Rocky Patel Cigar Box 4/4 Cello Project - Part I

  "Once upon a time..."

I was recently vending at a Folk Festival when a customer came up and asked me if I was up for a challenge. He explained that he was a double bass / washtub bass player with a folk group that was playing on stage at the event. He told me that he had approached the other Cigar Box Guitar vendor ( there were two of us at the event ) with this project, and the guy turned him away, so he asked if I thought I was up for the challenge.

The Project? He has this beautiful, huge Rocky Patel commemorative box, and he asked if I could build him a Cigar Box upright bass? Well, I looked the box over and told him that it wasn't big enough to make a proper bass, but I though it would make a nice Cello. He liked the concept, and after a few more questions about budget and time frame I determined that this was indeed a project I wanted to take on. 

I went right to work designing the instrument, and cataloging all the parts I needed to order. Thus the build began in earnest.

First, I needed to carve a neck. I opted for a full sized 4/4 cello neck dimensions, with enough length to center the bridge on the box. I made my neck blank, and ordered an ebony cello fingerboard online. When the fingerboard arrived, I tapered & shaved the neck to match the fingerboard.

I ensured that I had a substantially stout heel.

...and I test fit to the box.

Once everything looked good, I glued & clamped the fingerboard and started in on the peg box & scroll head.

On to "Part II"

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Comment by G.S. Monroe on May 22, 2016 at 6:04pm

Paul, I went to a full 4/4 Cello scale of 695mm.

Comment by Paul Craig on May 22, 2016 at 1:09pm

Sorry I missed this. Great job on the neck.What scale are you going for?

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