'Davidoff' cello


I am building a cello inspired by the famous 1673 ‘Davidoff’ Stradivari cello as played by Jacqueline du Pré and Yo-Yo Ma. I didn’t take pictures of the very first few steps including the making of the one-piece mold and the ribs etc, but I will try to document the building process going forward in more detail.

To see the bigger images, click on any thumbnail below. 

 The top is carved from the joined plates.
 The scroll is cut out of a solid piece of maple. The first step is to cut the outline.  The side of the pegbox and the first turn is removed. The second turn is removed next. Most of the wood is removed using a saw.
 Did I pass the inspection?
 The detail of the turns are cut using suitable gouges and knives.  The back of the scroll is fluted. The scroll is finished using a selection of scrapers.
The fingerboard is completed next to allow accurate shaping of the neck. Here I am planing the side of the board.
 ...and the top.  A thin slice of maple wood with vertical grain is inserted into the neck root to increase the strength and ensure that the neck will not sag under the pressure of the strings.  The neck root after trimming.  The opening for the neck is cut into the ribs with a sharp knife.
 The mortice is carefully cut using chisels and knives.  The neck is slided into the mortice to check if its fits snugly.  The last step is to widen the mortice bit-by-bit until the overstand is just right.  The alignment is checked constantly to ensure that the neck is straight.
The bottom of the neck is roughly shaped before gluing.
 The neck is finally glued to the rib garland.  The mold is removed and the inside of the corner blocks are trimmed to size.  The back is glued to the rib garland.
 The box is closed by gluing the top to the back/rib assembly.  The wood has been treated and tanned in UV light to darken.  A close-up of the back showing the colour of the wood post treatment tanning.  The colour pigment (madder root) is ground into oil.
 The varnish is roughly applied to the top.  The varnish is smoothed out using a pad-printing technique by hand.  The back is varnished in a similar way.  After varnishing the pegs are fitted.
 The bridge are planed to thickness and carefully fitted to the top.  Completed!  Image  Scroll
 A different view of the top  ... and the back.  A close-up of the varnish.

Contact details

76 seventh street
linden, johannesburg
south africa

tel: 0829035832
fax: (011) 2948849

e-mail: albertus@bekkerviolins.com