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Sunday Driver   You are logged in as Guest
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estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

Sunday Driver 

I'm building a cello, or have been. If you would like to follow along I'll make updates.

The details:

It's a Stradivari-ish pattern I took from a well known pattern and made a 1/2" wider. It's full size. The back and ribs are Big Leaf maple that I resawed in 2010. I bought this lumber from a now out of business dealer who had the slices sitting around for many years. His shop was in Oakland CA and was bought out by a Chinese mass produced cabinet shop. Bad business. By the way I shipped this cello half built to Japan and just about cried when it got here. I shipped it on a container ship, the wood suffered some problems in shipping that I did not think I could rectify. But I was able to save it.

I have the rib assembly finished, and I'm doing the final graduations on the back. The neck/scroll is finished also. As soon as I glue the back to the ribs I'll begin the top. It's a strong piece of German spruce very old which I bought from a bass maker.

The back is lot of work, hogging out all that material has taken three Sundays and just about broken my fingers. Next cello I will employ the modern method of hogging out with a grinder outfitted with chain saw grinder wheel. Whooopps!

The cello is a really demanding thing to build, a lot of surfaces to consider between arching and interior graduations. Still mulling over whether to make my own varnish of buy varnish. If you have any questions I'll be happy to talk about it. It could make an interesting aside from the usual obsessing over blancas and thumbnails.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 20 2013 12:38:07
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

In the meantime while everyone is yawning about celli, here's a shout out to who ever invented this style of cutaway.

I've seen several other makers do this, and I like it the best. The finger planes I use to scoop out the back of the cello also work perfectly to hollow the neck block of the cutaway to accept the compound curve rib.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2013 0:26:43
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

And when you build a cutaway, you get to choose between a pointy Florentine style or a rounded Venetian style. The other incidental cello connection is that the Venetian's were great makers of cellos. So I go with Venetian.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2013 0:34:23
 
Jim Kirby

 

Posts: 146
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From: Newark, DE, USA

RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Are there pointy florentine cutaways on classical/flamenco guitars that you know of? A customer recently asked if I could possibly use a cutaway on a guitar and I have deferred so far. This was based in part on the fact that I like florentine cutaways on steel string guitars so much more than venetian, but that I couldn't remember ever seeing one on a nylon string guitar.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2013 18:38:10
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to Jim Kirby

quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim Kirby

Are there pointy florentine cutaways on classical/flamenco guitars that you know of? A customer recently asked if I could possibly use a cutaway on a guitar and I have deferred so far. This was based in part on the fact that I like florentine cutaways on steel string guitars so much more than venetian, but that I couldn't remember ever seeing one on a nylon string guitar.

I've built a couple like that but I don't have any pictures.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2013 20:15:08
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1539
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Hi, Stephen. Not yawning. Eager to see cello in progress. I would love to be able to build violin family instruments.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 26 2013 23:37:27
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

I have seen a few Florentines on a classical. No reason not to do it, but I would get a committed deposit and be pretty sure the guy you make it for won't flake out. It wont sell well in the classical world and probably a jazz player would be the one to seek it out. I would not make a Florentine cut on spec. too difficult to sell.

I glued the back to the cello rubs, I'll post a pic soo. And Ethan you would be able to make violins. It's just a shift of skills you already gots. Try a viola!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 27 2013 5:40:13
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Two ideas where violin making an guitar making skills overlap: I'm doing the last bit of solid liners on the cello ribs and using the same hand bending tricks as you would with binding.

Here is a little trick for bending tight binding curves. Most of you already know it, but use a length of aluminum flashing cut to the right size to back your binding. This way the binding gets supported and will not break when you have to bend a tight curve.

And making one off purfling tools to cut the binding ledge on the compound curve of the cutaway. The index surface if short and the blade it set shallow to scribe a line. The index nib has to be short because a longer index would get in the way and not register just the edge of the back. You have to register off just the very edge to get a true even line.

More later...








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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 30 2013 12:00:23
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Here is the back and sides complete with liners. I used that aluminum flashing strip to support the liners while I bent them. I let the linings into the corner blocks at the C bouts, but I need more practice at job. They turned out ok.

