14th Century Citole Day 6

Here it is, work day 6.  Sunday November 27.

OK, the beast is strung and making music.  Yeah!!!  It is strung and tuned Dd, Gg, c, f (the lowest two courses are tuned in octave - I am not sure I am going to keep it that way, but it does sound pretty cool).  I strung it in fourths because that seems to be the way instruments from this period were strung and tuned, in the majority of cases that I have come across in my research.

It is far from finished - but at least I have an idea of what it will sound like when all the adjustments are made, and it sounds good enough that I am willing to go ahead and finish it.  A moment-of-truth situation, and the instrument passed.

Still need to do the finish smoothing on the body, the carving of the falcon head, a new bridge (the temporary maple one is there just to get an idea of the playability of the instrument, it will be a much different bridge when finished), finish the rosette, add the saddle and the other small horn embellishments, finish the trefoil, smooth and oil finish.  But now you can see the basic design of the instrument,.

Here are the tools I used to create the ebony tuning peg shown here.  A rough cut blank, rounded with a rasp, then scraped and sanded and planed with a sharp razor plane to fit the test block I made out of an old scrap of maple, tapered with my tapered machinist reamer.  Trial and error to fit.

The stages of the peg, start to finish.

And the secret.  After cutting a peg by hand, and fitting it, (more than an hour of work to get the kind of fit that I needed, and one wasted ebony blank), I decided to simply turn the blanks on my metal lathe with a compound cross-slide set to match the angle of my reamer.  More efficient, and a great fit.

Here's two pegs in the head of the instrument, the rear peg fit by hand and the front peg turned on the lathe.  Both pegs fit well, but the second took all of 5 minutes while the first took an hour or so.

Here's the top view, showing the angle I set the pegs at to avoid having the peg heads interfere with each other, and to allow me access with a tourn-a-goache (sp) - the tuning wrench so necessary for wooden peg tuning of this type.

Look, mom, antenna!!!  Here's all 6 pegs in place.  Time to build the bridge and tailpiece and string this thing for the first time.

Here's the final tailpiece and the temporary bridge.  I would have had pictures along the construction of these parts, but my camera decided to scramble a few images.  I will take a picture of the underside of the tailpiece when I get it unstrung again.  The bridge will be completely different when finished.  The solid bridge gives a strange sound to the 5the string (3rd course).  I will be fitting a footed bridge in the end

Here it is, unfinished but strung and making music.  It sounds good, a little soft but clear, and responsive.  It took a bit of fine-tuning the frets to get every note, but now it is basically finished.  More on the details and some sound files later, but the instrument will be with me at Kris Kinder.  I am going to take a break now and try to get Conna's rebec done before Saturday - watch her link in my rebec page for the construction photos of that instrument.

Amazing - 6 evenings work from start to here.  Goes fast when you have a proper shop, all the materials, a little enthusiasm, lots of caffeine and a total reckless disregard for your own safety and the proper use of tools...<grin>.

This is the end of day 6.  More soon

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