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Author: Subject: Hamza Usta oud Restoration
spyrosc
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[*] posted on 10-19-2005 at 07:07 PM
Misunderstanding


Ya Akhi Faladel,

I know you said everything correctly, I was actually agreeing with you, but it was my bad syntax in English. Instead of saying:

"This is not a Manol, JUST as Faladel said"

I said

"This is not a Manol as Faladel said"

making it sound the opposite. One little word and a comma, that's all it takes to make a misunderstanding.

Anyway, sorry about that
Spyros C.
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[*] posted on 10-20-2005 at 06:43 AM


Anybody know any details on Hamza Usta? Other than the fact that he trained under Manol. When did he die? I know his uds are highly prized--it would be nice to see other Hamzas if anybody has them (I don't want to bog down your thread Dr. Oud, but it would be nice to see other examples of this guy's work).



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[*] posted on 10-20-2005 at 07:22 AM


The Turkish encyclopedia says Hamza Efendi 1884-1915, and Manol 1845-1915.

I'd prefer that a new topic be started for other ouds - to keep this one from getting so large that the dial-up people get blocked out. I believe there's a message limit per page, but if there are a lot of pictures the page can take several minutes to load over a dial-up connection. That's the reason I'm only posting one picture a day. I think a Karibyan and/or Hamza topic would be great and of keen interest to many people who may not look in the project forum for those topics.

The paper strips on the rib joints were all dried out and there were about 27 seams and cracks that were either open or misaligned. There also was a 10mm hole right at the left end of the bottom brace. This hole was patched with matching wood overlapping the mating edges at an angle to prevent the patch from being pushed out by the brace. The bottom brace sees a lot of torsion force, so this patch was critical and I spent a day getting it to fit just so. As I worked my way around the back, other seams would pop open from handling the oud. The ribs had probably been sanded down in previous re-finishing jobs to the thickness of a post card! To reinforce the back I decided to line the entire inner surface with parchment paper infused with hide glue. Parchment is made with pure cellulose fiber and gains more strength than plain paper when the glue is absorbed. In addition there are no chemicals in parchment to affect the glue's performance. The paper was cut out in the areas where the braces butt against the ribs. The paper liner was then sealed with shellac. The tail block had been replaced with a thin plywood piece, so a shelf was added to provide a gluing surface for the tail end of the face.

The label was printed in 1975 when I was thin and hairy.




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Jameel
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[*] posted on 10-20-2005 at 08:26 AM


Doc,

Love the label.




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[*] posted on 10-21-2005 at 07:07 AM


The face is joined with the usual (?) cleat & clamp method.



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[*] posted on 10-24-2005 at 07:31 AM


I used my handy dandy Brace Clamper to assemble the brace system. :shrug: Geez, I hope I got them in the right places this time.



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[*] posted on 10-24-2005 at 03:31 PM


Doc, do you think you can give us the rough width and heighth of these braces? I am jsut trying to contrast them with the Nahat dimensions you gave in an earlier post on this thread.
Thanks a lot!




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[*] posted on 10-24-2005 at 04:14 PM


Each brace is different and must be proportioned to the width of the face, so these sizes may not work for your oud. Rough width and height will not make the braces work and I would hate to be blamed for giving out wrong information, so I will be completing and offering a detail specification drawing soon with all the details and dimensions. The Hamza braces are very different fom the Nahat's.

I found this picture of the neck with a stiffener installed before the fingerboard was glued on. The stiffener ws cut down to the inside of the veneer covering the back of the neck.




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[*] posted on 10-25-2005 at 08:08 AM


The original pegbox was cleaned up, new ebony violin pegs installed and a new scroll added just like the one in the pictures of a Manol. There was a small hole drilled through the peg box, but I left it in case John wants to put a tassel or something on it. Now I'm wondering if Hamza Usta had a different scroll design?



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[*] posted on 10-26-2005 at 07:21 AM


The completed face was glued on with hide glue using a combination of rubber bands and clamps. The rubber bands are actually strips that are tied scross the back to control the tension. Corner blocks at the edge prevent the bands from pushing the braces below the top edge. Pressure is applied at the teil end with an elevated board above the bridge, clamped at the neck.



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[*] posted on 10-26-2005 at 08:03 AM


Doc,

Why did you cut the edge rabbet for the corner purfling before you attached the face? This would give access to the braces during glue-up, that's nice. Did you cut back the face before you glued the braces, or after?




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[*] posted on 10-26-2005 at 08:16 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Jameel...Why did you cut the edge rabbet for the corner purfling before you attached the face? This would give access to the braces during glue-up, that's nice. Did you cut back the face before you glued the braces, or after?

