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Forma B archings


Tostra
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Hi

I'm in the process of making a Forma B cello, and I wish I had better references available, especially for the archings. Could anyone who has a book, poster, CT scan or anything like that with a visualisation of the arching of any original Stradivari Forma B please share that with me, either as a photo, scan or file? I am just starting the archings now and have some idea of the shape, but I would like to be more certain before I go much further.

Thanks in advance!
Tobias

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9 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

There are no original archings from that period which have not been distorted by time and pressure. So it will still come down to your ability to reverse engineer, and separate the wheat from the chaff.

Oh, I know that of course. But it still helps a lot to reference how they look today. I really like the cross sections on the back of Strad posters for that, but I have been searching for years and still haven't found a Forma B strad poster.

I'm not trying to copy any particular arching either, I just like to see how the curves flow, preferably on a few different instruments, and then go from there.

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How the shapes flow depends on the underlying arching geometry. If you can define that geometry you can make both long and cross-arch templates to any specified profile you want.

At a basic level arching shapes are determined by their height and width. That is the main factor. There is nothing special about any particular maker's arching. It is purely functional.

 

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1 hour ago, Tostra said:

Oh, I know that of course. But it still helps a lot to reference how they look today. I really like the cross sections on the back of Strad posters for that, but I have been searching for years and still haven't found a Forma B strad poster.

I'm not trying to copy any particular arching either, I just like to see how the curves flow, preferably on a few different instruments, and then go from there.

While I have found arching cross section profiles to be really useful, I haven't found them nearly as useful as examining actual instruments, being able to reflect light off the surfaces from different angles, being able to cast shadows from various angles, and committing these experiences somewhat to memory.

Will you be attending the VSA Convention next week? This one, as well as recent ones in the past have included exhibits of famous historic instruments, something like thirty in the same room.

I was lucky enough to work in a shop many years ago where these instruments came through semi-regularly. That particular opportunity is hard to come by today, but there are still huge opportunities with slightly different flavors.

I don't think I'd be able to recognize even my own mother from a a few cross section profiles. Too much important information missing.

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Right... I do of course agree that cross sections only tell a small part of the story. I definitely noticed that when making my first violiin, as I only used templates and was missing all of the rest. I also agree that examining instruments tells you a lot more than anything else, but I don't have that option right now. I live in Denmark, so I will unfortunately not be attenting the VSA convention either.

I have however had chances to examine very fine instruments, and like I said I do have a decent idea of how I want to make the archings. My first instinct was to find as many pictures and videos of the Strads that have the sort of arching I want and look at the reflection, and I have also made cellos before which turned out nice.

So I'm not searching for cross sections to male my archings from them, I am simply asking for them as a supplement/tool to guide the shape in my head and better understand the information I already have.

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8 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

It seems you have already explored the possibilities. I’m not sure online, you can find many images which show the archings clearly, often the way they are photographed, or filmed shows little of use for this purpose.

I agree, it's not easy to find much useful information. That's why I was hoping someone had a poster or book that was a little better. It would definitely be best if I could just borrow a strad from someone locally for a few weeks :rolleyes:

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9 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

The only poster of a B-form cello that comes to mind is that of the Davidov 1712

That is the only one I can think of as well. I guess any Strad cello poster is better than none, but I have been searching for the Davidov one for a couple of years now, can't seem to find one.

I think I remember seeing a thread here on Maestronet where someone posted pictures of it, but I can't find that either

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2 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Probably best to share poster pictures privately, to avoid potential copyright infringements.

Yeah, that does make sense. I remember finding it in a thread, but maybe it's been removed for that reason.

I'd be happy to trade for scans of Stradivari cello posters as well. I have a few violins and a Vuillaume cello I think I can scan if anyone is interested.

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18 minutes ago, David A.T. said:

https://www.tonewoodforviolin.com/produkt/a-strad-model-cello-plans-h-s-wake/

Maybe this book describe B form, I m not sure because I had not the chance to check it.

 

Edit : few clicks on the Web lead to a .pdf file of this book. I just check it, from my point of view this book is not useful.

Thanks :-)
No, I agree the drawings aren't exactly what I'm after, but there might be something useful in there if I need something to read one day.

I actually just got the Davidov pictures. Thanks anyway!
I'm still interested in any other Strad cello, as the Davidov seems quite deformed. The poster is very useful, and probably all I need right now, but more references is always better in my opinion, even if they're not the same model

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1 hour ago, Tostra said:

I actually just got the Davidov pictures. Thanks anyway!
I'm still interested in any other Strad cello, as the Davidov seems quite deformed.

I believe, this is what David was trying to convey earlier in post #2. Any cello of this age, will have suffered significant, if not massive distortion.
Therefore, knowing how the arches are now, is interesting to know, but will not be how they started out. Copying a collapsed, or distorted arch, is unlikely to lead to great success.

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10 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

I believe, this is what David was trying to convey earlier in post #2. Any cello of this age, will have suffered significant, if not massive distortion.
Therefore, knowing how the arches are now, is interesting to know, but will not be how they started out. Copying a collapsed, or distorted arch, is unlikely to lead to great success.

I agree with that, of course.
I'm not copying a specific instrument, and I definitely don't want to copy an antique cello arching. To me, shaping the arching is one of the most satisfying and interesting jobs, and I would never rob myself of that by just copying an existing arching without a very good reason. What I use cross sections for is just to compare what I'm doing with something I like the style of, as I sometimes have a hard time translating reflections into shapes.

So far I've gotten close with one half of the top. It's nothing like the Davidov in its current state, I just like to compare once in a while if that makes sense.

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