Builder's Notes — supplemental handout by Peter Forrester.

Part of: Wood and Wire — a lecture by Peter Forrester.

See also the other supplemental handouts:

Last updated Thursday, June 21, 2012.
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Originally published in Lute News: The Lute Society Magazine. Reprinted by permission of Peter Forrester and The Lute Society. On-line edition corrected and amended by Andrew Hartig per Peter Forrester, February, 2006.


Some suggested dimensions for builders. Based upon instruments by: Anon, Brussels; Gasparo da Salo, Oxford; Virchi, Paris; Tilman, Berlin; Salvatori, Paris; Augustinus, V&A; Campi, R.C.M.; Anon ("Amati"), Florence; Plebanus, Paris; Anon, Vienna; Anon, private collection.

Dimensions in mm unless otherwise noted.

Constructed 43-45 cm sl. Carved 43 or 61 cm sl. Imitation carved 61/62 cm sl.
belly thickness 2.75+ at center
1.5 - 2.0 at sides
3.5+ at center
2.0 at sides
3.5+ at center
2.0 at sides
sides thickness 1.5 - 1.8 5 - 6 , thicker on short grain 4
back thickness 2.5, up to 3.5 at centre 5+ at centre, 2 at gutter 4 at centre, 3 at edges
main bar depth,
thickness
12 - 14 (range 8 - 14 ) 15 ,
5 - 6
21 18 ,
5 - 6
rise at centre of bar 5 - 6 5 10 9
rise over exterior of back 5 4 - 5 6 - 8 6 - 8
approx. bridge - main bar 20 (5 on Brussels 1524) 28 30+ 30
belly width 225-238 (Brussels) 248 300+ 300+
overall depth of body:
max.
min.

48 - 52
21 - 23

45 - 50
30 - 35

c 65
30+

65
c 33
fingerboard width:
at nut
at 12th fret

37 - 38 (4 course)
39-40

45+
49+

46
50

46
50
string sizes e' .23 iron
d' .23 brass
g' .16 iron or steel
g .010" low twist brass
a' .14 iron or steel
a .009" low twist brass
b .27 brass
e' .23 brass
d' .25
g .36
b .30
c' .27
a .33
a .27 brass
g .30
c .46
e .38
f .33
d .40
a .25 brass
g .27
(c' .21 iron)
c .42 or .011" low twist brass
e .33
f .30
d .36


How to cite this page: Forrester, Peter. "Builder's Notes." Renovata Cythara: The Renaissance Cittern Site. Ed. Andrew Hartig. 21 June 2012. 30 April 2017. <http://www.cittern.theaterofmusic.com/articles/builders_notes.html>.


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