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Making a mould and rib structure for a copy of an old instrument

Lutherie

Makers reveal their special techniques

ALL PHOTOS CHRISTOPHER THORP

A method that compensates for the differences in outline of the front and back plates

Acommon issue in making a copy of an old instrument is how to make a rib structure that fits the often-differing outlines of the front and back. This was especially the case when I was planning a copy of the 1777 ‘Simpson’ Guadagnini cello. Not only is the front 15mm wider than the back in the middle, but the C-bouts of the front are a different shape from those of the back. This undoubtedly contributes to the very particular sound that this model always produces, but it presents some problems in the making process.

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About The Strad

We conclude our investigation of Stradivari’s moulds and examine some radical teaching methods. Vadim Gluzman, Philip Dukes and Matthew Barley are interviewed and there’s our annual Accessories supplement, featuring carbon fibre bows, wolf eliminators, mutes and lots more.