Here is the piece before
chiseling and sanding away the extra wood. It is rough but it is
amazing at this point how light and strong it is.
After chiseling and
sanding the bottom of the corpus. Next to chisel and sand the
The sides chiseled and
sanded. The bottom of the instrument behind the soundhole will be
scraped completely smooth, then it will be finished with Minwax
finisheing wax, then a coating of ruby Rub 'n buff will be applied so
that a rich metallic red will show through the soundhole.
There were discovered
some flaws in the wood in the arms, so I decided not to aggrivate them
by chiseling the sides of the sound cavity straight. There are no
cracks or breaks at this time, and by leaving all the wood I hope to
have it remain this way. Here is the soundboard - a solid maple
slice from the same block as the instrument.
The soundboard is just 2 mm thick, but it is strong. The
Trossingen lyre had a maple soundboard, but it was shaped so that it
varied between 1 and 7 mm. in thickness, with the heaviest section
directly under the bridge.
Here is the printout of the device from the online armorial. It
is drawn on the inside of the soundboard prior to cutting it out -
Fionnuala drew it for me. It is drawn backwards because it is on
the back of the soundboard
The soundhole cut out and placed on a red background. This is
what I am trying to achieve with the Rub 'n Buff inside the sound
Here is the rough-cut soundboard placed on the body of the lyre.
It is waiting for the internal finish before gluing. There is an
area at the top waiting for the peg reinforcement, which will be maple
running cross-grained to the rest of the instrument.
Here is the peghead reinforcement being
glued to the instrument. At this point there is only about 2
hours left on the instrument (excluding stain and wax). The
instrument will be stained in honey maple, as it is the most naturally
'yellow' maple tone that is available.
the soundboard gets glued on - lots and lots of clamps. I am not
to building lyres with solid hardwood soundboards - I usually use a
good grade of thin plywood for strength and resonance.
soundboards for most stringed instruments are made of softwood - spruce
is preferred. But the Trossingen research got me curious, and so
using the more period materials on this lyre.
Here is the lyre with the soundboard glued and sanded - only a few more
parts and it is ready to play. All that is left to do on this
instrument is to soften all the edges, and get the maple down to a
perfect smooth finish without any scraper, plane or saw marks.
Maple is an exceptionally hard wood to sand, but it is worth it when it
is done. Then a light honey stain, and finishing wax (carnuba,
beeswax, and some carrier solvents).
The soundhole with the Chinese gold-red background behind it.
This will be the only accent color on the instrument. Simple and
classy. I think it will look terriffic.