Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Looking for hands on help building my first cello.


Recommended Posts

 Joel, you put alot of helpful info and links in your last post.  Thank you for doing that. Are there any lumber mills in La that sell tonewood? I ordered The Art of Violin making book from Amazon yesterday. Can't wait to receive it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 This question is for Oded Kishony and David Burgess. When making a cello which knives do you use most? Do you prefer a straight or curved blade?

I want to place an order for a couple of knives and do not know which ones to get. Thanks in advance for your input.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Here's a shaving from a cello joint - after sharpening on waterpaper on glass. It was cut under the weight of the plane alone - I just supplied the push.


attachicon.gifcellomaking - spruce shaving! 2007nov15 MIMF.jpg


Good shavings - edi

Wow!  They really can't get any thinner than that, can they? 


Are the diagonal striations the result of minute oscillations  in the plane iron, or am I misunderstanding something?  



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Keenan,
If you can afford to get a load of tools all at the same time, then do so, save on postage costs.

There are specialst suppliers such as Dictum, if you are serious, set up an account with them.

You will need another supplier for the electric shapening gear.
Third, set up an account with a good tonewood suplier.

Sharpening stuff :

I advise you to get an electric grinder such as a Cruesen pro with wide stones.

Also get a REVERSE running Cruesen with hard felt wheels, and some green honing paste for gouges.
Get a Tormek pro electric wet stone set up that will take Japaense waterstones, it's invaluable.

Also get some arkansas stones, some wide diamond plates, and a leather strop.
For the in canal gouges, a small felt wheel with buffih paste fitted to a Dremel, works very well.

You asked about knives, if you can afford to buy good ones, then do so.
Otherwise make your own from old files.
You will need a minimum of 4 knives, Japanese 'kogatana' are nice & quite affordable, the Herdim ones are ok too.
There are many wonderful maulti-layered handmade blades from Dictum, and if you can afford them, get em.
Aprox 15mm, 8mm, 5mm, and on for f holes.
You can make handles for them or use them bare.

For Cello f holes I find a vertical double bevel blade with some meat behind it works well, I used an old jigsaw blade for mine.
For bridge knives, you can round the back of the blade, so it turns smoothly.

I would subdivide all the gear you need into categories.
1. Marking and measuring tools - includes rulers, compases, dividers, marking knife, digital calipers, dial guage calipers...etc.
2. Edge tools - includes knives, chisels, gouges, plane irons, scrapers.
3. Planes
4. Vices
5. Benches.

There's alot to learn.....go to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your most recent posts. I am saving up to buy planes,gouges, a bending iron, and a few other tools. What size gouges should I purchase to make a cello? Planes (sizes , curved or flat)?

 Hi Gleo,


Here are some threads I found to be helpful in choosing which tools to buy:



See post #14 by Michael Darnton - it gives a good minimum tool set for violin making.




Here is a thread on gouge selection:




it contains links to several other gouge and scroll threads.  Keep in mind that the threads above mostly refer specifically to violin making, not cello making, and adjust your decisions accordingly.




Finally, here is a very nice first cello build documentation thread by Chet;  you can often see which tools he used by following along, and it may serve as an overview of the process for you.  Keep in mind that he worked really hard and really long days;  his cello came together much more quickly than many first cellos, I suspect:




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...