I've looked for a means to immobilize a cello on my bench, and was wondering if there are any willing to share their methods. I've worked on violins by clamping the neck in a padded vise, but obviously a cello is a tad heavy for that. Thanks for any ideas.
It's an old thread but, hey, you never know when someone else will need to know.
One of the problems I had ran into a in the past was holding a Gibson mandolin firmly enough to press a loose and warped side back into place. (I think a lot of you know what a pain this can be) What I came up with a was a work board with cork padded blocks at the tail block, and two more at about 10 and 2 o'clock on the shoulders.
I cut the tail block support to fit within the profile of the body, just out of the way a bit under the body. The two shoulder support blocks were cut in an "L" shape and padded on the inside of the "L" to support the body on the horizontal ledge with a vertical support to press against as I applied pressure to the warped side. The body was high enough to clear the middle of the back so the only points of contact were on the blocks.
The three blocks were attached to on a piece of 3/4 inch plywood cut rectangular in shape but only a little bit larger than the mandolins gross dimensions and some blocks were added under the work board to raise it enough to get clamps under the backboard to immobilize the mandolin on the blocks. I used a small bag of sand to support the neck and short. "squeeze" type bar clamps to lock the mandolin down.
I was able to successfully use my (approximation of Frank's) "L" brackets to press the sides Into place. That's an important point because it took a LOT of pressure to move that warped side into position and hold it until the HHG set. The mandolin never shifted a bit which would have been a major problem since I the "clamps" I used to press the side were no fixed to the instrument with anything but pressure exerted against the work board. The platform worked so well for holding the mandolin that I kept it around to use for setting up mandolins too. Unfortunately, I haven't need to use if for several years and I may have taken it apart to reuse the plywood base. Anyway, I can't find it now to take a couple of pictures or I'd post one.
It wasn't much to look at but it worked very well and while a cello is much larger than a mandolin, the issue of holding a round instrument flat is pretty much the same so I think a larger work board with more supports wouldn't be too hard to make and would do nicely if combined with a lower than normal mount of some sort.