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Author: Subject: The classic walnut oud
SamirCanada
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[*] posted on 2-18-2014 at 05:26 PM
The classic walnut oud


Hi my oud brothers,
Having been motivated by you all and in particular by Alfaraby ;) , I am embarking on my new quest to build a classic syrian style walnut oud with the traditional fittings (3 sound hole, fixed bridge, tasteful classic inlays). I have had this nice piece of walnut for about 4 years now and it was time to make a oud out of it. I cut it in a way that about half the grain is a sap wood and the other half is heart wood. Should be a cool patern develop as a result much like the nahat replica made by Ahmad the kuwaiti.

I will take my time with this one but it will be for sale at completion so if you are interested feel free to contact me to reserve the oud once finished. Just cant promise when as I have a 15 month old lady keeping me very busy.



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[*] posted on 2-21-2014 at 09:30 AM


wow:) good luck Samir
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[*] posted on 2-21-2014 at 09:48 AM


Thank you,
I will need it. :)




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[*] posted on 2-22-2014 at 03:41 PM


Thanks Samir. I'm flattered. :bowdown:
If you ever need anything, please contact me. I may help with the rosette, fingerboard and pickguard designs.
Can't wait to see it happen.
I'd recommend, if I may to:
1) carve the neck & tail blocks to reduce their weight as much as you can go;
2) assemble each rib opposite to the other, making even greater design, like Michel Khawwam's I've posted here: http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=14474#pid98... , no spacers in between;
3) make a neat pegbox, Nahhat style, 12 holes;
4) make it a 615 mm scale, full Arabian masculine size, with an extended FB;
5) make a deep bowl, at least 190 mm deep. Adding depth shall enlarge the sound box and ensure more basses;
6) make a 3 round holes soundboard, using master grade, either spruce or cedar ;
7) use a dark burl wood veneer for the pickguard;
8) read all the posts of the forum :)

Good luck dear friend

Yours indeed
Alfaraby




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[*] posted on 2-22-2014 at 05:38 PM


Thanks for the Nahat style specifications AlFaraby.
I will try to stick to them.

My only issue is the 61.5 for the scale. I find it's a bit long and sounds good only when you tune down. Otherwise the strings are rather tight.
What's your take on that? Aren't there some Nahat's at 60cm? My abdelaziz al lissi Oud comes in at 63cm! It's a heavyweight :)




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Alfaraby
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[*] posted on 2-23-2014 at 01:42 AM


No dear ! I happen to see 610 mm scale Nahats, not 600.
630 mm is a common scale as well. I'm a bit zealous regarding the scale length, therefore none that falls from 610 mm would ensure the bassy sounds we all are out for.

Good luck
Yours indeed
Alfaraby




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[*] posted on 2-24-2014 at 06:53 PM


well, I am going to face some delay building this project. I have to find some better walnut.

the wood I had selected is refusing to play nice and I broke 5 ribs now being careful as possible. I think it may be due to the way the walnut was cut, on the quarter as opposed to flat sawn. It cracks in many little places at the most steep section of the curve.





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[*] posted on 3-15-2014 at 03:32 PM
Some progress :)


So I overcame the bending hurdle I had, I think the wood extra dry given we are just out of winter and I have had it stored many years.

some interesting shots in my workshop. I really wish I had a window in there sometimes but I pretty much always work when its dark out anyways so perhaps not as important as I feel.

I have got 2 ribs on already, I will share more pictures as I progress.

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[*] posted on 3-27-2014 at 07:39 AM


Quote: Originally posted by SamirCanada  
So I overcame the bending hurdle I had, I think the wood extra dry given we are just out of winter and I have had it stored many years.

some interesting shots in my workshop. I really wish I had a window in there sometimes but I pretty much always work when its dark out anyways so perhaps not as important as I feel.

I have got 2 ribs on already, I will share more pictures as I progress.



Hi Samir

I like to see your progress in Oud-making ! I would like to see more people trying to give life to old traditions like instrument-making by hand.

