Material thickness on a lute back Hurdy Gurdy

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Material thickness on a lute back Hurdy Gurdy

Postby goran_olsson » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:06 am

I'm new to this forum. Can someone advise me about the thickness of the bent "staves" and the sound board on a lute back Hurdy Gurdy?

Thanks!

Goran
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Re: Material thickness on a lute back Hurdy Gurdy

Postby gurdymaker » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:03 pm

Most old instruments have very thin ribs ,1-1.5mm . You need to be very experienced to work that thin as there is little spare thickness to allow for final scraping etc. I reckon 2.5 mm is safer. A lot of people coming to gurdy making from guitar building tend to make the soundboards too light. Early lute back gurdies have spruce soundboards up to 6mm . I start at 5mm and taper the thickness towards the edges. Maple soundboards are thinner at around 3.5mm
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Re: Material thickness on a lute back Hurdy Gurdy

Postby WaterPig Master » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:09 pm

Hi there,

Neil, is the main problem with thin soundboards a lack of strength, or does it have as large an effect on tone as making a guitar soundboard 6mm thick would have? On mountain dulcimers, it's the body of the instrument which appears to mainly define the tone, the top having not much effect due to the large mass of the fretboard attached to it. Might this be true of gurdies, with all their assorted soundboard-paraphernalia?

Thanks,
Barnaby
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Re: Material thickness on a lute back Hurdy Gurdy

Postby gurdymaker » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:52 pm

It seems to be a function of string tension that dictates the thickness. The gurdies made by Wolfgang Weischelbaumer for example have very thin (c. 2.5mm) soundboards and their sound is great with light strings although there are reports of excessive sagging under the drone bridge. His struts are also very light.
If you put a thin soundboard on a gurdy with standard tension strings, you will probably get a lot of unwanted resonance , wolf notes and key rattles. I was that guitar maker and built many too thin before I shed the habit !
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