cello #1

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Blog entry by techyman2 posted 10-19-2010 10:38 PM 3681 reads 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Every now and then you need to face a challenge. This is my latest. I had been working up to this for quite a few months. Luckily I have some project funds and what with my suppliers prices going up and VAT increases in the new year I felt it was the right time. A friend who plays asked if I could make him a cello but I felt that I could not commit his resources and expectations on the first one so I am making it for myself. Goodness knows why as I don’t play. However, he asked for a Stradivarius B form cello which is the most popular form all made in the period 1707 and 1726. Since made famous by a number of musicians e.g. Catherine Du Pre and Yoyo Ma. Famouse instruments include the Davydov, Duport, Piatti to name but a few. Of course there are other models by other famouse makers which are easily acquired but I found it difficult to get published plans of this model. I had some information regarding proportions and sizes to work with from earlier research and drew up my own plans. I also studied existing cellos based on the strad model comparing my plans with these. I found the drawing interesting and used a lot of my professional training and experience in draughting very useful.
The pictures show the basic drawings and some templates for the cross sections of the belly. I still have the back templates to complete. The outline template is used to make the mold for the cello. This is the former that it will be built around. I just started it today it is incomplete but is in the last picture. These sectional templates will be used during the carving of the top and back at a later date. No doubt there will be adjustments to make as the project evolves.

-- Dave D

8 comments so far

View Brit's profile


7824 posts in 3379 days

#1 posted 10-19-2010 11:34 PM

Wow! Looking forward to this one Dave.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Paul2274's profile


330 posts in 3649 days

#2 posted 10-19-2010 11:57 PM

This is exciting. I would love to be a luthier. I can’t wait for more updates as you progress.


View DocK16's profile


1186 posts in 4623 days

#3 posted 10-20-2010 01:15 AM

Count me in, I’m definitely along for this ride. Definitely a challenge

View Broglea's profile


687 posts in 3627 days

#4 posted 10-20-2010 01:51 AM

Dave – I’ll be following along with great anticipation. Very challenging!

View dakremer's profile


2746 posts in 3628 days

#5 posted 10-20-2010 02:18 AM

good luck!! I’ve been trying to build up the courage of building a ukulele, which is quite a bit simpler than this. I hope it turns out great – I’ll be watching :) good luck

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3417 days

#6 posted 10-20-2010 02:54 AM

Really cool! I’m hoping to build one myself sometime soon. Currently working on 2 violins. Have you tried “The Strad” magazine for plans?

That’s one big mold! I used 3/4” birch ply for my fiddles. I have seen some that are two piece with adjustable knurled/knob screws to release the mold. Not sure how that plays into a viola, but with a big mold it seems doable.

I know of one guy here who made his own bass! THAT was one BIG mold! He glued and screwed it together and it weighed a few lbs. – heavier than the finished bass!

You are lucky to be ‘over there’ where you can get some good European wood…envy, envy, envy…

Check out my blog!

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Colin's profile


246 posts in 4457 days

#7 posted 10-20-2010 05:01 PM

Hi Dave, happy days, looks like an interesting challenge,I shall be following this project as you progress.

best wishes


-- Colin, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. "Every craftsman was once an amateur"

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4249 days

#8 posted 11-12-2010 12:40 AM

This promises to be an interesting build!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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