Making a Cello #1: The Beginning

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by PhiltheLuthier posted 05-18-2012 02:51 AM 3265 reads 4 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Making a Cello series Part 2: Day 2, the blocks. »

Hello, and welcome to my first blog entry on Lumberjocks!

I’m starting a cello from scratch so I thought I’d share the process. For the time being I’m only working on this two days a week, if it takes a few months or half a year, so be it. So first things’ first. You have to pick a design, or a model. In my case is it 100+ year old instrument that my colleague and I recently restored. For a few months it was attributed to my colleagues great uncle Charles Quenoil, but that was proved wrong because certain aspects of the construction were wrong. So it remains anonymous, but I now refer to it as the “Faux Quenoil.”

While the back was off the instrument I traced the outline. Then I picked a side, and used that as my half template. I’m not particularly interested in doing exact copies, so making a full body template is avoid at all cost (it it is much more expensive). In fact I’ve decided to go a whole other route with the template and only have it cover the corners and the C bout. This saves much money and effort, and is precise only where it really needs to be. The rest of the form is copied from my tracing of the instrument and cut out on the band saw.

The form is of a collapsible design, using my newly developed ultralight laminated material. It’s a piece of 2” Blue foam insulation laminated between two sheets of 1/4” birch plywood. It is stiff, flat, and weighs about 10 times less than my previous cello form. The only problem is you can’t clamp directly to the foam, so strategic clamping plates have to be used, but those are just left over pieces of 1/4” ply.

So here is the result of a short days work:

There’s more to come (and I’ll get better with photos I promise), thanks for reading.

4 comments so far

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2823 days

#1 posted 05-18-2012 03:21 AM

I look forward to following this blog. Thanks for deciding to share it with us.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2688 days

#2 posted 05-18-2012 03:43 AM

This is going to be great! Favorited.

-- I never finish anyth

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3936 days

#3 posted 05-18-2012 02:15 PM

A Cello build as your 1st blog? Very ambitious! I’m looking forward to future installments. Thanks.

View SirFatty's profile


545 posts in 2361 days

#4 posted 06-08-2012 04:42 PM

Very interesting.. I am following your progress and looking forward to future updates.

-- Visit my blog at

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics