LumberJocks

Cello neck repair. Best approach?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Loren posted 02-25-2014 05:45 AM 978 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Loren's profile

Loren

7808 posts in 2367 days


02-25-2014 05:45 AM

My nephew’s cello took a fall.

-- http://lawoodworking.com


27 replies so far

View realcowtown_eric's profile

realcowtown_eric

367 posts in 656 days


#1 posted 02-25-2014 07:03 AM

while you could look here, and maybe with good luck find someone who is attuned and experienced in cello repair, I’d advise you to expand your horizons and look at

http://www.stewmac.com/

Mostly guitar repairs, but of a serious bent, which means that the lurkers are into other stringed instruments.

If you live in a town with maybe 1Million population, chances are you got one to three stringed instrument repairer

Guitar repairs may be easier to find than cello reparation experts. and hack guitar repairers may even be easier to find.

Take your time, instrument repair folks are out there, and may not pop up immediately on a goodle search.

Maybe even call yer local orchestra and see whom they recommend.

Good luck. Please don’t let a wood butcher “have at er” eh?

Eric

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View carver1942's profile

carver1942

93 posts in 424 days


#2 posted 02-25-2014 11:27 AM

Best to have a pro repair it. The angle of the neck is VERY critical. Whatever you do, don’t use modern glues or epoxy on this joint. In gluing up instruments hide glue is the ONLY glue that should be used. If adjustments need to be made to the repaired joint it can be taken apart again when hide glue is used. To use modern glues will ruin the instrument.
Ed

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

706 posts in 393 days


#3 posted 02-25-2014 12:13 PM

It looks like a pretty straightforward repair and you would be well qualified to do it. For any tricky ins and outs check here. From what I can see it looks like a student cello, $400- $500 new inc. bow and bag. $100 repair.

http://www.maestronet.com/

-- Bill....... " was you dryin' your nails or a wavin' me goodbye?" Tom Waits

View mrjinx007's profile

mrjinx007

1790 posts in 487 days


#4 posted 02-25-2014 12:17 PM

I would replace the entire neck after attempting to glue it in place fails.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

502 posts in 1480 days


#5 posted 02-26-2014 12:06 AM

Hello Loren,

My experience with guitar building 40 or so years ago suggests to me that from what I see in the photo (its sideways, isn’t it?) the heel of the neck is cross grain so it wouldn’t take much of a fall to crack it. My fix would be to glue the break together with a clamp and let it dry. I would then drill a hole in the bottom of the heel and insert and glue a hardwood dowel for strength. The hole in the bottom of the heel should barely touch the bottom of the fingerboard. The dowel should be about 1/2” dia. A regular drill bit will probably be long enough. If not, you may have to do some Internet searches for something like an “aircraft” drill or weld an extension to the drill shaft. To hide the dowel hole in the bottom of the heel, cover the bottom of the heel with some black veneer or the like.

Good luck!
Planeman

P.S. If you need to weld an extension to a drill shaft, that is something I can do for you. E-mail me at rufus.carswell@yahoo.com

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2234 posts in 2266 days


#6 posted 02-26-2014 12:13 AM

Loren,

Sounds like you probably have your answer. I am no instrument repair expert but using hide glue seems wise since it is reversible. And I would agree that adding a hardwood dowel after the glued joint dries would add strength.

Hopefully you can get it repaired, probably even stronger than it was originally.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1239 posts in 688 days


#7 posted 02-26-2014 12:34 AM

Loren. Planemans advice is sound. I had the exact same thing happen to one of my hand built classicals in college and my teacher told me to do exactly as planeman an said, minus the hardwood dowel. I glued it, clamped it and it was fine the next day. It’s going on 7 years now and that crack has never resurfaced. This was way before I ever had anything to do with woodworking too

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Loren's profile

Loren

7808 posts in 2367 days


#8 posted 02-26-2014 12:51 AM

Thanks everyone.

The cello strings pull the neck up more than on a guitar
neck I think… and this may be why the previous
repair attempts his parents had done at the music store
failed.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Kryptic's profile

Kryptic

294 posts in 379 days


#9 posted 02-26-2014 01:36 AM

what if the original, neck was made by a newbie

that said I would revert back to, the first poster

otherwise, I would consider a double sided keyway, perhaps even a tapered one, in which the neck would lock itself into place at some point in time

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

502 posts in 1480 days


#10 posted 02-26-2014 03:01 AM

”The cello strings pull the neck up more than on a guitar neck I thinkā€¦ and this may be why the previous repair attempts his parents had done at the music store failed.”

One other option that would be stronger but more involved would be to remove the fingerboard and – after gluing the crack shut – drilling a hole all the way from the bottom of the heel, though the cracked area, and up through the fingerboard area. Then insert a threaded rod with nuts at both ends. When tightened, there would be almost no way the heel of the neck could come loose! Then re-glue the fingerboard back and patch the bottom of the heel where the hole was drilled with a matching piece of thin wood and re-finish the area. Or . . . take a mold from the cello and cast a new cello in steel! It would really be strong then! :)

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Kryptic's profile

Kryptic

294 posts in 379 days


#11 posted 02-26-2014 03:06 AM

couldnt that be solved, by putting a sliding dovetail, that locks onto the neck, much like Sam Malloof did to his rocking chairs, like a tapered keyway ?

I dont know the answer

View Kryptic's profile

Kryptic

294 posts in 379 days


#12 posted 02-26-2014 03:08 AM

every violin I have ever held, fell apart shortly after loosening the strings ?

perhaps most are junk

View wbrisett's profile

wbrisett

133 posts in 1068 days


#13 posted 02-26-2014 10:36 AM

I have no idea what type of cello this is, but I can tell you from purchasing one for my daughter a few years back that most of these instruments cost more than most of my tools do! (seriously!). I love saving money and love tinkering and repairing things myself. However, when she had problems with her cello (cost new was in the $4-5,000 range), I’ve taken it into the local repair shop. It’s just too costly for me to screw up and they know all the tricks at the shop.

That being said, it sounds like the local shop this cello was taken to needs some experienced help, so I’m not sure I would trust them again.

View carver1942's profile

carver1942

93 posts in 424 days


#14 posted 02-26-2014 11:47 AM

I don’t know the value of this cello, but even a student grade is valuable. The repairs that are being suggested will render it junk if not done properly. The height and angle of the strings to the finger board, and the centering of the neck and finger board to the cello body are very critical. To the original poster, do yourself a favor and have it repaired by a professional, it is not a job for a home repair. A bad repair will possibly ruin it’s tone, and future resale value or even make it unplayable. I in no way mean to offend those making suggestions, but I have seen the results of repairs gone afoul. These repairs require special tools and gauges that home craftsmen are unlikely to have no matter their skill level.
regards
Ed

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

502 posts in 1480 days


#15 posted 02-26-2014 02:45 PM

I have read Loren’s posts here over the years and it is my opinion that Loren has the skills and most likely the knowledge to do as good a job or better than most instrument repair personnel. While most instrument repair people are very knowledgeable and are good woodworkers, they are not wizards. I’ve known a few. As this is a student instrument and not an Amati and the beak is where it is, I feel the repairs are within Loren’s capabilities. Just my two cents.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

showing 1 through 15 of 27 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase