Author Topic: Musical Instruments  (Read 7618 times)

Offline tangler

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 833
  • Christchurch, UK
Musical Instruments
« on: March 01, 2013, 09:15:27 PM »
As requested, here are some 1:1 models I made of early musical instruments:


 A bass viol after John Rose c.1600




A violin with baroque fittings after Jacob Stainer


My first instrument, a lute, which is exactly as I made it except that over the years I've changed the pegbox, neck, fingerboard, front and bridge  8).

I'll post some pics of the workshop and tools when I've tidied it up a bit.

Rod
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 09:19:18 PM by tangler »

Offline ths

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1801
  • Kangaroo Valley, NSW, Australia
Musical Instruments
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 09:52:37 PM »
Thanks, Rod. An enviable collection, very beautiful. I'll show them to my 15yr old, hopefully get a return shot in of his uke!

I know that if I was to ask did you cut out the soundboard of the lute with a fret/coping  saw, you'd say 'yes'. Well done.

Hugh.

Offline tangler

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 833
  • Christchurch, UK
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 10:02:25 PM »
Hugh,

The soundboard rose was cut out using some tiny chisels I made from bits of hacksaw blade.  You stick a paper pattern on the back and then cut through.  Not as difficult as it sounds.  The soundboard is only about 1.5mm thick at the rose, a fretsaw would tear it apart.

Rod

Offline zeeprogrammer

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6811
  • West Chester, PA, USA
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 12:21:11 AM »
Beautiful work there, Hugh.
A buddy of mine at work builds guitars. He'll want to see these.
Carl (aka Zee) Will sometimes respond to 'hey' but never 'hey you'.
"To work. To work."
Zee-Another Thread Trasher.

Offline steamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11717
  • Central Massachusetts, USA
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 12:24:28 AM »
Beautifully Done Rod!   As  a owner of a custom hand made guitar. ( NOT by me) ..I can really appreciate the amount of work that goes into that!

Dave
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13860
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 12:43:43 AM »
Lovely work Rod. Thanks for posting the pics . Wood is a different animal of course, but takes every bit as much craftsmanship to turn it into something as beautiful as those.

Bill

Offline ths

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1801
  • Kangaroo Valley, NSW, Australia
Musical Instruments
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 06:08:34 AM »
Thanks, Carl, but really, Rod should get the credit.

Hugh.

Offline zeeprogrammer

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6811
  • West Chester, PA, USA
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 12:27:45 PM »
I was just telling you (Hugh) that Rod's work is beautiful.  ;D

Yeah...I wouldn't buy that either. I did mean Rod. Sorry.
Carl (aka Zee) Will sometimes respond to 'hey' but never 'hey you'.
"To work. To work."
Zee-Another Thread Trasher.

Offline ths

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1801
  • Kangaroo Valley, NSW, Australia
Musical Instruments
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2013, 06:10:11 AM »
Carl, I can see what you meant, and I hope that when I finally build something to show on here, that those sentiments will remain unchanged!

Hugh.

Offline CliffH

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 27
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 08:08:38 PM »
Oh, so beautiful!
Do you play these, tangler?
How long does it take to make them?
How do you design...or measure them up?
Presumably brand new, do they sound just like the originals, or do they 'grow' into it?
In admiration from a saxophonist,
CliffH
CliffH

Offline tangler

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 833
  • Christchurch, UK
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2013, 11:22:47 PM »
Hi Cliff,

Sorry for the delay in replying, I've been freezing my fastenings off on the back of a narrow boat for the past week.  I can play a few tunes on the lute and I've been having classical guitar lessons for the past 4 years.  I made 2 lutes for myself and on seeing these some work colleagues and others asked me to make some instruments for them - a couple of bass viols, a baroque viola and 2 violins, one of which was the Stainer copy.  I was really loath to hand over the Stainer violin, it's definitively the best thing I've ever done.  I've no feel really for how authentic the sound is but I tried to build my instruments according to the best understanding at the time of historical construction methods.  The instruments were mostly based on museum drawings.  I've made the mould for a chittarone which is a ludicrous instrument, a bass lute with a 2 metre neck but that's on hold while I do some engineering.

