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Cello Repair

Posted by Mandogryl on Friday, March 29, 2013

I have a cello in the shop for a top crack repair. The owner was complaining about a bad rattle when playing the G or C string. I mostly make new instruments, but in certain instances I will take on a repair job. I checked all around the edge of both back and top, and there are several places where there is glue separation. But looking at the top from the outside I could see where many cracks had been repaired. My guess was that a cleat or bass bar end came unglued. So off came the top. The owner also complained of the instrument being too one dimensional. I told her I would assess the thickness and bar.

After taking the top off I saw the culprit of the rattle: There is a crack and a loose cleat. Those along with new glue all around the top to side attachment and it should take care of the problem. This morning I removed the top and glued and cleated the crack. I will upload a picture probably tomorrow. The bass bar is a carved-in type, and I could possibly remove it and make a new one. But the rest of the thicknesses are fairly close to what I would make a new one. I measured the sides, and found them to be quite heavy. Nothing I can do about that. This is clearly a student instrument. I could add corner blocks, but I will recommend to the owner not to do so, because of the expense. I think in this case I will check the rest of the cleats, do some cleaning and scraping, and close it back up. Maybe with a new setup we can get some better tone out of it.

I've started a folder of photos of the project in progress on my homepage here.

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