Monday, June 14, 2010

cello invasion

Last week there was an inundation (collective noun for too many cellos) of cellos in for repair. They often seem to wrangle this; word goes out that they are going in for therapy and others seek out the sympathetic company. Apart from my instruments and long term stayers there were thirteen in for repair and they stood around like expectant aliens waiting for a feed.

Introspective things, cellos. I expect that's why we get on so well. They are used to someone being all around them, focussing on them and drawing them out. Quite unlike a violin, which is generally a showpiece, an extension of an out-going personality, a show-stopper.

The centreboard for the Navigator has been hurrumphing around the shed lately, taking up bench space and hiding tools under itself and generally spoiling for a fight. So I did a bit of surfacing with a block plane and then turned my attention to the top edges where the foil section meets the rectangular section that stays in the box. Nice little area that- pity it stays hidden under the boat. I include a pic of the beginnings of the harmonisation of these shapes, and for this I used a spokeshave and a couple of chisels. Another tool that would have been useful is a skew chisel, but I don't have one at that workshop. Whichever tool is used I find it easiest if the blade is used in a slicing motion rather than a cutting or pushing one- cut down the hill on a 45 degree angle so the shavings peel off to the side. Present the blade at this angle to the direction of cut so the fibres travel up the cutting edge and are parted gradually. This enables nice continuous curves without stabbing and stalling. But the board is still bored, so I'll drill out the pivot hole and epoxy coat it this week, then trial fit it in the boat to make it feel like it belongs.

Also this week I had a think about the shape and position of the coaming at the forward end, and work has begun on a tabernacle design that will be high enough to keep the boom attached during transport. Making the thing look acceptable is the big challenge.


  1. Had a little chuckle when I read about your "introspective cello's" needing therapy....The picture of them reminded me of your galloways! I am really enjoying your writing Dad! Its great!

  2. I think it's called anthropomorphism goodvibes, when people talk this way. Who knows, I might make sensible one day!

  3. I don't believe it's termed anthropomorphic if the analogy is to aliens. And it's the cases that are alien, the cellos themselves are a work of art. I have one that was rescued from the demolition of an old high school. I'm sure it was a mass produced instrument and I don't know how it sounds, since it's missing bridge and strings, but it's one of my most valued possessions.

  4. Important distinction MB.'s OK to talk to cello cases and aliens, but not cellos or centreboards. My centreboard is not happy. And the cellos are sulking. Thank goodness I don't have to be normal!

  5. Yeah, chuck "sensible" and "normal" right out the window I reckon!! Way more fun to be had that way!! I hope your centreboard gets happy soon-if it wants to be that is!