Baroque Lute Build

Discussion of all aspects of early instruments, lutes, theorbos, vihuelas, Renaissance guitars and Baroque guitars.
Ricardo Barros
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Baroque Lute Build

Post by Ricardo Barros » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:38 pm

Hello Delcampers!

I am an amateur luthier (4 classical guitars so far), and I am beginning to build a baroque lute. I am using the excellent CD and plans from mr. David Van Edwards.

I have made the mould and the neckblock, and so far so good.

download/file.php?mode=view&id=55606
download/file.php?mode=view&id=55607

Now, I have a question...Am I going to luthier's Hell if I use regular Titebond instead of Animal Glue? This lute is being made for myself, no commercial intention at all.
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Sergio Abreu 2012 (sp/ir)
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Michael.N.
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:00 pm

Of course it will work. Just remember that hide glue is a little easier to reverse should you ever need to. Make sure that the mould is sealed with wax, you don't want the bowl stuck to it!
Only today I cut the ribs for my version. I had a piece of cherry wood, so decided to cut it into lute ribs. I need to source some material for the mould but I hate working with MDF.
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simonm
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by simonm » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:24 pm

Ricardo Barros wrote: ….
Now, I have a question...Am I going to luthier's Hell if I use regular Titebond instead of Animal Glue? ,....
Absolutely!

I have made only one lute and that was decades ago. I used titebond for some components including the bowl. If you don't have very precise joints then the titebond will show up later when you finish the instrument. Animal glue would be a bit better. However if you go the whole hog and have black wood (ebony) strips in each joint then that problem is solved and the lute looks really good. Two birds with one stone. The joints were reinforced with strips of old sheet. That was however done with Animal glue.

Good luck with the project. There was a documentary video mentioned here sometime in the last year about a UK lute maker which was very interesting. I could not find it just now on you tube. What was particularly useful was pictures of his work set up and in particular the way he had a small block plane set up in a box at a decent working height so that he could plane the edges of the bent ribs to fit the complex curve you need. It was a very elegant solution to that tricky problem. Maybe someone else who remembers which maker it was will chime in.

p.s. agree total with Michael about mdf - I abhor the stuff although I did make my most recent plantilla with it.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:41 pm

That would be this:

https://vimeo.com/50766784

I didn't have that planing jig when I made my renaissance lute bowls. I just used my largest plane mounted in the vice. I can understand how that jig would make things a little easier though.
Historicalguitars.

Ricardo Barros
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by Ricardo Barros » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:09 pm

Thanks for the answers !

Eventually I want to learn how to use animal glue, but building a baroque lute seems to be challenging enough for now...I´ll probably start using animal glue in the next guitar.

Regarding MDF, it is really not fun to work with it, but wearing a mask it wasn´t so terrible. It went by quickly. You can see in my first picture that I ran out of MDF in the middle of the process. For the cross sections 6 and 7 I used a board of Pine that happened to be exactly 1,2 cm thick, and it worked well. Cedrella would also be a good option.
Sergio Abreu 2012 (sp/ir)
Ricardo Barros 2013 (cd/ir)

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Michael.N.
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:53 pm

My first renaissance lute mould was made from MDF. I think I still have it somewhere. Decent quality ply should be OK or pine providing there aren't too many nasty knots that get in the way.
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Ryeman
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by Ryeman » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:00 pm

Ricardo, your mould looks good. Take heed what Michael has said about waxing to avoid sticking the lute body to the mould. With those wide bulkheads that would be all too easy to do, unless you take steps to avoid the problem. When I made lutes I made all my mould bulkheads from hardboard which, being thin, made the problem easy to avoid. I do see one advantage with those wide bulkheads though, if you intend gluing thin strip of dark wood between each rib. You could make a shallow saw cut along each intersecting line, the same thickness as your dark wood line. This would let you insert small wood "spacers" on each bulkhead which could allow you to make a very precise job of shaping each sucessive rim to width. I have to say that I have never done this. In fact it has only just occured to me when I saw your pictures. But I see no reason why it shouldn't work. If you like the idea you could try it out on the first shaped rib position. Then if it works you could cut all the other slots. Just a thought...
Another thing. You might want to screw on a piece of wood so that it sticks down below the bottom of your mould, to allow you to grip the whole thing in the vice.

