The Theorbo Saga continues…

It has been a rather busy week here, no time for an update.

The tops of both lutes have been thicknessed. Here we find the differences between baroque and renaissance lutes. In short: renaissance lutes are slightly thinner in the middle and thicker at the edges, while baroque lutes have a “backbone”, thicker in the middle and thinner at the sides.

Here we can also see how much the two instruments differ in size.

When the soundboard is brought to the desired thickness, a piece of paper is glued to the inside of the rosette. In order to strengthen the small pieces of wood left over when the rose is cut.

As told before I use original 18th century paper for this purpose, cut from an old religious book. I am absolutely opposed to the destruction of books and artifacts, but this book was literally saved from the recycle bin. There are more than enough copies available, in better condition than this one.

The reason I use this old paper is its strength and structure. And the fact that it is exactly the same material as the old masters used. And sometimes the texts are quite funny

It is also glued over the seams in the bowl. To strengthen the rib joints.

The water in the glue causes the paper to swell, but when it dries the water evaporates and the paper shrinks again. Tightening the joint and even making the ribs to bend inwards a little. An effect we also observe in old lutes.

A big bowl like this calls for a rather large amount of paper…

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6 Responses to The Theorbo Saga continues…

  1. Aiko Timmer says:

    Holy lute! šŸ˜‰


  2. Len Dawes says:

    Just about the use of paper. Would vellum or parchment not be preferable? And when used 150 years ago, it would have been new, not 150 years old!
    Fascinating as always, keep writing.


  3. jameslouder says:

    When the book runs out, there is plenty of handmade rag paper available in this world–art, archival, and museum-grade stuff, made exactly as it was when your book was new. Admittedly, new stock doesn’t have the same cachet as the old printed pages, but on the other hand, it doesn’t involve any awkward choices. We’re very fortunate to have a world-class paper-maker here in Montreal, whose link I’ve added just for fun. I’m sure there are others closer to you.

    Many thanks, as always, for sharing these interesting and well produced posts about your work. There’s always so much more to learn!


  4. Marijn says:

    A friend of mine has dumped an 18 ct book (a boring religious treatise) in the paper container some weeks ago. I should have known earlier, otherwise I would have saved it for you.
    Why do you cut circular pieces from the book?


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