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Jim Bress

Cello end block dimensions

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As I'm approaching my first cello build I'm gathering materials and information.  I'm using the Strad poster for the  Pietro Giacomo Rogeri 1717 cello that has a lot of similarities to Filius Andreae celli, and has nearly the same LOB and bout widths to the GDG Messeas cello discussed in another thread.  In preparation for designing my mould, I need to decide what the block dimensions are.  For folks that make Guarneri or Rogeri celli models, what end block dimensions do you use. Probably should include the other Ruggeri spellings but then I'm not sure how close the relationship and style of making is.  I think the corner blocks will be obvious.   I do have the Strobel Cello book, but thought there might be more specific information out there.

Thanks,

Jim

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If you are copying something, you simply Need to get your ruler out. If you are not making a copy of anything, you can do anything you like. I find that People make Cello Bottom blocks far bigger than neccesary. If you think About it, the Bottom block has two functions; 1. to hold the two Bottom ribs together, and 2. to accomidate the spike. The smallest old Bottom block I've ever seen was in my Gandl Cello, which is still doing fine well into it's third century. I pictured that (and the Corner blocks) here 

 

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Hi Jacob, Exactly my point.  I have a natural tendency to over-build things.  For a furniture piece, so what.  For an instrument, I gather, too much structural support is a negative in that it just makes the instrument heavier, and may also negatively affect performance and playability (violin/viola) .  Therefore, I'm looking for what experienced makers have found to be an appropriate size for blocks given the model I plan on using.  All I have is an older Strad poster that does not have ct scans found in newer posters.

Thanks,

Jim

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Hi Jim for what it is worth i used 108mm in the upper and 110mm in the lower. Why? because that's the aprox measurement in the Sacconi drawing of his B form reconstruction.  I wouldn't go any wider as it is hard to find good willow from luthier suppliers that is milled more than 115mm. Figure i can always trim them back if need be.

 

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2 minutes ago, Urban Luthier said:

Hi Jim for what it is worth i used 108mm in the upper and 110mm in the lower. Why? because that's the aprox measurement in the Sacconi drawing of his B form reconstruction.  I wouldn't go any wider as it is hard to find good willow from luthier suppliers that is milled more than 115mm. Figure i can always trim them back if need be.

 

That's part of what got me thinking about size.  Strobel has the upper block at 120 mm wide, and Rivolta sells willow blocks at 110 mm wide.  Clearly Rivolta has an idea of what a lot of makers are interested in.  

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I ordered from Rivolta as well. Good communication. It it rather frustrating that I had to go to Italy to get my willow. None (i mean none) of the local lumber yards -- even the ones that cater instrument makers cary properly milled willow. 

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4 hours ago, Urban Luthier said:

I ordered from Rivolta as well. Good communication. It it rather frustrating that I had to go to Italy to get my willow. None (i mean none) of the local lumber yards -- even the ones that cater instrument makers cary properly milled willow. 

Reinhardt Zack at Traditional Tonewoods is also excellent.

As for blocks, going wider and stronger for the upper block is good for sound and projection, IME, and the lower block can be tinier.

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On 9/17/2019 at 10:49 PM, Jim Bress said:

As I'm approaching my first cello build I'm gathering materials and information.  I'm using the Strad poster for the  Pietro Giacomo Rogeri 1717 cello that has a lot of similarities to Filius Andreae celli, and has nearly the same LOB and bout widths to the GDG Messeas cello discussed in another thread.  In preparation for designing my mould, I need to decide what the block dimensions are.  For folks that make Guarneri or Rogeri celli models, what end block dimensions do you use. Probably should include the other Ruggeri spellings but then I'm not sure how close the relationship and style of making is.  I think the corner blocks will be obvious.   I do have the Strobel Cello book, but thought there might be more specific information out there.

Thanks,

Jim

Found this in my very disorganised collection  - http://www.alangoldblatt.com/specs/Cello.pdf 

Some interesting measurements there.

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Thanks for everyone's input.  The information I've gotten so far has a range block sizes.  On the large size there's Strobel and Goldblatt with 120 mm wide upper block.  Hans Johannsson (nice site) has blocks on the smaller side with 90 x 30 mm for the top block and 85 x 30 for the bottom block.  I've been playing this game long enough not to chase after "best".  Instead I would like to make a historically informed choice based on the block sizes used by P. G. Rogeri, His father G. B. Rogeri or from the Guarneri family that made similar size celli in both LOB and outline.  Of course these two families go back to Nicolo Amati. 

Thanks,

Jim

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On 9/17/2019 at 3:31 PM, Urban Luthier said:

I ordered from Rivolta as well. Good communication. It it rather frustrating that I had to go to Italy to get my willow. None (i mean none) of the local lumber yards -- even the ones that cater instrument makers cary properly milled willow. 

I just got my shipment (blocks and linings) in from Rivolta only 5 days from when I placed the order.  It's amazing that I can get things from Europe in the same time it takes for some local orders.  

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