INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

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coyootie

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Reply with quote  #1 
here's where it is now.t he gulu was glued up out of 9 wedges to form a solid block and then sawn and hacked roughly into shape. this is a colossal amount of work generating huge amounts of wood chips- good tinder for the ol woodstove. because of the shape and orientation of the kachua tumba, it required some complex shaping to get it to join the tabli and tumba well. this is challenging sculpting as it all has to go together and then the work becomes more delicate to keep from busting the gulu, which will end up fairly light. it is all endgrain which is easy to break so you have to drop the mallet and begin gouging and chiseling with hand pressure only. this takes a long time and you get very sore arms and hands.
the way i'm joining the gulu to the tumba is a bit different from the usual technique. I have planed the top edge of the tumba flat to give more glueing surface to the gulu . when the leaves are overlaid and glued on, it should add a bit more solidity and strength to this joint.
i am using nothing but hide glue on this sitar. I used hot glue for finishing the inside of tablis and liquid fish glue from Lee Valley Tools ( one helluva great company) for most of the joining.
the tabli is being refined further to give a very even arch on top and more taken off of the inside until it's good and ringy. hard metal scrapers are one of the most important secrets in lutherie- well made violins are finished completely without sandpaper, only scrapers! a well sharpened scraper takes off shavings like a plane and is the best for going over grainy uneven surfaces. with the right angle and pressure one can even out surfaces beautifully, and varnish applied over a planed or scraped surface has a sheen and chatoyance ( look it up) that you just don't get from sanded surfaces.
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festus

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Reply with quote  #2 
My dear sir, I applaud you. I dig every installment you shared with us. It's great!
What, may I ask, is the substance you've applied on the inside of the main toomba?
Thanks for sharing your pictures and letting us watch the process.

I use metal scrapers alot too...
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi, Coyootie.
Interesting idea, having the joint line of the gulu joint line angled up toward the bridge area rather than up at a straight 90. That would give more surface area for the gourd to glue to the edge of the gulu. Stronger joint overall. Nuttin wrong wi dat! Looks very sexy as well. Tabli still looks a bit thick but cedar may have a whole set of resonance values different from tun. Overall - "Bhodt Sundari"! You've got a whole gallery of fans cheering your heroic efforts. Press on, good fellow! We look forward to your ongoing installments.

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coyootie

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Reply with quote  #4 
i'm blushing from the encouragements, but with the assiastance of the god of lutherie this WILL turn out as a decent sounding playing axe.Part of what I'm up to is making a sitar that has all the details in the right places, as well as all the inside stuff done to high standard, NOT the Indian 'cutting corners whenever possible, no one will know'.I'd love to have an entire workshop of skilled sitarmakers like Tony to work with!
The green inside tumbas is a wash of copper sulfite,then a slop of hot hide glue with nepalese makta paperall over. the paper is very fibery and should add a bit of strength but i'm thinking of also doing a series of strips of watercolor paper soaked in glue and laid over that like a lattice.I dont think the copper sulfite is really neccessary here in the less vermin infested west but whatthehell.in india it's done to repel tumba eating nasties.
Tony, again many thanks for your invaluable data and suggestions, a very big 'shabash' for you!!!!
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #5 
" Arre VA " ! ! !
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David Russell Watson

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "coyootie"
of what I'm up to is making a sitar that has all the details in the right places, as well as all the inside stuff done to high standard, NOT the Indian 'cutting corners whenever possible, no one will know'.
We really shouldn't call it "Indian", since not only are there some
very excellent Indian luthiers, but there is also a great deal of
junk produce in the West. Moreover, the model of an ideal sitar
certainly didn't originate in the West, but of course in India.

I'm sure you meant no offense yourself to Indians, but I thought
it should be said nevertheless, as the Indian members of our
group already have to read a lot of negative venting here about
their country as it is. :wink:

As far as your project goes, I'm very impressed. I like to build
instruments myself but have never attempted to build a sitar. I
feel fortunate that you're sharing the process with us here.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #7 
Mr. Watson is right on, I must agree. You've all read me ranting about this condition time and time again. To continue would be not only redundant but just plain boring. What contributes to the situation, attitude aside, is a lack of shop based power tools that would allow production runs to be met without having to hustle through with short cuts or bring in unskilled labour off the street. Field power tools that a building crew would use are available but not affordable for most workers and would be of limited use to a musical instrument production shop. There's plenty of crap available in the USA, no doubt about that. Funny thing is that most of it is imported. The key there is that the product choice is much wider and there is also an excellent return policy unless clearly posted otherwise.
Anyway. the Coyootie is delighting us all with this major undertaking. I'm looking forward to the next installment. Cheers!

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Anonymous

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Reply with quote  #8 
Been working like a dog with both my right-hand guys back visiting "The Old Country" so have missed all the excitement. Pretty friggin' amazing stuff. Wow. A big thumbs up just for taking on the challenge.
Cheers,
Keshav
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