Tostra

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  1. Hi everyone, thank you for your answers. Sorry I've been quiet for a while, I'm in the middle of an unhealthy amount of exams. I received the wood and have been weighing it every morning. and saved it it a spreadsheet where I can plot it and other fun things. I love data... The top and back are cut in two bookmatched wedges of 5cm at the thickest point, the neck block is 10cm. Each piece of the top and back were losing 10-20g. of moisture each day, the neck 30-40g. A quick status on the pieces, including total weight for scale: The top stabilized in just three days and have had the same weight for four days in a row now (received it the fourth of december). Each piece weighs just about 2.9kg. The back took a few more days and has now either been the same or a few grams heavier the last two of days. Each piece is around 4.3kg. The neck block seems to be approaching stable as well, having lost only 9 grams since yesterday rather than the initial 38g. The neck block weighed 4.88kg. this morning. They really do seem as dry to me as every piece of definitely dry maple I have. Do you think I could start working with it now or should I wait? What I was thinking of doing is: 1 - Rough out the neck to have it much thinner and just dry a little longer. I would leave 1-2mm extra on the fingerboard surface, an oversized heel and excess thickness as well and maybe very roughly carve out the middle of the peg box so it has extra surface area. I don't see this going wrong, but I'm still worried about warping and twisting. Not so much side to side, as I would make it wider than necessary, but rotational. Should I be? 2 - Cut off the obvious excess at both ends of the plates, so the profile becomes almost a trapezoid, as well as joining the plates and cutting out the outline very roughly. I was considering hollowing out the center as well, but I'm not sure how safe that is 3 - Possibly work on the garland while I leave the other pieces alone for at bit. The rib stock is just a few cm thick, so it should be ready. Please let me know if you would consider this a bad idea, especially roughing out the neck. I really want to do it, as it is a huge block and I want it to be thinner for faster drying, but at the same time I would hate to scrap the piece or end up with a scroll that is twisted in relation to the neck because I couldn't wait... Alternatively I could of course trace the final shape onto the block and saw 5mm of excess all the way around it and not profile it at all. It wouldn't be as fun, it would be a little wasteful and it wouldn't be as thin, but I would probably have no warping problems.
  2. Thanks everyone Yes, I have watched that video and played quite a few very different strad models myself, and that's the reason why I'm slowly abandoning the idea that model is super important. I am still convinced that it makes a huge difference, but maybe not so much on your first one... Right now I'm leaning towards a Strad B, maybe with a widened waist. I don't know by how much though
  3. Haha, Nathan, I guess not, but I want to try it I would of course leave extra wood around the block, but I was actually more concernet about the neck itself? If I were to rough out the plates, how thick would you go? I was thinking 1,5cm or something, so still rather thick to hopefully avoid any cracking, but thin enough to be ready in a year?
  4. Okay, that's doable. But would it simply be ready to use once it's not losing weight anymore?
  5. Well in that case it should be ready for use. I don't have a humidity controlled shop, and I don't really know the humidity either. I can try to weigh the pieces, what should I look for? Do I want the weight to stabilize?
  6. Hi. I have bought some wood for a cello build. I would of course like to start building as soon as possible, but since the wood has only been air drying for about two years, I don't think I can start working with it yet. The seller told me that it is all dry and ready to build from, although she seemed less confident about the thickeer neck block than the rest. I have heard a minimum of five years of drying time several places, is that correct? I have also heard that some people roughly carve the plates , and then the thinner piece of wood will dry faster. Would this be a good idea? I planned on doing this at first and leave it for about a year before I continued working, but I'm a bit worried about the neck warping and the center seam opening up on the plates. Do you think I should be concerned about this and/or cracks? Is there any other way to speed up the drying process except in a kiln?
  7. MANFIO, why is it better for bass? I thought bigger was better. Nick, I was actually thinking that myself. I bought the strad poster for the 1865 Vuillaume, as I can see it's very similar to the form B Strads. I may not build that particular one, but how much would you widen the bouts on something like that? Do you have picures and/or sound demos of that cello you have heard?
  8. MANFIO, both good suggestions. I quite like the Rogeri, actually, although I would probably just round the top and bottom a bit. Right now I'm still leaning towards a strad afterall, but I'm haven't decided anything just yet
  9. Thank you for your reply. It's funny, I actually halfway decided to make a strad form B yesterday. My main reason is that it's damn pretty, and even if I can't make the sound amazing, will have something aesthetically pleasing. I still believe that the model makes a difference in sound, but in the end I guess the biggest difference is the wood and graduation, so I may still aim for that tone I had in mind, but I think at first I will just try to make a good instrument. And if it sounds too similar to my own, I will put a French bridge on it, and it will feel much different. I think you're right about the learning curve. Even the violin was difficult at times, although much more enjoyable than the few electric guitars I've made so far. I ended up with a nice instrument, but I know already that there are a couple of steps which I will definitely need to spend some more time on. I have recently gotten access to a workshop with a band saw, a table saw, a joiner etc., which is a nice and will speed up some processes, but in the end I think the last tool touching everything should be a hand tool. I get much better results like that usually... Do you have any tips on making my first cello? Either on getting a good tone, graduation, tap tuning (if you do that for cellos?), where to get a nice model, etc.? I will probably let the wood dry for at least another year, so I won't be in a hurry, but I could start making a mold and things like that :-)
  10. Hi! I have been experimenting for a couple of years with violin restorations. I recently built a violin, and now I want to build a cello, as that is my main instrument. I have a lot of trouble deciding on a model, though, and I hoped that someone here could help me with that. I play a Stradivari model cello, set up with a belgian bridge. It is very powerful with wonderful resonnance, expecially in the top register. For a belgian bridge, it is very well balanced over the four strings. I don't hope to build a cello as good as this one, so I want to make one that is different. I was thinking of making a dark cello and try to get that slightly dry/raspy sound that I hear from a lot of old cellos. My impression is that this would best be achieved with a wide cello with a relatively low arching, is that correct? However, I don't particularly like the look of something like the sleeping beauty Montagnana with the very wide, almost boxy look. I much prefer the look of a Strad, even though they don't typically have the sound that I'm after. However, I heard that it is simply the volume that determines this, so I should almost be able to get the same results by making the ribs higher on a strad model. Is that true? Does anyone have suggestions for a model that is wide and/or deep sounding, but still elegant, and which I can either get as a strad poster or find a model for online? I would probably prefer a digital model rather than a poster, as I like to just tweak the shapes a bit to my liking before I print them. I know this may sound like a stupid question, but I really have a hard time finding a model that I like and would like to hear other people's preferred models and their experiences with the tone of them. Thank you in advance, Tobias
  11. Tostra