The top is next, it's halfway arched, but I have to reach the finish line on a guitar project before I finish it.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 15 2013 0:16:08
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

The back from the side view. Difficult to convey the arching in a photo, I'll take a picture at night with one light source.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 15 2013 0:21:48
 
Jeff Highland

 

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From: Caves Beach Australia

RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

mmmm that looks nice
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 15 2013 1:57:12
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Oh thank you. It was a lot of work.

Here's how the arching looks, but photos of arching are never really true.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 15 2013 4:11:57
 
FlamencoD

 

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Joined: Apr. 7 2012
From: Portland, OR

RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

No updates in a while...These threads of fine instruments are always fun to follow.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 9 2013 4:48:30
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Thanks for reminding me!

I'm working on the top now, just about done with the arching., Checking the F-holes to make sure they are looking good in the arching and at the right place to mark the stop.

I'll finish the smoothing of the outline, finish scooping out the back and then cut the F-holes. Then I'll install purfling in the top. I think you have to work the top elements all at the same time to get them in trim.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 9 2013 5:48:35
 
aarongreen

 

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Hi Stephen
Nice looking cello but I am more into the guitar with the compound cutaway. Nicely done, I much prefer the look of the venetian cutaway and the compound curve gives you a very nice and clean resolution at the heel.

I am intrigued by the top bracing. Kind of Daniel Friederich goes to Spain. Very interesting
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 9 2013 11:30:21
 
Anders Eliasson

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Good to see that you are back on the cello. Look forward to scrape the strings with a bow.
I´ll start a violin or 2 soon.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 9 2013 11:45:43
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

I finally got the neck glued on the cello today...Been working on guitars, but snuck this in.







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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 18 2014 12:33:26
 
constructordeguitarras

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From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Lovely work, Stephen. So satisfying to see the inside and out.

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www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 18 2014 19:49:13
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

I keep getting comments from people about the rope stays, they think it's bondage. It's really putting pressure on the joint to keep it was slipping under clamping pressure.

ha ha, Ok rope and wedge stays have been used in construction since the dawn of time, and they built pyramids this way.

People think aliens built the pyramids and anything else big and heavy in prehistory, the Aku on Easter Island for example. The real way the ancients moved heavy stuff was with twisted ropes, wedges and water, all used together in the right order.

You see these shows on TV where some engineers are trying recreate the way the Egyptians moved big blocks of cut granite by rolling them on logs! HA! What they really did was use ropes and vines that were twisted and a big beam was inserted into the windings and the workers used the beam to twist the ropes thus making rope bundle shorter which dragged the block along a course lubricated by water. Oh after they floated the block next to the pyramid on a barge in a water filled canal that they dug from the Nile to the pyramid site.

It does not take genius to figure this out.

Next the ground for the varnish and then varnishing.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 20 2014 0:26:49
 
pjn

 

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Joined: Mar. 23 2009
From: New York

RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Lovely Stephen (the instrument, not you heh heh)-- could you come up with a semi-flat backed oud? This would be something very interesting for flamingo guitarists I think.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 20 2014 2:45:25
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to pjn

quote:

Lovely Stephen (the instrument, not you heh heh)-- could you come up with a semi-flat backed oud? This would be something very interesting for flamingo guitarists I thin

Oh Thank you,

As a matter of fact there is an oud that exists with a flat back and a waist, it's an oud from Malta. I could make one of those, the are quite beautiful. Check out this link, it's a Maltese oud built by my friend Stewart Port. I worked in his shop and I had a section of the shop where I worked for three years. During that time he built this oud. He actually consulted with me on how to brace the top, so I told him what I knew and then referred him to the oud book by Dr. Oud. AKA Richard Hankey.

http://home.earthlink.net/~stewballsparlor/pages/lauta2/lauta.html

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 20 2014 12:08:54
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

And I know that people are angry that I said aliens did not build the pyramids, but I don't care. You're just going have to get used the idea that aliens did not build ancient monoliths. Not Stonehenge, not the Great Pyramid, or any giant Egyptian structures or Easter Island Aku. They did not do that.

Sorry you are wrong, wrong, wrong. And do you even know why you are wrong? It's because the aliens were and are too busy sucking out bodily fluids and running the central banks of the world to funnel money off world. How could they take time out to build pyramids? The aliens gave human kind ropes so man could build pyramids and leave the aliens to fluid drainage.

I know some of you will be angry to hear this. I can't help you.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 20 2014 12:17:36
 
pink

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

And I know that people are angry that I said aliens did not build the pyramids, but I don't care......


