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How to finish maple tailpiece?


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For the baroque cello I'm making, I'm planning on rosewood pegs and endpin and a red-brown varnish on the instrument.  I'm making the tailpiece for the instrument out of maple (see the attached picture) and I'm wondering how I should finish the tailpiece.  It has an interesting two-tone wood pattern on it that I don't want to hide.  This is roughly based on a tailpiece Bruce Carlson described in 2015 on maestronet from a Stradivari exhibition and I think there he said that tailpiece was varnished...as in the same kind (but maybe not color) as on the instrument?  In any case, I don't think I want a particularly shiny finish nor one that exactly matches the instrument color.  So, other suggestions from the centuries of wisdom from maestronet?  Thanks!


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Yeah that tried and true is a good option. There's a photo in my bench thread of a maple fingerboard you might be interested in looking at. I finished it with several applications of linseed oil that I heat bodied, mixed into a paste with marienglas. 

I think that an oil or very lightly resined varnish is good for fittings. If you decide to varnish it with ordinary varnish, maybe leave out the pigment since you want a complimentary color. As for the gloss, you can change the finish of an oil varnish based on how you polish it, so it's up to you. 

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7 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Looks nice! Holes look too small for your tailgut and strings, but that might just be a perspective issue on my part. 

They fit.  Tailcord will be kevlar so perhaps a bit thinner than gut tailcord.  I measured and drilled just big enough for all of them once I got the strings.

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