    Cello ID

    If you are referring to the ones on the upper bout, they seem like bow marks to me. Have made a few myself on cellos during concerts *couch*, but that's just a guess. If you mean the scratches on the sides and stuff, I really have no idea. They don't look intentional to me, but you could make them that way. Maybe someone copied a Siega and added similar scratches, but I don't think it feels like that kind of replica. I'm not selling this one, btw, I'm just curious. I have had a hard time placing it and thought I would ask more experienced people in here.
  12. Tostra

    Cello ID

    I agree, it's not very exact. But I still rather want that than someone telling me something more exact without having evidence... I also didn't ask about the origin at all, so he was not avoiding a question or anything. I guess he just felt like telling me about the instrument I was buying. I think it might indeed be around the age written inside, if not older. The condition is great, but it definitely has some age judging on varnish wear and the look of the wood up close. I would be very surprised if it's later than 1950 or so. And yes, that back is just to die for
  13. Tostra

    Cello ID

    Jacobsaunders I was thinking Hungarian as well, as we have a lot of new-ish Hungarian instruments here in Denmark of quite good quality, but the workmanship on this one as well as the varnish just feels... Different? It's more elegant than the hungarian instruments I've played, but it could be. I have now searched for Ettore Siega instruments, and they actually look surprisingly like mine. The label is exactly the same as well. I know that doesn't matter, and the fact that the year is written in ballpoint pen kind of ruins the illusion But maybe someone have made a very accurate copy?
  14. Tostra

    Cello ID

    I don't agree. In my opinion good workmanship and high standards is much more important than origin of instruments. He knows that the instrument is in good condition and set up well, then why should it matter who made it? He does have many instruments with certified makers. But those are way outside of my budget, so as a player I much prefer the great nameless instrument over the decent instrument from a certified maker. This same cello (at the same quality level) would have cost me just about ten times as much if the label was genuine. I would've lost quite a bit of money, yes, but for what? A better label? Sorry if I seem a bit defensive here, but the guy is an amazing luthier and kind person which I like very much. I'm not trying to find out if this is a "good" cello or discuss my purchase, because I am over the top happy with it and spend a lot of wonderful hours with the instrument. I was simply curious to hear your thoughts on the origin of it.
  15. Tostra

    Cello ID

    I don't trust the label at all and I'm pretty sure it's not a Siega, so that's not why I bought it. It's an amazing instrument that I absolutely love playing. I bought it of my luthier, and as I mentioned in the first post, he doesn't know much about it for sure. I simply put up this post to see if someone has an idea of the origin and history of an instrument like this, as I'm not very good at identifying instruments myself. I like building, repairing and playing them, but I don't have enough experience for this type of thing yet.