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Need advice for cello neck replacement


furryantelope
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Hello!

I am looking for some expert advice on a repair venture I am beginning on a friend's cello. I am an experienced electric guitar builder but cello is a bit outside of my pond.

I have a neck that is cleanly broken off from the pocket with only some minor chipping within. I have three questions:

- Do I need proper hide glue or would some Titebond III do the trick? Any alternatives?

- Would it be preferable to fill the chip-outs with a glue/sawdust mixture or do I need to look at replacing the block?

- Should I remove all glue before a second glue-up?

Any other advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.

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you have in your hands a very cheaply made Chinese instrument, assembled with great haste and excessive 'glue' used as a filler.  It really needs all that old gunk removed, the top block repaired (could be done with fitting in a piece of spruce), and the neck re-set and glued with hot hide glue.  But one would certainly wonder if it's worth this much effort on such a cheaply made instrument.  might be better to suggest buying a quality instrument.  ^_^

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Doing some kind of gunky fill is not the way to go. As was said, you need to fit a piece of spruce to the upper block, and then carve it back to re-set the neck. Carve out all of that old glue when fitting the spruce filler, and when you get the neck properly fitted, with all the correct angles, use hot hide glue to put it back in.

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8 minutes ago, FiddleDoug said:

Doing some kind of gunky fill is not the way to go. As was said, you need to fit a piece of spruce to the upper block, and then carve it back to re-set the neck. Carve out all of that old glue when fitting the spruce filler, and when you get the neck properly fitted, with all the correct angles, use hot hide glue to put it back in.

Just my humble opinion...It would be best practice to fit the new block as described above. Definitely do not do a gunky fill, it will be weak. Again, it depends what the cello is being used for and of course the value. If it was one of my students' Chinese cellos, and they just need to get to their lesson next week, I would glue and clamp it with the wood glue, and not disturb the neck geometry. I'm only saying that, because with the inexpensive student instruments subject to lots of physical stress and banging around, the hide glue repair may not be strong enough for the neck. Almost every school age cello or bass around here has had neck or scroll damage. I had a repair where a kid dragged a bass down concrete stairs but the best one was a middle-schooler who hit another kid with a viola. Also check for anything else loose and any potential open seams.

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I don't  think  that  doing  anything  but the simplest job is worth it. Remaking the joint correctly will be a waste of time. The chances are that you wont be able to remove  the old glue from the neck completely, so hide glue wont stick properly anyway. And the very thought of removing the top to replace the block  makes me   shudder. 

If you want to take it on, why not just reglue it with something that will stick?

 

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26 minutes ago, Conor Russell said:

Remaking the joint correctly will be a waste of time.

Yes, probably right.  From my limited experience that 'gunk stuff' is not a very good glue at all, rather a crumbly filler you can pick off with your fingernail.  Part of why the neck came off in the first place.  I do think it's worth scraping at least most of it out, so there is something for glue to stick to.  A friend bought a cello case that came with 'free cello inside'.   He thought it was a great deal.  :P The neck came off in first few months, and the joint looked just like this.  

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