I was wondering how long it would take you to notice that. (like 2 minutes!) I did not cut the rabbet first. What happened was that I had mounted the face as usual, with the face overlapping the top edge, then cut the rabbet and installed the edge band. While I was tuning it up, a seam popped open in the back. As soon as I fixed that one another would fail. I realised that the back had been sanded so thin it had lost it's structural integrity, so I removed the face to apply the parchment liner. What you see here is the second assembly. With the face cut away the braces tend to sink into the body as pressure is applied with the rubber bands, so I inserted some shims under the face next to the brace and pulled the face & brace up flush using another rubber band going around the back. Good eye!




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[*] posted on 10-27-2005 at 10:49 AM


My Dear Doctor
Oudmaking and boxmaking is two different thing. Oudmaker never uses any pressure on its oud especially on the top. Even wise Youngs know that!!
Dincer




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[*] posted on 10-27-2005 at 01:07 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by oudmaker
My Dear Doctor
Oudmaking and boxmaking is two different thing. Oudmaker never uses any pressure on its oud especially on the top. Even wise Youngs know that!!
Dincer

My Dear Oudmaker - Thank you for your comment. I respect your experience and expertise, however I believe there is more than one way to build an oud or a box. The pressure from the rubber bands and the clamped board is just enough to close the glue joint and no more. The rubber bands are actually strips that are tied around the back with just enough tension to bring the joint together. The clamp is closed very lightly with just enough pressure directly down on the tail block to fully seat the tail end of the face on the block. The body is not distorted or forced by any means. This method is used by many luthiers and avoids damage to the soft wood of the face that can be caused by pulling off masking tape.
The edge band has a rosewood outside corner and 6 laminations of black/white purfling. Using rubber bands again, it was glued into the rabbet cut around the perimeter of the face. The rose was taped inside while mounting the face. This allows access to the inside of the body to align the braces and the edge band and to repair any open cracks or seams that might occur during the mounting process. Fortunately, the parchment liner added enough strength to prevent any more failure in the back. Whew!




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[*] posted on 10-28-2005 at 03:13 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Oud...This method is used by many luthiers and avoids damage to the soft wood of the face that can be caused by pulling off masking tape....

To elaborate, recall that the face was mounted once before and had to be removed the reinforce the back. My experience with using tape to secure the soundboard is that it is nearly impossible to avoid pulling some of the soft wood out of the face when removing the tape. OK, so when making a new face I just leave it a little extra thickness around the perimeter and sand it down to the final thickness after the edging is glued in. I had used tape to mount the face the first time and had already sanded this face down to it's final thickness. I didn't want to risk losing any more thickness or leave the little voids of wood that get stuck to the tape, so I decided to use the rubber band method. I have seen many examples of it used to build other music instruments. I knew that if I used rubber bands around the tail end it would pull the tail end of the body forward, so I used the extended clamping board to close the tail end joint. Knowing full well how delicate this oud is, I decided to use rubber bands and clamp very carefully with just enough pressure to close the glue joint.

A Tru-oil varnish finish was applied rather than a traditional French polish because it is so much more durable and it doesn't require all that rubbing. I was concerned that the back might pop open again using the french polish method. I used a wide soft bristle brush from Japan, 1-1/2in wide made from squirrel's hair (some where in Japan there must be a bunch of bald squirrels running around). When brushing on a finish, there's a risk that the varnish will run over the edge onto the face, so I masked the face with waxed paper and taped the neck . The peg holes were plugged with little corks and trimmed flush so I don't have to clean the varnish out and risk changing the fit of the pegs.
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[*] posted on 10-30-2005 at 06:40 AM


Another great thread! Way to go Doc. I love this stuff!



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[*] posted on 10-31-2005 at 12:10 PM


So here' the final result. A video of John playing it will follow soon.



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[*] posted on 10-31-2005 at 12:26 PM


Beautiful Doc! Can't wait for the video!



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[*] posted on 10-31-2005 at 12:33 PM


What a difference from when you first received it, Doc! I'm sure that it is as beautiful as it looks. Hope the video comes soon!

TP21




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[*] posted on 10-31-2005 at 03:13 PM


Beautiful. Can't wait for the video.



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[*] posted on 11-2-2005 at 11:31 AM


Here's the video and a picture of another happy customer, one of "The Oud Brothers"
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[*] posted on 11-2-2005 at 12:08 PM


The master. Great to have a video of him. Thanks DocO--the oud sounds great.



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[*] posted on 11-2-2005 at 12:30 PM


Yeah man, great sound -- nice work Richard. John's got a great sound too, and it's lovely to hear him un-plugged !! Looking forward to your next project !!

Cheers...PaulO
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[*] posted on 11-2-2005 at 12:44 PM


Well done Dr.
The oud sounds incredibly loud. Iam shure John will enjoy it verry much. And of course he'll make the best of the oud Iam shure.
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[*] posted on 11-2-2005 at 01:01 PM


Awesome, Doc. The oud sounds great! John B. was the first oudist I came across when I started looking them up years ago on the net. It was a short video of him playing a Beatles' tune.



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