Thanks for your interest,
Rod

Offline CliffH

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 27
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2013, 04:49:18 PM »
Tangler, please don't apologise for delay in replying. And now, freeze no more ! well, not until next winter, now only a few months away....
If you do get a few minutes, I'd like to hear how you went about getting started: it's not that I'm going to do anything like it (my personal musical interest is in what may be our newest instrument - apart from electronic instruments- the saxophone; I'd love to see them made, but am happy to play them) as you have rather tossed off the idea of having made them, and it takes a lot of skill.
CliffH
CliffH

Offline tangler

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 833
  • Christchurch, UK
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 09:10:39 AM »
Cliff,

Many years ago I used to listen to Radio 3 and one morning they reviewed a book called "Making Musical Instruments" by Charles Ford.  There was a chapter in that book on making a lute and, because I'm a fan of Julian Bream and had some records of lute music  by him, I thought I'd buy the book and have a go.  Which I did.  The first lute was usable but I knew I could do better. I bought the drawings for a lute in the Warwick museum and made a second one, which was better.  The picture in the post shows the first one which has been completely refurbished over the years, only the back is original.  A publication called FOMRHI was very useful in providing contact with makers, reviews of books, plans and techniques.  As I progressed I decided I needed a metal working lathe to make some tools, which of course, is where it all went wrong ;)  I'd had a small amount of previous experience - after I got slung out of Bath University I was unemployed for few months and tried to make an electric guitar based on zero knowledge.  It wasn't a success.

Cheers,

Rod
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 09:14:17 AM by tangler »

Offline steamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11717
  • Central Massachusetts, USA
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2013, 12:09:54 PM »
Cool!  I went to see Bream in concert say 10-15 years ago at Boston Symphony Hall.   Quite the night.   He went the gamet from very old to ultra modern. :ThumbsUp:

Dave
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline CliffH

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 27
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2013, 03:01:44 PM »
Rod,
Thanks for that, it's very interesting. I'm even more impressed!
Cliff
CliffH

Offline tangler

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 833
  • Christchurch, UK
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2021, 11:22:01 PM »
I know this is a geriatric thread but it is mine and seems the appropriate place to post these pics.  Covid has brought on intimations of mortality so at the begining of the first lock-down last year I though I ought to finish some part done projects that have been hanging around for ( in one case) 15 years.

A Baroque guitar:





A Chitaronne:





And coming bang up to date (well middle of the last century anyway) a steel strung guitar





I think I've got that out of my system for now so its back to the Farm Boy...

Stay well,
Rod

Online Kim

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5409
  • Portland, Oregon, USA
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2021, 11:38:52 PM »
Those are beautiful, Rod!
Kim

Online tghs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 490
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2021, 12:22:08 AM »
fantasic finish and details,, I'll have to show the photo's to my lute playing coworker, I tried some more basic instrument making a few years back.. using a set of plans and a parts kit (plus some personlizing) I surprised my wife with this for a Christmas present,,no bent wood involved..
what the @#&% over

Offline deltatango

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 338
  • Melbourne, Australia
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2021, 01:51:30 AM »
Rod, those instruments are fabulous! Hope the south coast can avoid the worst of the Covid.
David
Don't die wondering!

Offline steam guy willy

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2937
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2021, 04:14:03 AM »
Hi Rod. nice instruments ..I used to make Viols   in all sizes and Carved back Baroque Cello's Double Basses and also woodwind and even a virginals...I have now retired and still have a large amount of well seasoned tone woods  also A set of Brazilian Rosewood for a small guitar  Also a few 5 string Cello's for the Bach 5th suite ... etc etc  I made the under my real name  Robert Bailey. !!


Willy

Offline gary.a.ayres

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1267
  • British Isles & sometimes France
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2021, 10:19:29 AM »
Beautiful work - congratulations!

 :cheers:

Offline Mcgyver

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 315
  • Toronto
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2021, 11:19:42 AM »
nice work...thanks for posting it

Offline Flyboy Jim

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2002
  • Independence, Oregon
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2021, 02:28:14 PM »
Very well done both of you.  :ThumbsUp: You've given me incentive to look at some of my own unfinished projects.  :)

Jim
Sherline 4400 Lathe
Sherline 5400 Mill
"You can do small things on big machines, but you can do small things on small machines".

Offline steam guy willy

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2937
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2021, 05:18:44 PM »
Hi, I used to go to the concert rehearsals in St Andrews hall in Norwichon Saturday afternoons and I went to one of Julian Breams Ensemble events ...and whilst playing one piece  he suddenly for no reason apart for fun just changed the key  they other players then startled had to do the same ?!! he then did it again and this time the other players responded a bit quicker ?!!! so those rehearsals were always really enjoyable ...for the players and spectators alike......

Willy

Offline steam guy willy

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2937
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2021, 05:29:16 PM »
Oh, so beautiful!
Do you play these, tangler?
How long does it take to make them?
How do you design...or measure them up?
Presumably brand new, do they sound just like the originals, or do they 'grow' into it?
In admiration from a saxophonist,
CliffH
  Hi Cliff, I always found with making Gamba's as a professional maker.  (Robert Bailey,  I used to advertise in the Early Music Journal in the 70's and 80's )that the first time you put the strings on a bowed chordophone and play it ..it sounds awful ..however the more you play it the better it sounds and continues to get better more and more ...this may be because the wood is getting changed at a molecular level to become accustomed to vibrating in the way the instrument is responding to being played  ??!!! 