Wow Stephen that's a biggie to take on......think I'm going to have to take a slow and comforting Sunday drive to ponder this bombshell!!
Did they bring us anything pleasing by chance?...... Comfortable underwear? The ice cream cone?
Battlestar Galactica? Blake's 7, eggy bread? Clacton on Sea?
Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh
Sigh....am I frequenting the wrong forum?


Best

pink
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 20 2014 21:42:31
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

The Aliens brought us Caprica Six-

is that pleasing enough?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 22 2014 7:12:10
 
pink

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Nice piece!!

Best

pink
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 22 2014 20:27:00
 
pjn

 

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From: New York

RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

The Maltese falcon looks quite interesting, although the "pick guard" is way small. If played with oud technique I think the wood above and below the outer strings would be gone in no time.

But more importantly, does this instrument have those wonderful deep echoes, that sort of natural reverb -- or however it could be described -- that ouds do? I'm wondering whether the big belly creates them, or is it some other aspect of oud design?

Also, with such a short scale, at the low pitch of an oud (below the guitar), isn't the acute angle of the oud (and lute) pegbox necessary for adequate string tension?

Is it possible that a multi-piece rounded back, such as some vihuela iconography shows, would work?

It is also possible I have no idea what I'm talking about.

For sure, the oud shape is difficult for guitar players, at least this one. I had a few lessons years ago with Simon Shaheen, one of the modern greats who happens to live in NYC. Discovering how different all the left hand technique, positioning, etc. has to be -- not to mention that you can't see WTF you're doing -- I decided it was hard enough just trying to play the guitar.

But I would love to have an oud-like instrument. Could you work on one? You know, drop everything else you're doing? Would a couple of months be enough time? Hardy har har. Seriously I would be a customer if you could create something that sounds right and plays good.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2014 15:58:37
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

I think Stews Maltese Falcon is for sale. He loved it so much the guy he made it for was not totally happy traveling with such a nice instrument that Stewart bought it back after he made it!

He man he made it for was going back and forth from CA to Indonesia twice a year and it stressed him to carry that fine work though customs. There may have been a divorce in the mix too, can't say for sure, but there's nothing wrong with the Malta.

I think that it sounds slightly different from a straight up oud with the bowl back. There are examples of flat backed ouds with the oud face shape. I would have to research it further. The bowl seems pretty essential to me to get the full oud sound. But there might be some easier to hold compromise that sounds good. The whole not being abel to see WTF you're doing debacle is discombobulating to say the least.

I'll look into it, meanwhile back to building a blanca and being perplexed by cello varnishing.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2014 22:22:03
 
pjn

 

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From: New York

RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Hmm, well this is all quite interesting -- love to play and hear the existing Falcon.

I suspect that the more you work on that blanca, the less perplexing the cello varnish will be.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2014 13:30:39
 
estebanana

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RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to pjn

quote:


I suspect that the more you work on that blanca, the less perplexing the cello varnish will be.


You must have some extra sensory powers or claro-voyant abilities, because this is exactly what has happened. The blanca seems to have moved further in it's creation as the cello varnish has become more realized. The cello seems to need rest now as the varnish layers dry for a week. I suspect the blanca will forge a path ahead now.

While it rests you can see the varnish at mid point. This is a pine resin oil varnish, probably very like the varnishes used by the good Italian makers. I bought this varnish from a varnish maker who creates small batches of high quality material.

I used to use a well known spirt varnish recipe on violins and celli, but today many people are using varnishes that have been developed due to good current research into the formulation of the old Italian varnishes. This material made of resin and oil cooked together has amazing qualities I have not seen in modern varnishes. It has been challenging into learn to apply it, you use dry brush and finger tip application methods and some hand burnishing with open palm. The layering possibilities to create dichroic effects and deep grain refraction are seemingly endless.

A few shots of the cello with various stages of varnish coverage. This will sit for several days to dry while I work on a blanca guitar and contemplate the next transparent layers I will apply.









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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2014 16:25:31
 
pjn

 

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From: New York

RE: Sunday Driver (in reply to estebanana

Wow that is a beautiful finish, and has an "aged" (in a good way) look already.

What is a dichroic effect -- "di" for "two" and "chro" for "color"?

Would a cello-like back be a possibility for the guit'oud?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 25 2014 19:28:22
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