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Well D. A. T.

I'd like to be the first to welcome you to maestronet.  For a "non professional" you show a lot of skill around the workbench.  How much experience do you have?  Have you had the chance to work with input from others, or with a mentor of some kind?  Do you have access to nice instruments?  All of those things seem like they would contribute to developing a sense of what you really want to accomplish.

I watched your video this morning, and it is very well done.  I really enjoyed it. The music is great, and doing it in black and white ties it together more. I'm sure that most (all?) of us here know that music stirs the spirit and soul more than just about anything on our senses.  Even without words, it was easy to see what you were trying to convey.  

The finished cello looks very nice.  Nice job. 

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Hello Ken,

Thank you very much your comment - I appreciate

This is my 2nd project & 2nd year of practice. Patience and willingness are key to come to the end.

It is difficult to find a good book on Cello making. Then I gathered several information from available books on the market (Sacconi, H.Strobel and some old Lutherie/Violin Making book). Then progressively tried to choose the best options for the sequence, tools and dimensions, triing to work only on inner mould method. As I can do only 1 project a year, there is no sense to go for external mould.

I don't have access to good instruments but I can appreciate some detailed pictures we can find on internet. The Strad review is also a good source of pictures and tips.  Internet video can also help. But when everything is dispatched on several media, it start to be dificult to gather everything in the right order...

I had a short training with a professionnal luthier for the Soundpost/bridge & top nut fitting. But those training are expansive then I keep practissing.

For the video, I tried to made something different as we can see usually. This wonderfull soundtrack  give the suspens required to keep attention for the whole instrument making process.

I don't have any commercial target, but just would like to acheive a very good instrument whatever the time it will take

 

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Welcome to Mn David.  Congrats on the cello.  If you're interested in critiques, I suggest posting individual high definition pictures that folks can spend time looking at and zooming in on.  Also focused questions like, How are my corners?  Any suggestions for the next one?...

Cheers,

Jim

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  • David A.T. changed the title to Cello Making - DAT Bench

Then the questions :

What do you think about the varnish : Is it better to have something perfectly clean and glossy, or are some scrapper marks & colored varnish removed by polishing acceptable?

Corner: they are too far away I think

F- Holes : seems ok, ?

bottom nut inserted in Front : what do you think?

Borders : should be 1mm thinner, maybe more rounded

Thanks , Regards.

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, D.A.T Cello said:

Then the questions :

What do you think about the varnish : Is it better to have something perfectly clean and glossy, or are some scrapper marks & colored varnish removed by polishing acceptable?

Corner: they are too far away I think

F- Holes : seems ok, ?

bottom nut inserted in Front : what do you think?

Borders : should be 1mm thinner, maybe more rounded

Thanks , Regards.

 

 

 

Hi David,

I normally don't give critiques because I'm still on the steep end of the learning curve.  Full disclosure, I'm currently building my 6th instrument and first cello.  However, I'll tell you what I think I know, which will get the ball rolling for others to jump in and give more details or corrections.

Varnish: I prefer a clean varnish, but not glossy.  IMO, if you are going to antique it should be believable as natural where and not just distressed looking.  opinions on varnish vary a great deal

Corners: It's really hard to judge details when the pictures are taken at an angle.  In your second photo of the upper bass corners, the overhang is very uneven between the back and belly corners.  The back corner overhang looks too close to the rib miter.  Overall, your corners are too wide and squared off looking for a new instrument.

F-holes: Definitely ok, with room for improvement. The lower wings are too skinny and don't match the upper wings well.

"Bottom nut" (saddle?):  More knowledgeable folks can chime in if this is ok.  For me, a tall saddle that is inset shallow into the top concerns me a bit.

"Borders" (plate overhang?): They should be rounded instead of having a flat edge.  I can't tell how much overhang you have, but I don't think it is extreme and rounding the edge will make the overhang appear less.

overall I think it looks nice.  If you haven't been to Roger Hargrave's site you should check it out, and definitely read the Making a double bass.

https://www.roger-hargrave.de/Seiten/english/Bibliothek/Bibliothek.htm

Cheers,

Jim

 

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Nice work. Cellos are a real bear to make because it's 4 times the work of a violin more or less. 

1. Corners - I don't think they look bad, but they are a little stubby in that there is no hint to recurve. If you look at classic corners, they have the subtle suggestion of almost trumpeting out as they approach their end. They never actually do, and always are reducing in width as they go, but there should be some implied flare, so to speak. The lengths look okay. 

I would have diverted the purfling before the end of the corner myself. You want to try to avoid the outer point of the inlay from coming close to the end of the corner. This aspect really starts at the beginning of the building process with the block outline at the corner. If you can control that accurately, and subsequently make the corner shape that you invision, getting a graceful purfling miter is all the more easy. 

2. F holes - The f holes look pretty good to me. Just as a personal taste I would have made the upper eyes a little smaller. But that's just me. 

3. Nut/saddle - Your ebony work looks quite good. Nice and smooth. Along with your fb. I don't know how the fb was dimensioned, but either way still looks nicely finished. The half let in saddle isn't that uncommon. I've done it a handful of times in builds. I prefer the full saddle myself, and I think that both methods work fine when done right. I like the domed nut. That's the way I was taught to do it, but personally I like the nut with the sloped shoulders. Potato/potahto, though. 

4. Edgework/overhang - The edges do look perhaps a little on the thicker side. How thick are they? Are they around 5.5-6mm? I'd shoot for the 4.5-5mm range. Also they could do with a more rounded profile. You don't want to see the facets. I suggest watching Davide Sora's videos on edgework to get a better understanding. His way is excellent, and can be adapted to cello easily. 