Willy Bailey

Offline Charles Lamont

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 128
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2021, 10:58:56 PM »
Lovely work.

So, if an instrument (that has been thoroughly run-in) is not played for some time, does it 'go off', or is the improvement in tone permanent?

Offline steam guy willy

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2937
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2021, 03:46:20 AM »
Hi,
Lovely work.

So, if an instrument (that has been thoroughly run-in) is not played for some time, does it 'go off', or is the improvement in tone permanent

Hi ..no ..it will come back..having played on a Guarneri Del Jesu instrument when I did my apprenticeship I  Celle Germany. I can tell you that a good old instrument is a delight to play because the instrument almost plays it self leaving the player to concentrate on the music !! as the instrument is so good/responsive it will let you get as much out of it as you want with the minimum of effort ,, this is why people cannot really tell the difference between instruments as the player has to put a lot more effort into getting the tone out of it .

Willy

Offline steam guy willy

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2937
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2021, 04:07:58 AM »
Hi Rod , may I as a retired instrument maker pass on some  wisdom ,tips ,secrets even ...I did my apprenticeship in Germany with an elderly  "Meister" and he told me about the Maggini " KYLE". this is the two wedge shapes that are carved into the thickness of the wood from the top to the area where the sound post is and then down to the bottom block . the thickness of the wood is also not even but varies as shown and the bass  bar is quite short ...the bass bar is in place to actually dampen the energy of the much heavier bass string !! also I made my own thickness measurer and used a large dial that in one revolution was 1mm. rather than the bought ones that have 10mm for a revolution ...this makes you work ten times more accurately !! also I made this plane to really rip off lots of wood quickly. a boon with Cello and Double Bass backs and fronts. Also shown is my book that I kept a lot of data about weights  and thicknesses also I always used different strings to get the best sound rather than just buying a standard set..  also a pic of part of my 'stand' in the RCM at one of the early music exhibitions ...I also used to make door knockers based on the early image of Christopher Simpson  ...with his hat ??  these sold like hot cakes and are all over the world..
Willy
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 04:11:45 AM by steam guy willy »

Offline steam guy willy

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2937
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2021, 04:10:53 AM »
Hi Rod a few more pics and I don't want to blow my own trumpet but you may find this interesting !!?

Willy

Offline Trevorc

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 132
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2021, 11:11:30 AM »
Beautiful work tangler, you should be very proud of the instruments. I have enjoyed making a 20 note busker organ several years ago and was pleased when people recognised the tune i was playing!!
I am now coming towards end of my current project- a 3 cylinder Y configuration Anzani aero engine and i fancy doing “ something different” . I am currently thinking about a Hurdy Gurdy ( spelling?). I saw one being played at a National Trust place where people were re enacting Elizabethan themes and i thought it look another interesting example of mechanical music.
Has anybody else done one of these?
Trevorc

Offline tangler

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 833
  • Christchurch, UK
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2021, 09:20:50 PM »
Thanks for the comments guys.

Trevorc:  A Hurdy Gurdy is very tempting.  I guess I would go for a Lute shaped one but one of my colleagues at work made one with a guitar shaped body.  Long ago now.

Willy:  As an amateur maker I just make the instruments to the drawings so I don't really develop an expertise in any particular field since I tend to manufacture one offs for the pleasure in making.  I do have a set of material for a small Ruckers virginalls, the 4 1/2 voet in the Russel collection.  All authentic woods:  Spruce for the sound board, poplar for the case, pear for the jacks, holly for the tongues, beech for the wrest plank - all bought mail order from North Higham Sawmills (which I'm sure you know/knew) in the old days when they specialised in this stuff.  I've also managed to acquire bog oak for the sharps (from pen blanks!) and bone for the naturals.  Not in the schedule for the foreseeable future though.

All the best,
Rod

Offline steam guy willy

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2937
Re: Musical Instruments
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2021, 03:01:27 AM »
Hi Rod , thanks for the reply. yes  I am sure a lot of people do the same as you do ..and your instruments do look very professionally made ..of course one should enjoy what they are doing  and of course the achievement is priceless ?? When I finished an instrument  I always looked at it and thought did I really make that ??!!!  Yes North Heigham Sawmills used to have their "Instarama " with lots of lovely 'tone woods' therein   they do still have a lot of exotic woods and veneers but it has changed hands now ;;;; They do have one of my Door Knockers as well ??  So .good luck with your  Ruckers Virginals and more power to your elbow with all your future projects ...

Willy