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Author: Subject: Hifnawi Restoration by Jameel
Mike
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[*] posted on 4-9-2006 at 09:09 PM
Hifnawi Restoration by Jameel


I just wanted to share what I'm doing with my Mohamad el-Hifnawi oud. I decided to put Aquila Nylgut strings on it, and this was probably a mistake. The nylguts are NOT bad strings, but the oud being so old and the nyguts having such a high tension was not good for the oud. I noticed some separation happening from the soundboard and the bowl at the bottom of the oud. There were other blemishes that could use some work as well, so I decided to send the oud off to none other than my man, Jameel Abraham.

We decided to do the following:
1. Repair large split in pegbox back and refinish pegbox completely.
2. Clean grubby area between pegbox and neck joint.
3. Clean and polish tail end inlay and shams.
4. Splice in purfling at tail end.
5. Repair/remake nut.
6. Clean the oud and spruce up the finish on the back.

Jameel started on it this weekend, and I'm really excited about this. I can't wait to see it after he's done. Jameel has been kind enough to send me photos of his progress, and here's what we've got so far.

Thanks a million Jameelo. :airguitar:

Here's a shot of the separation at the pegbox.



Here's are some pictures of the section he removed and will replace.









And VOILA!



Here he prepared the bottom of the soundboard to receive the border purfling. There was a small section that was missing here, and also here is where the soundboard was beginning to separate from the bowl. So this is going to be a great fix.



Finally, some cosmetic work done to spruce up and clean/polish the ivory shams, tail piece, and pegbox tip. What a big difference.







Way to go Jameel!!!




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SamirCanada
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[*] posted on 4-10-2006 at 01:37 PM


YAYE! for Jameel.

Thats some nice work so far. Keep posting pictures.
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[*] posted on 4-10-2006 at 07:54 PM


Mike sorry to hear that you have to repair this oud . Well it is very hard to find any old ouds that wont need repairs. Even the bestNahats needs here and there repairs. Good luck I am sure that Jamilo will do a good job in your oud. Salam Samir,Ca.
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[*] posted on 4-11-2006 at 02:23 AM


Mike
Im curious, did you use the arabic or turkish aquila set?
I really feel for you man, believe me, I know what its like because its happened to me with the Arabic set.
Jameel is doing a great job. He really should consider doing this more than just part time.
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[*] posted on 4-11-2006 at 03:43 AM


Hey V,
Do you sugest using the Turkish Aquila set to be able to tune to full tension?
I have my shehata on Aquila arabic and the strings are tight enough at one step down So thats where I keep it at.
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[*] posted on 4-11-2006 at 05:36 AM


Hey fellas,

I used the Arabic set. But don't get me wrong. I have the Aquila Nylguts on almost all my other ouds. The strings sound great, even on the Hifnawi. The tension was just too high for that oud. That oud is extremely light...much lighter than any of my other ouds. Anyway, I have ordered custom lute strings from pyramid. The tension is around 3.0kg. I think they will be perfect for this oud. I should be getting them soon, and I'll be sending them off to Jameel by the time he's done with the work. By the way, I guess Aquila also has lute strings that can be appropriate for the oud. I didn't know this. But this might be another option in the future.

Take care,
Mike




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[*] posted on 4-11-2006 at 05:47 AM
Good job Jameelo


Mike, Congratulations for this valuable oud. I trust Jameel is the man to look after it and restore it.

Jameel, please keep posting your work on that oud please.




Kind Regards,
------------------
Emad
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[*] posted on 4-11-2006 at 07:11 AM


Samir
I use the Turkish set tuned from high to low C, G, D, A, F, C, but they sound even better tuned a half a step down.
Ive ordered aquila custom strings as well, but you really have to know your oud to order those - what works for one oud might not work as nicely for another.
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[*] posted on 4-11-2006 at 12:07 PM


Mike here are the strings that i have on my Ouds from Pyramid Germany :
2 Pcs Nylon 0,650 all the rest is wound 906/1010/1017/1025 ans one Pcs 1237
These i got from Nazih Ghadban after he tested them for so long and they where the best , although the life time of the strings is short. But the sound is great . My last time I paid about $55.00 per a set.
Regards Samir,Ca
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[*] posted on 4-11-2006 at 01:34 PM


Iam not confortable bringing the Aquila Arabic set up to full tension. I tried it and I didnt like the feel of the playing. The strings were really stiff!! so It wasnt the best for playing since you have to put more strenght in your wrist and the strings didnt vibrate too long because of the tension being to high. I have them tuned down now and there fine. But Iam about to play in a band and I will need strings to be tuned to the right tuning but with much lower tension. Did you ever try the Arabic one? is there a Major diference with the Turkish set?
Also I have tried D'addario strings I really like them. exept for the nylons wich are a bit thin but still make great sound especialy on the Floating brige oud. And there "made" for a gdaEBF# tuning. lightest to heaviest string. They have high tension at that tuning but since its somewhat turkish oriented tuning then when I tune them down to the arabic standard tuning there fine. I wonder if its the case for Turkish Aquila's too.?
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[*] posted on 4-12-2006 at 05:53 AM


Hi Samir,

These are the Pyramid lute strings I ordered for the Hifnawi oud with a tension of around 3.0kg. They should be arriving this week.

c'c' - 0.625 nylon
g'g' - 0.825 nylon
DD - 10085 wound
AA - 1015 wound
FF - 1022 wound
C - 1034 wound

and I also ordered some other sets for all my other ouds with a tension of
3.5kg.

c'c' - 0.650 nylon
g'g' - 906 wound
DD - 10095 wound
AA - 1016 wound
FF - 1024 wound
C - 1238 wound




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[*] posted on 4-25-2006 at 02:20 PM
More progress


Here's a little update on what Jameel has done so far with the Hifnawi restoration job.

