Saturday, February 26, 2011

Destruction for Hardwoods

April 10, 2008

Truthfully, I've been slacking a bit when it comes to building the electric cello.  I think that's the way it goes building things.  It took over a year and a half to build my guitar.  These moods for building just come to you in cycles.  I've got the body, neck, and fretboard 90% completed.  However, the major sticking point has been the outside "wings."  In other words, instead of being a traditional hollowbody design, this is a solidbody cello.  The wings take the place of the sides, so I can grip the cello with my knees while playing. 
The nice thing is I finally settled on a wood to make the wings out of.  I have access to some really nice mahogany, and have started the glueing process to make the wings.  I have also gotten ahold of some poplar to expand the headstock.  This is to make the headstock like a classical guitar.  Once completed I'll post pictures, so everyone can understand.  The tuners I have are really nice.  They're metal bass guitar tuners, so they're stronger than the standard wooden pegs that normally go loose.

I know it's crazy, but I'm going to try and perform some inlay work on the wings.  I have access to African Bloodwood and African Blackwood (which is a lot like ebony.)  I would like to do inlay work with them since the red and black woods would show nicely against the mahogany.  I think of it as tattooing my instrument.  Many guitarist put stickers on their guitars, so I think this is kind of like that, only nicer looking.

If this cello comes out look half as good as I imagine it in my head, I'll be happy.  Even if it sounds like crap, I'll still be glad I went ahead with this project.  On an odd note, I wonder what I should name her.  You see, I name all my instruments.  My regular cello which has been with me for almost 20 years is named Charlene.  It's not from the movie Full Metal Jacket, like a lot of people think it is.  It's a name that just came to me, and it stuck to her ever since.

The only thing that I hate while building is the time it takes the glue to dry.  When using wood glue (I use titebond 2) it takes 48 hours for the glue to dry.  I only have so many clamps.  If you look in the picture section you can see just how many clamps it takes to glue two boards together.  So I'll be spending the next week just glueing things up.  Of course, there's work on other parts of the cello, so I'll move on to them while I let things dry.

I'll keep my blog updated with all the things going on in my life.  If anyone is reading this, take care.

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