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Cello Repair

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Blog entry by Texcaster posted 12-15-2014 09:03 PM 1550 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This cello is old, worn, not commercially valuable, all solid timber and sounds very nice. I don’t seek out repair
work, this instrument belongs to the wife of a musical pal.

The neck came unstuck when the cello was knocked over. I found out the neck block was also cracked and the top & bottom separated at the neck block. Part of the ” button ” broke off with the neck. The button is an extension of the back and goes a long way in keeping the neck from hingeing forward at the top face. The neck joint is only a V shaped butt joint. All these faults had to be repaired before I could put the neck back on.

Glue worked into crack.

Clamping crack.

Clamping top and bottom to neck block.

Clamping neck.

Hot hide glue is used for violin work for two reasons. It is easily reversible, so repair work is possible and if the fiddle takes a knock the joint fails instead of the timber. I usually use an inverted iron to heat the glue but mine carked it awhile ago.

The bonus was getting the bridge flat again, it was bent like a banana. The curved side was wet out, then clamped and put out in the sun.

Graphite at the nut and bridge.

The cello lives to sing again.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.



9 comments so far

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

2533 posts in 1442 days


#1 posted 12-15-2014 10:04 PM

Nice save Tex!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

5257 posts in 3348 days


#2 posted 12-16-2014 12:44 AM

Nice.
That was a fun read. Thanks.

Good job too.
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1140 posts in 1140 days


#3 posted 12-16-2014 03:37 AM

Cheers fellas, thanks for commenting and looking.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View mafe's profile

mafe

11172 posts in 2556 days


#4 posted 12-16-2014 02:13 PM

Really interesting, to see, thanks.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View handsawgeek's profile

handsawgeek

591 posts in 862 days


#5 posted 12-16-2014 02:31 PM

Great bit of ‘luthiering’!
How does it play now?

Is that a real bird in the silhouette photo?

-- Ed

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1140 posts in 1140 days


#6 posted 12-16-2014 07:48 PM

Thanks for commenting fellas.

handsaw, the cello sounds as good as before, very nice. The top has many cracks, some repaired some not. On one side, the upper and lower bouts are cracked. I think the tone bar might be loose but it isn’t making nasty sounds when bowed or plucked. Very valuable instruments, in much worse condition than this one are made almost new.

The bird is real. A few are always around, they are usually very cooperative with posing. I tried to get him up on the scroll or the clamp end with food …..but no, not today.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3599 posts in 1954 days


#7 posted 12-16-2014 08:07 PM

Texcaster, that is an awesome job you did there.

It is way beyond my abilities to do work like that yet, I am but a student and bow before a master.

Maybe I missed it, but did you do any refinishing and if so, what finish did you use on it?

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

8743 posts in 1907 days


#8 posted 12-16-2014 09:23 PM

So interesting, thank you Bill.

-- ~Tony

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1140 posts in 1140 days


#9 posted 12-16-2014 09:31 PM

Dallas, thanks for the vote of confidence but I’m hardly a master. If someone brought me a valuable fiddle that wanted anything more than a new nut or bridge or soundpost adjustment or fingerboard work …. I wouldn’t touch it. (Those are all easily reversible.) I would send them to a trained violin luthier I know in Brisbane.

I put a bit of clear shellac around the bare timber edges on the top, just to seal them.

Thanks for commenting Tony.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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