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first post cello overstand

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I was given a cello made in Czechoslovakia 1932. Just doing some minor repairs and set up and found the overstand to be 90mm. I thought modern cellos to be in 80-84 mm range so is this a common height for a cello of this origin and age? No bridge with it but suppose it must need a tall Belgium bridge as well.

Any comments and guidance would be appreciated

 

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You are using the term overstand incorrectly. You mean pitch and yes 90 is too high. Overstand refers to the distance from the top edge of the instrument to the bottom of the finger board at the heel of the neck. Normal overstand is 19-24 mm. If it is currently low you have a real problem, If it is high enough you can remove the board, plane down the overstand without touching the nut end and then reglue the board. Since the neck will now be narrower than the board you will have to adjust that and then sand and repolish the neck.

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Fingerboard projection and Bridge height however, are two different Things as the Bridge add a few MMs to the projection, depending on how much string clearance off the fingerboard is desired. So take that into account when measuring

Since it is a seperate Topic, I will start it in a few minutes and hope for a lively discussion with People with experience. The Background is, I am a professional Player. I've noticed I consistently seem to prefer cellos with a projection that is on the high side. It is my Impression that they have a much better string Response and require less work in the left Hand. Based on my experiences so far, I would wait with reducing the projection untilI would be certain that the current projection is not giving me what I want.

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8 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

Also called fingerboard projection, i. e., the height of the fingerboard projected to the bridge position.

Given the terminology issues I should have asked how you are measuring things. Brad is correct that projection is the preferred term and you measure it by taking a straight edge long enough to lay on the board from the nut (not on it!) all the way to the end the board and projecting past the end far enough that you can measure the height of the straight edge at the center of the bridge position.

I agree with Baroque cello to a point but a 90 mm projection is really excessive and could cause structural problems over time

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Terminology can be an impediment. Just yesterday a friend of mine and I were measuring some of the Dimensions on her Rovatti cello.

The strings were too high, I thought because the bridge was high, but we had to consider that the fingerboard might be low. I measured the height of the fingerboard at the end, but I also placed the ruler on the end of the finger board and continued the line until it intercepted the bridge. That height was exactly 81 mm, which according to the my friend’s pamphlet on Instrument dimensions, was exactly correct. I think that dimension, where the line continued from the fingerboard intersects the bridge, is called the “projection“ there wasn’t any term given in the pamphlet that I can recall. Is “projection” correct? I’m sharing a photograph of the ruler at the end of the fingerboard, I had thought that was called “over stand” but apparently that refers to something else.

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26 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Terminology can be an impediment. Just yesterday a friend of mine and I were measuring some of the Dimensions on her Rovatti cello.

The strings were too high, I thought because the bridge was high, but we had to consider that the fingerboard might be low. I measured the height of the fingerboard at the end, but I also placed the ruler on the end of the finger board and continued the line until it intercepted the bridge. That height was exactly 81 mm, which according to the my friend’s pamphlet on Instrument dimensions, was exactly correct. I think that dimension, where the line continued from the fingerboard intersects the bridge, is called the “projection“ there wasn’t any term given in the pamphlet that I can recall. Is “projection” correct? I’m sharing a photograph of the ruler at the end of the fingerboard, I had thought that was called “over stand” but apparently that refers to something else.

Projection is correct, but your ruler/straight edge needs to be long enough to go from the nut end of the fingerboard to the bridge otherwise the scoop can through off your measurement.

Oops, Nathan already said that.

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2 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

Projection is correct, but your ruler/straight edge needs to be long enough to go from the nut end of the fingerboard to the bridge otherwise the scoop can through off your measurement.

Oops, Nathan already said that.

The scoop? You mean the wear from playing that happens to all fingerboards eventually? It can get so bad as to throw off the projection measurement?

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24 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

The scoop? You mean the wear from playing that happens to all fingerboards eventually? It can get so bad as to throw off the projection measurement?

No, there’s a longitudinal scoop along the fingerboard to control the amount of string buzz during pizz on cello fingerboards (as I understand it). I’ve never shaped a cello fingerboard. On violin and viola the scoop eliminates string buzz against the fingerboard. 

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Phillip,

The picture you posted shows you measuring the height of the fingerboard. That is NOT the projection height. The  height of the straight edge extended from the fingerboard to the bridge position is the projection and yes 81 would be acceptable. See my previous post in which I called it pitch. It is the same thing.

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1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Phillip,

The picture you posted shows you measuring the height of the fingerboard. That is NOT the projection height. The  height of the straight edge extended from the fingerboard to the bridge position is the projection and yes 81 would be acceptable. See my previous post in which I called it pitch. It is the same thing.

 Nathan, yes, the other dimension that I mentioned in my comment was the terminating point of a straight line that you get when you extend the fingerboard to the point where it contacts the bridge. That is what I was understanding was the projection. And that point we made a little pencil mark on the bridge and it was exactly 81 mm above the body of the instrument. 

 I posted the picture because I was wondering what that particular measurement was called. Or even if it Is meaningful.

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2 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

No, there’s a longitudinal scoop along the fingerboard to control the amount of string buzz during pizz on cello fingerboards (as I understand it). I’ve never shaped a cello fingerboard. On violin and viola the scoop eliminates string buzz against the fingerboard. 

There is an angled cut out on the fingerboard, invented by Romberg, underneath the C string, to eliminate the string beating against the fingerboard, if you’re referring to something else, then I am not sure what you mean.

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2 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

It’s concave down the length of the fingerboard. Excuse the poor one hand balance act pic. 
 

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Oh yes, that is the “Romberg cut” it was invented by one of history’s most hated cellists, Bernard Romberg.

He hated because Beethoven loved his playing and said, “I will write you a cello Concerto.” And Romberg sneered and said, “I only play my own cello Concerto’s.” And we will never forgive him for that…

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Philipp, no he is not referring to the Romberg flat, but to the scoop. A fingerboard is in fact not flat from nut to bridge end, but somewhat concave. If you press the string down at both ends, you will see that in the center, the string is not touching the fingerboard. Every well made fingerboard has this feature, regardless if it has a Romberg flat or not. 

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Thank you all for helping to correct the  terminology. I've heard 3 different definitions now so let me see if I have this right.. 

I had believed that projection described the point on the bridge where a straight edge ,if laid on the center of the fingerboard, would land on the center of the bridge. The distance from that point to the top of the plate , I believed was referred to as overstand.

What I'm hearing is that " projection" is the correct terminology for that distance.  

So my next question is that I've also heard that the 90mm projection height I've found on this cello may not be untypical of the Czechoslovakian cellos of that era ( 1932).  So I'm wondering if I should ignore this and set up bridge accordingly or whether I should consider refitting neck or working the fingerboard or ?

This cello came to me without strings and a broken bridge so I have not determined the string height. But the bridge was tall so it was being played as is. 

I'd appreciate hearing some opinions and comments.

Thanks so much to all for sharing your knowledge. 

 

Edited by vbw
accidental

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2 hours ago, vbw said:

Thank you all for helping to correct the  terminology. I've heard 3 different definitions now so let me see if I have this right.. 

I had believed that projection described the point on the bridge where a straight edge ,if laid on the center of the fingerboard, would land on the center of the bridge. The distance from that point to the top of the plate , I believed was referred to as overstand.

What I'm hearing is that " projection" is the correct terminology for that distance.  

So my next question is that I've also heard that the 90mm projection height I've found on this cello may not be untypical of the Czechoslovakian cellos of that era ( 1932).  So I'm wondering if I should ignore this and set up bridge accordingly or whether I should consider refitting neck or working the fingerboard or ?

This cello came to me without strings and a broken bridge so I have not determined the string height. But the bridge was tall so it was being played as is. 

I'd appreciate hearing some opinions and comments.

Thanks so much to all for sharing your knowledge. 

 

No. Overstand is  the same as  apuis  which is the measurement between the top and the fingerboard at the end of the neck where it joins the body. The measurement you are talking about is projection and 90mm is not typical of anything. The highest projection I would ever use would be 85 and that is already higher than normal. If you look at my first answer to your post I explain a possible fix which would not involve resetting the neck.

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