But, my question is : I often see the bent ribs tied together to hold the bent curve, like you have... but... I do not tie them... because : The outer rib will have another curve than the inner rib... the radius grows with the distance from the center of the curve !
Does ist not come to complications during the adapting of the ribs because of the (forced) different curve ? I would mention, that the body tends to be a bit asymmetrical while growing rib for rib.

Best wishes

Fritz from Germany




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[*] posted on 3-27-2014 at 10:29 AM


Hi Fritz,
I bend all the ribs at the approximate shape. Of course everyone of them has to be also cut to the shape then re-bent and tweeked to the exact shape so it can match the previous rib. I tie them so they stay in one place together while I work on the bowl.

Also, remember that I am trying to make a special pattern with this log. so I also tie them toegether so I dont loose track of which rib goes where. They are in order.

here is a quick pic of my progress, I am actually up to 7 ribs in now just havent taken a picture yet. You get the idea...

[file]31002[/file]




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[*] posted on 3-27-2014 at 12:20 PM


That's some beautiful walnut you got going there !!! Thanks for posting the progress.

Regards,
PaulO
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[*] posted on 3-28-2014 at 05:32 AM


Thanks BrotherO :)



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[*] posted on 3-28-2014 at 05:56 AM


We need a thumbs-up option on this forum. Looks beautiful already! Keep up the great work.:applause:
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[*] posted on 3-28-2014 at 08:04 AM


Quote: Originally posted by SamirCanada  
Hi Fritz,
I bend all the ribs at the approximate shape. Of course everyone of them has to be also cut to the shape then re-bent and tweeked to the exact shape so it can match the previous rib. I tie them so they stay in one place together while I work on the bowl.

Also, remember that I am trying to make a special pattern with this log. so I also tie them toegether so I dont loose track of which rib goes where. They are in order.

here is a quick pic of my progress, I am actually up to 7 ribs in now just havent taken a picture yet. You get the idea...



Hi Samir

Ah... only to hold the in one place on the workbench... thatīs a reason :-)

I bend the woods (ribs), letting them dry for one night and day if the wood is bent wet), then I bend again (dry) until the curve matches. Before any rib is bent, I lay the selected wood on the floor and changing the stripes until the pattern is good (grain, colour, orientation)... to give them numbers written with a waterproof fiber pencil to give them the position they will have on the mould. Then I begin to bend the ribs... one for left, one for the right side, pair by pair.

Ofcourse I got the idea seeing the pic, nice wood ! I have nearly the same grain and the change of colour, but my walnut isnīt as dark as yours. But I will use another wood for the 1st (middle) rib, so all the next pairs of ribs will match crossing in grain. I think, you began with the middle rib, and against this you take the next on each side to complete the pattern. But... there will be an asymmetrical pattern resulting ? Therefore I use to take a straight grained wood for the 1st rib to give the meaning of the middle of the ribs and of the Oud itself.. and every pair of ribs will be like the other on one to the other side on the completed bowl.

I sometimes thought of making a bowl without a "middle"rib to match the need given by such nice grained and coloured wood... placing them bookmatched on the mould without a center rib. Do you think, itīs worth a try ? Or will it completely be unusual ?

Kind regards

Fritz




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[*] posted on 3-28-2014 at 08:52 AM


I do the same as for the bending my friend. :)

I know it will be uneven because of the uneven amount of ribs and the center rib... I think when the bowl is finished you will not be able to spot these with the naked eye unless you really are looking for it.

You are right, making a bowl with an even number of ribs and without a center rib could be a solution for perfect but maybe its not as strong if the center rib is missing and it is instead a glue joint?

I like the different wood rib in the middle like you describe, I think it should be also acompanied by the last 2 on each side *the ribs that connect with the soundboard. They should be all the same wood. looks nice :)




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[*] posted on 3-28-2014 at 09:38 AM


Quote: Originally posted by SamirCanada  
I do the same as for the bending my friend. :)

I know it will be uneven because of the uneven amount of ribs and the center rib... I think when the bowl is finished you will not be able to spot these with the naked eye unless you really are looking for it.