We decided to make the pegs flush with the sides of the pegbox. Now they don't protrude out like they did before. A much cleaner look, no doubt. Here are some shots.




And here you can see how he cleaned up the neck/pegbox joint. There was lots of buildup and excess glue there before.



Here are two pictures of the pegs refinished. Looking good!




If you remember, the ivory tailpiece was not inlaid into the bowl, but rather glued on top. It also had a cracked piece missing. Jameel removed the old tailpiece, and inlaid an identical new ivory piece into the bowl with ebony purfling and center hole and all. The following pictures detail the amazing job Jameelo did on this part of the restore.





Here's a picture of his drill press and plane. He used them to make the ebony plug in the tailpiece.




Next are some pictures detailing how he made the recess in the bowl with his router to accept the ivory tailpiece.





Check out how Jameelo clamped the tailpiece into the bowl. He made this special fixture to hold the oud so he could work on the end without just clamping the neck in a vise. This is very gentle on the oud, secure, and safe. It is a board with screws to tie rubber bands he made from a bicycle inner tube. He also clamped a thin board at the end of the fingerboard to keep the oud from sliding down. Is this guy innovative or what?




Here's a picture of the clamping caul he made to apply pressure as he glued in the tailpiece with hide glue.



And finally, a perfectly fitted inlaid tailpiece with ebony purling and plug.




All that's left now is to refinish the oud and string it up. Woo hoo. Thanks a million Jameelo!




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[*] posted on 4-25-2006 at 11:07 PM


!!!Wicked!!!
:xtreme:
Did Jameel fix the separation crack at the bottom yet? any pictures of that?
Well done... Jameel I cant wait to see it refinished its gona be soo nice.
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[*] posted on 4-26-2006 at 05:30 AM


Hey Samir,

Yeah, he did that yesterday. He's already sent me the pictures, but I got in late last night, and am getting ready for work. I'll update the progress when I get home. He also made the nut and cleaned up the oud some more. Getting close.

Take care,
Mike




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[*] posted on 4-28-2006 at 07:50 AM
Getting Close


Here are some shots of the new nut and the new binding at the bottom of the oud.

New ivory nut...




I don't know if I have any shots of how the binding at the bottom used to look. But it was unique in that there was binding all around the perimeter of the oud except for about a 6-8 inch section at the bottom. In other words, that section of the soundboard was directly attached to the bowl with no binding. This is where there was a small section of it detaching from the bowl, and also a small section of binding missing (treble side) where it should have been. So we decided to have binding around the whole perimter. Here are some shots.





Jameelo took some steel wool to the face to clean it up a little. Here is a shot of the oud.



Next shots will be of the completed restore...Woo Hoo!




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[*] posted on 4-28-2006 at 12:11 PM


Unbelievable. what a masterpiece.



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[*] posted on 4-28-2006 at 12:19 PM


Really... Your 100% right Jonathan.
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[*] posted on 4-28-2006 at 07:15 PM
God bless your hands Jameel - Perfect Job


:bowdown:


Mabrouk Mike for not only owning such a beautiful oud but for having such a wonderful talented friend like Jameel. :applause:

Play it in great health mate.




Kind Regards,
------------------
Emad
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[*] posted on 4-28-2006 at 09:26 PM


thanks a lot guys....Jameelo is the man though...ain't he? :bowdown:



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[*] posted on 5-2-2006 at 06:08 AM
Staining to match


Jameel spent about a week researching the best way to match the old stain to the replaced sections of the pegbox fix. Here's what he came up with. Being the perfectionist that he is, he told me it isn't a 100% perfect, but I'd venture to say that if it isn't it is 99.99%. One would have to look really close to notice a fix after this is refinished, and even then it looks a million times better than it did before. Way to go my friend!






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[*] posted on 5-2-2006 at 06:15 AM


Jameel, you are truly an artist, innovator, and a perfectionist!

Congratulations Mike, you and Jameel have somehow found a way to take a perfect oud and make it better!

:applause::applause::applause:




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[*] posted on 5-15-2006 at 02:40 PM


Hey Mike, when do we get to hear a sample of this divine oud?

Roy
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[*] posted on 5-15-2006 at 04:47 PM


Hey Roy,

Go here to see Afif playing the oud. This was before I sent it to Jameel.

Take care,
Mike




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[*] posted on 5-18-2006 at 12:35 PM
Re - Spacing Bridge


As you all know Jameel made a new ivory nut for the oud. We needed to re-space the holes in the bridge as the high c course was too close to the bottom of the neck. So Jameel plugged the old holes in the bridge and drilled new ones using a very cool looking bendable drill bit. Then he restrung the oud. Next photos will be of the finished restore job.








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[*] posted on 5-20-2006 at 10:15 AM
Final Pictures


We'll let the photos do the talking.

















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