It also appears that the overhang may be a bit much in some places. I believe that the cello usually has a 3mm overhang max. I've seen quite a few that were around 2.5 as well. 

Your scroll looks nice. I would get rid of the little platform that you have where the fluting transitions to the chamfer, though. 

 

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Thank you very much for your comments

The irregular overhang is coming from my assembly sequence. I had some ribs deformation. But as purfling was done before gluing it was difficult to correct it.

I overestimated the rounding effect of varnish on edgework. They are too square. 

I should have drawn end of corner before the purfling, to have accurrate shape.

The sadle required attention. If the shape is not correctly rounded then the tailgut pressure make the sadle falling in tailpiece direction. It seems stable as it is  so far. I think that having it so tall has interest in the string angle. It reduce it a little then it contributes a little to the bridge stability. Inserted in the front, I think also it migtht contribute to transfert vibration in the front without damping effect of the lower block.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Nick Allen said:

......Edgework ... How thick are they? Are they around 5.5-6mm? I'd shoot for the 4.5-5mm range....

Thank you for your comments.

I targetted 5.5 but they are 6 to 7. Probably a mistake due to the flattening before arching. It was probably not flat, then when cutting the edge at the final shape the thickness was higher instead of 5.5.

 

I will consider your tips for the next project. I want to improve edgework, purfling and corners.

 

David

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For a second instrument with no mentor/teacher for guidance; I'd say that you hit it out of the park.  Your scroll and pegbox look nice; the nut and saddle look smooth and even; the arching is hard to see, but I like the way that the f holes look on it.  Your overhangs are better than most of what I've done.  I might have one out of 10 that isn't terrible. Even leaving them big, to smooth up after gluing the ribs,  it ends up not fitting right somewhere. 

Maybe the corners could be better, but couldn't most of them be better.  It seems like corners really take a lot of thinking about to get right.  You had the corner templates, so you know what I mean.

The varnish?  I've had the last few come out fine.  The rest?  Too opaque, too pale, too blotchy, too much texture showing through.  They haven't peeled off, or chipped, so they work. But. It seems to be very hard to get a nice violin varnish.  Cellos would be even harder.  Especially if you want to have some color, like a reddish color over a golden ground, like on a Montagnana. They look COOL on photos, but how do you do it?  Usually it is a few spots that look FANTASTIC, but the rest could just be ordinary.  

I find that instruments can look COMPLETELY different in every light, and they NEVER look like what I see when I see photos of them.

Yours isn't bad at all.  It isn't anything close to being scary.  I've done that.

There's always next time.  That's why once you start, you can't stop.

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Hello,

Thank you for your comments.

Varnish, I was surprised by the difference between front and back.
 It seems that the back requires less isolation coat than the front. I guess my clear varnish diffused more inside the spruce than the mapple. Then the colored varnish had more reaction with the spruce wood. In particular the soft parts of the spruce trend to become more red than the hard parts.

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On 7/12/2020 at 5:31 PM, Jim Bress said:

Hi David,

I normally don't give critiques because I'm still on the steep end of the learning curve.  Full disclosure, I'm currently building my 6th instrument and first cello.  However, I'll tell you what I think I know, which will get the ball rolling for others to jump in and give more details or corrections.

Varnish: I prefer a clean varnish, but not glossy.  IMO, if you are going to antique it should be believable as natural where and not just distressed looking.  opinions on varnish vary a great deal

Corners: It's really hard to judge details when the pictures are taken at an angle.  In your second photo of the upper bass corners, the overhang is very uneven between the back and belly corners.  The back corner overhang looks too close to the rib miter.  Overall, your corners are too wide and squared off looking for a new instrument.

F-holes: Definitely ok, with room for improvement. The lower wings are too skinny and don't match the upper wings well.

"Bottom nut" (saddle?):  More knowledgeable folks can chime in if this is ok.  For me, a tall saddle that is inset shallow into the top concerns me a bit.

"Borders" (plate overhang?): They should be rounded instead of having a flat edge.  I can't tell how much overhang you have, but I don't think it is extreme and rounding the edge will make the overhang appear less.

overall I think it looks nice.  If you haven't been to Roger Hargrave's site you should check it out, and definitely read the Making a double bass.

https://www.roger-hargrave.de/Seiten/english/Bibliothek/Bibliothek.htm

Cheers,

Jim

 

Nice work!, thanks for the link Jim.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

"The lower wings are too skinny and don't match the upper wings well...

Cheers,

Jim"

 

Hello, I am working on a new project and while designing my F hole I face the issue to correct your remark.

Based on some models, I found that the lower wings are not exactly same shape as upper wings.

What do you mean exactly?

Capture.jpg

 

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Hi David,

Maybe there's know problem at all, but from your pictures being shown at an angle as opposed to straight on in the above post, the lower wing length and flare (trumpet like) doesn't seem to match the upper wing well. In the post directly above, the f-hole looks like it all "hangs together" as I've heard people describe an overall impression. Like you, I'm still learning.

Cheers,

Jim

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  • 2 months later...

I did not update for long.

I am at the varnishing steps.

It still requires some layers, polishing, mounting...

Just to share an overview.

(Warning It is amateur work)

 

As we can see, my red varnish is a complete failure. But at least the wood is nice.

 

David.

 

 

20210302_131651.jpg

20210302_131738.jpg

20210302_130732.jpg

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I wish "we" didn't have this strong trade preference for dark wood. I like the natural color of different wood species. Just think how special cherry would be if the only way to look like cherry, especially aged cherry, was for the wood to be cherry. Sorry for the rant. The cello look really nice. 

Cheers,

Jim

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