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Author: Subject: A medieval fusion oud/lute
liutfaristino_
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 01:42 PM
A medieval fusion oud/lute


I have wanted for a while to build an oud or lute based on some early medieval designs, and influenced by them but still capable of playing modern oud music. I am especially interested in creating a theoretical instrument from a time when the oud and lute were effectively the same instrument. Here I'll detail the build as I go. Firstly, here's my design choices and inspiration...



[img] From 1283, Alfono X's book of chess problems (the same king who commisioned the Cantigas de Santa Maria) has this nice lute with the same wavy inlay or soundholes as seen in the cantigas, but also a central soundhole with a floral or star pattern. I love the shape of this lute/oud, and also the patterned fingerboard. It almost looks as if the pattern may indicate fingering positions, although it could equally be purely a wood pattern, as was common on historical ouds/lutes seen especially in the cantigas.



A similar floral soundhole rose is seen in the Steeple Aston Cope tapestry, made from 1310-40 and now in the Victoria and Albert museum in London.

My instrument will have 5 courses. Many from around this time had 4 or 5.
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liutfaristino_
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 01:47 PM




I've made a start on the soundboard and the ribs. You can also see here the mould I've made for the shape.
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[*] posted on 10-4-2017 at 07:29 AM



Soundboard thicknessed and jointed. Ribs bent. First rib is on the mould/form... or as I call it, the hedgehog! (it looks like one with all the pins sticking up)
Also made a start on the peghead.
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liutfaristino_
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[*] posted on 10-6-2017 at 04:31 AM



5 ribs on, 4 to go.
Pegbox is now almost done, just requires some sanding (and I might put a decorative bit on the end.
Neck blank cut. The rose I have planned will be based on the Aston Steeple one above.
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liutfaristino_
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[*] posted on 10-8-2017 at 07:10 AM




7 ribs on, 2 to go.
Neck rough carved, started on soundboard (not pictured).
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liutfaristino_
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[*] posted on 10-10-2017 at 04:16 AM



The bowl is now complete! Next I will sand the outside to get a smoother shape, and then glue on an endcap. Then it can come off the 'hedgehog' mould and I'll glue reinforcing strips etc on the inside.
The neck now also has it's 'jacket' on. I bent a piece of mahogany to go round it. It's the same thickness as the ribs, 2mm.
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[*] posted on 10-11-2017 at 09:33 AM



The body is now off the hedgehog mould and the endcap is on. Paper strips have been glued inside as re-inforcement, as has my label.

I have made the braces. Unfortunately the cutting of the rose has been delayed due to a broken coping saw blade. Another will arrive soon.

The fingerboard will be made out of a piece of padauk sandwiched between two pieces of maple.
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Danielo
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[*] posted on 10-12-2017 at 06:03 AM


Very nice project !

Here's a oud drawing from Fatimid Egypt, 11th century



Dan
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[*] posted on 10-12-2017 at 09:28 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Danielo  
Very nice project !

Here's a oud drawing from Fatimid Egypt, 11th century

Dan


Thanks!
That's a great drawing and I might use it in future. It's not the right shape for this build, though. It really shows quite nicely how ideas moved along the silk road. The shape to me is reminiscent of a Chinese pipa.
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[*] posted on 10-12-2017 at 09:32 AM





Rose now complete. Here's the bracing pattern I went with (before I'd glued it).

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[*] posted on 10-13-2017 at 12:37 PM



Brace shaping...
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liutfaristino_
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[*] posted on 10-15-2017 at 09:43 AM



Bridge is made and glued on. The soundboard and body are gluing together overnight.
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yavaran
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[*] posted on 10-15-2017 at 07:48 PM


Any updates?
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[*] posted on 10-16-2017 at 11:15 AM






The soundboard is glued on. The excess soundboard was trimmed and sanded away.
The neck is now being attached. I am using a dowel joint. It was difficult to match up the two holes in the neck block and neck. In future I think I will attach the neck first, using a long straight edge, as I've seen some others do.
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SamirCanada
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[*] posted on 10-16-2017 at 11:56 AM


my friend,
your dowel is not nearly long enough. that's furniture grade stuff you are using. it should be at least 3 inches in the neck and in the block. Also the neck block looks like plywood... maybe its best to use solid spruce for this.

I am afraid for the longevity of your instrument.




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[*] posted on 10-16-2017 at 01:52 PM


Quote: Originally posted by SamirCanada  
my friend,
your dowel is not nearly long enough. that's furniture grade stuff you are using. it should be at least 3 inches in the neck and in the block. Also the neck block looks like plywood... maybe its best to use solid spruce for this.

I am afraid for the longevity of your instrument.


Thanks for the advice with the dowel. I have unfortunately already glued this neck to the body, but in future I will take your advice. The neckblock is solid spruce, not plywood. It's made from the same wood as the soundboard.
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liutfaristino_
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[*] posted on 10-17-2017 at 11:55 AM




The fingerboard and pegbox are now attached. Next I start the finishing process, then after that I'll put pegs, nut and strings on.
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[*] posted on 10-18-2017 at 10:54 AM




Today I started the finishing process. The mahogany is really starting to shine!
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[*] posted on 10-22-2017 at 10:04 AM




All done.
Overall I'm happy with how it came out but I have learnt much with this build which I look forward to using on the next one!
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