction would work smoothly and the other would tear out? Would the best solution be to just bite the bullet and take the top off and replace the end block? Or am I asking for trouble trying that?
  7. I obviously didn't think about grain direction when installing the blocks. I thought I had the end grain at the top. I must have cut the block with the bad side facing in and out and the good side to the sides of the block, if that makes sense. I could fit a plug to the mortice with the grain facing the right way, but I would still have a lousy ragged gluing surface in the back of the mortice and most of the good hold depending on the sides and the button. Would that be enough? I even thought of cutting out the whole mortice between the top and bottom plates and seeing if I could fit a winged chalk-fitted replacement in through the hole that would have the wings to assist in holding it in place. Does that sound feasible? How would one go about routing out the mortice?
  8. When I installed the top and bottom blocks on the cello I am making I encountered terrible tear out as I tried to shape them. This also happened on the corner blocks. Since they were already installed and since this is just a cello for me to see if I could make one, and one I have no intention of selling,I kept on going. Now I am trying to install the neck and realize that I am having the same problem with the top block on the outside of it. Duh...What a surprise. I was a little concerned that the amount of tear out on the inside would weaken the top block to begin with, but now I am worried that too much tear out at the neck root area will be just too much. When I saw the tear out start I first thought I could make a real amateur fix with plastic wood and then work with that. But I see now that I need to go another 10mm past the rib and am worried that the tear out could really put me in deep trouble. Does anyone out there have any suggestions on how I can deepen the cutout smoothly other than using chisels which just tear the wood apart? I never encountered this with the six violins I have built.
  9. Thanks. I appreciate the response.
  10. Thanks for the responses and advice. In the end I may just take the whole thing to a pro and get the reaming and shaping done with him using his tools. I am making one and only one cello and do not see the point of spending what it would take to get the necessary tools. Yes someone else will have shaped the pegs and reamed the holes, but I will have made the cello. I'm pretty much good with that.
  11. I just checked on the price of cello shapers and reamers and had to catch my breath. They are expensive. So is there a reason the pegs are tapered at 1/25 and the endpin is 1/17? I'm assuming that requires 2 sets of shapers and reamers.
  12. Just wanted to let you all know that I talked with the supplier and was given the ok to try to level the underside of the fb on a belt sander and if it didn't work they would exchange it. I do not have a belt sander, but I tack glued two pieces of 100 grit paper to a piece of glass and was able to work it down to where it will lie flat on the neck. So I'm good to go. Thanks again for your input. And I don't have a sawsall either, so I'm glad I didn't end up needing it.
  13. Thank you everyone for all the advice. I was kind of looking for someone to mention rebending and how to do it, as you did. But I agree now that I'd be left with the possibility of a later relaxing of the wood with a return of the bend in the unattached part of the fb. And since I don't know anyone with a jointer, I think I'll call the supplier and see if they will exchange it for a flat one.
  14. I am getting close to finishing making my first cello. I play the violin but not the cello. Can someone give me an idea what would be the least I might be able to get a decent cello bow for. I obviously do not want a masterpiece, but I do want something that would let someone who knows how to play at least enjoy playing with it. I do plan to try to learn and do not plan to sell the instrument.
  15. I realize the top is curved. However I'm refering to the underside that must be flat to mount to the neck. When I lay a steel edge along that surface I get a gap increasing from the end of the cove to 2mm at the nut end of the fb. And when I hold the fb to the neck and hold it to the light there is a gap from about 8 inches out from the nut onward.
  16. I started to put the fingerboard on the neck of the cello I'm making and realized there is a 2mm lengthwise bow in it. Is there any way to remove a bow like that or do I have to plane it flat? If I plane it, am I not left with too much dip in the topside (the playing surface)? I really don't feature planing it flat, because I'm not that good at that, I have a hard enough time getting the center joins accurate and there you usually have all kinds of extra wood to work with til you get it right. Here not so much. And the fingerboard for a cello is expensive. Also, the plans I have call for a fingerboard 580mm long. The one I was sent is a little over 600mm. Which is correct for a 4/4 cello? Thanks for any help you can give.
  17. Thank you all and Michael thank you especially for the explaination. I am especially interested in the problem of maybe running out of upper block since my upper block did not shape well. It kept splitting instead of cutting and as a result it is thinner than I had intended. So I do not want to end up with an end root angle that would cause the bottom to punch through to get the right fingerboard projection. Thanks again.
  18. Thanks for the number. I'm curious though - is that a firm number or does it vary somewhat with maker? Am absolutely mistaken that I saw 10 degrees somewhere, or is it dependant on how deep you want the base of the neck root to be sunk into the top block? And if it can vary, what are the considerations for more or less depth to get the right bridge height?
  19. I can't seem to find the cutback angle for the base of the cello neck to get the right bridge height. It seems to me I have seen 10 degrees somewhere, but cannot find it again to confirm it. Any help would be appreciated.
  20. The ends were apparently tight at the top of the wedge and not tight as I carved down to the edge. Thanks for the advice on mixing hide glue and lycopodium and how to do it. Also the warning on the use of a spline. I appreciate it. I will probably go the lycopodium route.
  21. First let me say that I do not plan on selling this cello. I am not in the business and this is my first attempt at a cello. It is strictly for my own experience, amusement and amazement. Also in thinking about the wet towel clamp, I doubt that will work at this stage. I have only arched the top and have not graduated the inside of it. There is still a lot of wood that would have to get wet and expand. Too much I would guess. The join will not come apart on its own or with my help. I am guessing my only options are to saw it apart or to accept the end gaps and fill them somehow. I lean toward acceptance. My question now is what glue, unlike hide glue, would have strength of its own to fill the gap. Or would it be better to saw kerf the gaps wide enough to insert a separate sliver of spruce and accept the unusual appearance. Any comments or other suggestions are more than welcome. Of course, some of the neck end gap will be removed for the neck and both gaps will be glued to the end blocks so, in effect, they both have huge cleats to start with. So I guess what I am most concerned with is gap fill, or am I wrong?
  22. Thanks, I'll try it. Would it help to try to physically clamp in addition to the water clamp?
  23. My understanding is that you "size" wallboard for instance, so that the paint applied will be a coating on top of it and not be absorbed into the wallboard. In other words the wallboard is "sealed" from infiltration by the paint. in that way of thinking "sizing" and "sealing" are the same thing. My question then is what does a "ground coat" provide that is different? Isn't a "ground coat" just "sizing" or "sealing" the wood to keep the oil or color from the varnish or colorant from soaking into the wood?
  24. I have a question. What is the difference between putting a gelatin/alum coat on to "size" the wood, and putting a coat of shellac on to as a "ground" coat? Are they not duing the same thing - sealing the wood pores so the color goes on evenly?
  25. The outline is finished, but I have not installed the purfling.
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