You are right, making a bowl with an even number of ribs and without a center rib could be a solution for perfect but maybe its not as strong if the center rib is missing and it is instead a glue joint?

I like the different wood rib in the middle like you describe, I think it should be also acompanied by the last 2 on each side *the ribs that connect with the soundboard. They should be all the same wood. looks nice :)


Samir :-)

Wow... thatīs a fast answer :-)

Yes... as I mentioned... but... who would notice the glue joint as the middle instead a rib ? :-) May be Iīll try one example building with an even number of ribs to see how it works... and looks. Youīre right, no one will see the dismatching outer ribs when not just exactly looking for a difference... but... I would have this in mind... and thatīs reason enough for me not to do it :-)) You have to know : I have an extremely mind for symmetrics...

I donīt think itīs a bad choice to match the ribs perfectly, and even if the amount is not uneven, the look of the bowl allows a try :-)

But better with a center rib, perhaps in a contrasting colour... and ofcourse the last ribs, wearing the face, have to be the same wood... A nice imagination, when the wood cries for bookmatched positioning :-) The sides of the pegbox in the same wood as the center rib, the bottom made of an equal like the rest of the bowl. (An Oud is growing in my mind :-))

We will see... anyway :-) (perhaps in some pics)

Best wishes to you

Fritz




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[*] posted on 4-9-2014 at 05:52 AM


I want to share with everyone my new facebook page where you can all follow my work.
It will prevent me crowding the space here with too many pictures.

https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=754265281252695

I made some progress as you can see only 5 ribs to go now :)

thank you,

Samir.




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[*] posted on 4-22-2014 at 12:03 PM


Quote: Originally posted by SamirCanada  
I want to share with everyone my new facebook page where you can all follow my work.
It will prevent me crowding the space here with too many pictures.

https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=754265281252695

I made some progress as you can see only 5 ribs to go now :)

thank you,

Samir.


Hi Samir

I knew it : This must result in a very fine looking... the grain and colour is well tuned to the ribs... I wait for the pics showing the whole bowl !

Wishing good progress...

Fritz




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[*] posted on 5-2-2014 at 11:41 AM
updates


Hi my oud brothers,
finished the bowl a few weeks ago now, went to Cuba for a wonderful family vacation and now back on track ready to start with the rest of the oud.

Here we see shots of the bowl which still needs some scrapping and also some of the pegbox sidewalls which will be made of soft maple and walnut exterior. The neck blank was roughed out in walnut as well. The string length will be 61.5 in keeping with the traditional measurements described by our friend AlFaraby.

Please like my facebook page for more pictures and updates.
https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=754265281252695

thank you,
Samir




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[*] posted on 8-13-2014 at 06:32 AM
some updates


I was side tracked with repairs and projects but I managed to complete the pegbox, the neck and the bridge for this instrument.

I now have the soundboard glued up and I am starting to think about how to finalize it. Those interested in purchasing this oud when its done who wish to have some input on how I finish the rest of the oud (inlays, rosette, pickguard etc...)
please contact me at the email below.





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[*] posted on 10-15-2014 at 07:56 AM


I have made some progress on the face now. next step is to thin the face to final thickness and to instal the braces. the design is inspired by a famous george hanna nahat model. this was a long but rewarding process :)



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[*] posted on 10-15-2014 at 11:31 AM


Wow, well done!
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[*] posted on 10-15-2014 at 07:05 PM


nicely done.. classic Nahat look



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[*] posted on 10-16-2014 at 04:43 AM


thank you guys.



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[*] posted on 10-16-2014 at 12:37 PM


Samir dear
As I was part of the inspiration :) I'll ask to make the finest pegbox possible. A big pegbox on a beautiful oud is just like a pretty lady with big hands !
Excuse me
We've dried out waiting for this beauty to be finished, so help us if you please
Thanks again for sharing

Yours indeed
Alfaraby




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