Alan

simonm
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by simonm » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:11 pm

Michael.N. wrote:That would be this:

https://vimeo.com/50766784

I didn't have that planing jig when I made my renaissance lute bowls. I just used my largest plane mounted in the vice. I can understand how that jig would make things a little easier though.
Exactly that. Thanks. The chisels for the rosette are interesting. Back when I did mine I used borrowed tools. I believe the owner referred to them as goldsmiths punches or something similar or maybe they were for lino printing … Certainly looked the ones in the video.

Ricardo Barros
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by Ricardo Barros » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:55 pm

Thanks for the tips, Alan. I will seal my mould with shellac and wax it before gluing the ribs.

I liked your idea for the spacers. My concern would be that the spacers would probably get glued to the mould easier this way.

Regarding the fixation of the mould to the vice, there is only one problem....I don´t have a vice! :lol: I work in a small space in my apartment, and a vice would to much to ask my wife. :D
Sergio Abreu 2012 (sp/ir)
Ricardo Barros 2013 (cd/ir)

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Michael.N.
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:04 pm

I made about 4 or 5 of those carving chisels for the renaissance rose. Most of them I made from old needle files. It can be tricky to make them, you've got to get them thin enough so that they slice easily through the wood but not so thin that the edge turns over. The other method is to use a scalpel or knife. Sharpness has to be taken to another level. I can't say that the rose was my favourite part of the build, a bit stressful, probably because I had never done that type of carving before.
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Ryeman
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by Ryeman » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:13 pm

Ricardo,
I am afraid I didn't explain myself very well. You would use the spacers to help check the width of the rib when shaping it. Then you would remove them before gluing one rib to another. The "ebony" line would then occupy the same space, or gap, that the spacers did.
Without a vice, you might want to fix a strip of wood to the base of the mould, that extends beyond the mould's footprint. then you can clamp it down to the worktop.
It is good that the lack of a proper workshop is not putting you off. I built my first few lutes on the kitchen table...It can be done! Especially if you have an understanding wife....

Alan

simonm
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by simonm » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:39 pm

Ryeman wrote:.. You would use the spacers to help check the width of the rib when shaping it..
If my memory serves me (30 years ago since I did my lute) we use the little plastic spacers that you can buy for when you are putting tiles on a wall.

@ Ricardo

There is an absolutely brilliant solution to limited space and a vise. Look up "zyliss" vise. Effectively you can only get them on the secondhand market. I would not have dreamed of buying one until it was recommended by Tobias Berg. They look totally gimmicky. Once I had one I realized that Jose Romanillos also used it extensively. Here in Germany they turn up on the auction site and other places for 40-100 euros. I bought two both around 50 each.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:07 pm

Someone threatened to give me a Zyliss vice (for free) a few months ago. He hasn't come up with it yet. In the past he's given me other tools so I still live in hope.
Historicalguitars.

Ricardo Barros
Amateur luthier
Posts: 78
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Location: Brasil

Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by Ricardo Barros » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:01 pm

Thanks Michael , Alan and Simon for your help !
Sergio Abreu 2012 (sp/ir)
Ricardo Barros 2013 (cd/ir)

Ricardo Barros
Amateur luthier
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:04 pm
Location: Brasil

Re: Baroque Lute Build

Post by Ricardo Barros » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:04 pm

An update : I finished my baroque lute bowl ! I am very happy with it; I am using Maple and Pau Ferro (bolivian rosewood).

By the way, I used titebond to glue the ribs, then I switched to hide glue. Now I am felling like a proper luthier ! :D

Some pictures of the process:
alaude barroco 3.jpg
alaude barroco 6.jpg
alaude barroco 8.jpg
alaude barroco 11.jpg
alaude barroco 12.jpg
alaude barroco 13.jpg
Next step is the soundboard ! (and the rose :shock: )
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Sergio Abreu 2012 (sp/ir)
Ricardo Barros 2013 (cd/ir)

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