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Repairing a Cello

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  • John Bartley
    replied
    Originally posted by WoodBob View Post

    I think this Cello will be donated to a good cause I have been thinking of a public school perhaps. I have several schools in my area that my own kids went to so I was going to check them out when the new school year starts in August.

    Good on ya !! Donating is so good in so many ways.

    cheers

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  • WoodBob
    replied
    Originally posted by John Bartley View Post
    Bob,

    I read the Luthier Forum thread. It's been several years since I'd read that forum and now I remember why. For the most part they're pretty decent people, but there's a couple there who seem to think that dispensing rudeness is the way to treat people who ask newbie questions. That's ok .... they know they're better than the rest of us LOL ...

    Nice work on the cello !!
    Thanks John! Yeah for the most part that is a good bunch of guys. One of them was nasty from the start I couldn't figure out his angle. Seemed like he was not happy with anyone new getting into the luthier field. Kept saying I was a slow learner I never did understand that. And when pointed out by his peers that he was, in fact, wrong about the main thing he was criticizing me for (removing the front instead of the back), he would not admit it or even address it.

    I think this Cello will be donated to a good cause I have been thinking of a public school perhaps. I have several schools in my area that my own kids went to so I was going to check them out when the new school year starts in August.

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  • John Bartley
    replied
    Bob,

    I read the Luthier Forum thread. It's been several years since I'd read that forum and now I remember why. For the most part they're pretty decent people, but there's a couple there who seem to think that dispensing rudeness is the way to treat people who ask newbie questions. That's ok .... they know they're better than the rest of us LOL ...

    Nice work on the cello !!

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  • callee
    replied
    Great thread! Thanks for posting. Too bad you're not closer, my 9 year old has been learning cello for the last 2 years on a loaner, i'd love to give him his own.

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  • WoodBob
    replied
    I managed to get the sound post in and restring and put the Cello back together. It took a good hour to tune it. The bottom is holding well but the piece of wood that goes in the bottom where the post/stand comes out of is just a friction fit. So it actually seems to need to settle in before it will stop moving. I seated it best I could but it still ends up at a slight angle. I'll tell you that piece is under a lot of stress I am surprised more Cello's don't break at that point. You can see in the below pics what I am talking about. I tried playing it and it sounds pretty good - smooth, tone is good. With these new strings I am hoping it will stay in tune we'll see. Also if that bottom piece doesn't stop moving the Cello will also never stay in tune. It is perfectly tuned now I'll check it every hour and see.

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  • bkrits
    replied
    Looking good, do let us know how it sounds??

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  • WoodBob
    replied
    Originally posted by Doug G View Post
    Which glue???
    I ended up using regular (original) Titebond.

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  • Doug G
    replied
    Which glue???

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  • WoodBob
    replied
    Just did the glue-up! Hopefully works out!

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  • Doug G
    replied
    I've heard that one advantage of hide glue is that it can be reactivated and so new hide glue will bond with old hide glue while other glues like Titebond will not. Check out this webpage for some hints on extending the open time of hide glue. https://www.gnhw.org/qaarchive/open-time-hide-glue Note I'm not speaking from a breadth of knowledge I've only used hide glue once on a veneered table repair, which was successful.

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  • KenL
    replied
    I have had no success getting Titebond to adhere to anything that has a coating of hide glue on it; old chairs and furniture just fail in the same place and I find the Titebond to be nice and shiny where the joint fails which means that it coated the hide glue but did not adhere to it. I cannot see why Titebond would not work on an instrument just fine but your repair might encounter the problem that I had.

    Ken

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  • WoodBob
    replied
    I have been warned off of hide glue for a Cello due to it's extremely short working time. Like under a minute (unless heated a lot). It has been suggested to use regular Titebond glue. I was told Titebond is use frequently for instruments and that unlike Titebond II the joint will be removable for future repairs. Can anyone attest to that?

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  • bkrits
    replied
    Originally posted by WoodBob View Post
    Good news! It looks like my glue repair has done well. The foot post is near straight now. I just finished gluing my lamination piece. I'll let it set until tomorrow since I don't have the hide glue yet anyway. Going to have a party tomorrow but if I have time I'll glue the top on. If not, I'll glue it Sunday. I've seen on some sites where you let the top sit for 2 days before removing the clamps. I think I might also try the rubber hose thing instead of making all those clamps. I'll use the clamps I have and see where that gets me and have the rubber on standby. I actually have a decent amount of clamps if I break out all of my bar clamps. For a one-time repair like this it should work fine.

    I posted on a luthier forum too and they reemed me said I ruined the Cello. Not sure how but my guess is they saw the "dewalt" clamps and couldn't see past that. Sorry but I just can't see buying $500 worth of luthier tools for a $300 Cello. Also can't see paying a "real" luthier $1000 to fix a $300 Cello. This is an exercise to gain experience.
    I know nothing about what you are doing but have seen a few things as in the guy who is building an acoustic guitar on here, your cello looks like a cheapo (as I say I know nothing) so for you to gain the experience and the satisfaction of having a go is worth much more than the money value, I like you attitude to this repair, Good on you.

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  • KenL
    replied
    I think that you've got the old fellow back in pretty good shape. I sometimes repair my guitars and sometimes I get it done where they are better equipped. I had the neck on my 1956 SS Stewart arch-top reseated and cold-pressed by a luthier for example. It cost quite a bit (approx $600) and might not have been worth the money if that were the only consideration. It was my father's pride and joy, I started to learn on it and I inherited it when he passed away so there is quite a connection. Besides, it was a custom piece and is nearly as old as I am. SOME things are just like that; for me anyway.

    Thanks for sharing the repair with us.

    Ken

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  • Andre in Quebec
    replied
    You don't need much pressure to glue the top on ribs esecially if the old glue has been cleaned a bit on both top & ribs , the surgical tubing would do a better job & would let you reposition as necessary.

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