Building a Hurdy Gurdy

Story of a hurdy gurdy - Baptiste Schieberlein


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At last a video of my hurdy gurdy !

As promised since a few month, I’m finally posting a video of my hurdy-gurdy :

Final assembling

Hello everybody! To continue my last post here is the hurdy-gurdy after 8 coats of French polish and 1 final coat of preserving polish called “popote” in France. I then started to assemble the hurdy-gurdy. In order to do that you have to remove the varnish from the places where the pieces are glued together! I started with the head. I put some masking tape in order to delimit the place where to scrap the varnish.

Building the pegbox and stating the varnish

Hi everybody! Today we will see how I made the head and also the start of the French polish! But before starting let me introduce you a newcomer at my home: A Kity 613 band-saw that I will use from now on Let’s start with the head. I took a wood cut of 150*100*100mm. I hollow out the bottom of the head with a circular saw (I didn’t took pictures while doing it because I didn’t do it at home).

Building the keyboard - part 2

Hello everybody! I didn’t post for quite some time, although I made a lot of progress! This post will then be little longer but less detailed than the other. Let’s continue with the keyboard! I have made a slot where a small wood piece will be put in order to support the melody strings’ bridges: I also cut the front of the keyboard: Here are all the pieces of the keyboard before assembling and gluing them:

Building the keyboard - part 1

Hello everybody ! After a month and a half where I didn’t had a minute for myself, I can now continue the project! I started to work on the hurdy-gurdy keyboard! I ordered two guide cut by laser. Here is one with also one of the sides of the keyboard : I tapped the guides and the sides of the keyboard together with double-side tape : I drilled holes using the guide: After that I took some small rasps and files in order to make rectangular holes from the ones I drilled.

Building the main bridge

Hello, This weekend I started to think about how to build the Hurdy Gurdy keyboard. I will certainly order a Plexiglas guide on Damengo (a company specialised in laser cutting) ! I asked them for a quote, so I will see what they answer ! As a result, I took some time to build the main bridge ! Here is the piece of wood that will be used for the main bridge and the Hurdy Gurdy ears: I printed a bridge model and I glued it on the piece of wood at the right place in order to get the correct thickness: I cut it with my scroll saw (and I used also my drill press to make the water drop shape in the middle): Here it is after some sanding: See you again!

Cutting the soundholes and gluing the pegbox

Hello everybody! Some update about the progress of the project! Firstly I had to sand, sand, and … the top of the soundbox in order to be able to glue the soundboard. To be able to sand the support bars I used a spirit level (very straight base). I taped a piece of sanding paper on the base. Besides, I can only recommend you the sandpaper sold by Dictum in 25m rolls!

Strap buttons, wheel axis and support bars

Hello everybody ! The last achievements of the weekend and yesterday evening : To start this article, I wanted to make a small metal turning test on a “home-made” lathe (a drill placed in a bench vise and some files). I wanted to make some custom screw that will hold the bourdons (on the bourdons’ bridge) and that make the bridge (and the pressure of the bourdon on the wheel) adjustable !

Gluing sides with the back

Hi, After a long Easter weekend I’m back with the last achievements. Here is the back with the lower bridges once glued : I started by gluing the wood piece (on the pegbox side) piece with the 2 lateral sides : Once it’s dried ! Here I’m cutting (into some spare parts used for making the sides) some 1cm wide strips in order to do the lower linings !

Gluing sides and lower support bars

Hi, These last 2 days I did a lot of gluing ! At first I glued the wood blocs which are in the corners of the soundbox with the sides : While it was drying, I took the opportunity to cut the back (and as always I left 3-4 mm of margin) : The back once cut : Drawing of the lower support bars’ locations : I putted them into place and then I glued them on the back : The following day I glued the lateral sides with the front side : And at last I glued against the front side the tail block (a wood block that will support the tailpiece and where the axis of the wheel will go through) : See you soon !

Bending sides

Hello, These last days I worked on the bending of the hurdy-gurdy sides ! First I built a home-made bending iron! A few recycled pieces of chipboard, a steel pipe and a blow torch. It’s working nicely but you have to be careful to put the blow torch at the minimum otherwise it will burn the wood. I started with the front side. I cut it with a margin of 3 mm !

Making a mould and preparing the sound box

Hi, This week I built a mould and started to prepare some wood pieces for the sound box. Cutting of the top part of the mould in some chipwood. I left a margin of about 2-3mm : I glued my blueprint on top of the piece and I took out the 2 mm excess with a rasp : For the lower part I also cutted it and I left a 5mm margin.

Gluing the soundboard

Hi, First here are 2 pictures of the back once glued : Yesterday evening, as I was already running into the project, I took the opportunity to glue the 2 spruce pieces of the soundboard. Here are pictures of the 2 pieces : I started by making the top sides completely straight. And as for the back I started with a plane against a piece of straight plywood and then I finished with a small plane.

The project starts - Gluing the back

Hello everybody ! First here is a picture of the clamps I was telling you about in the last post : (You can click on pictures to get a bigger version) Big news : the wood has arrived this Saturday morning : I haven't (yet) some huge machines so I ordered the wood already cut to the right thickness !

Before starting

p>Some news before the real start : - the wood order has been placed last week = The wood should arrived at the end of the month :D - I've made about 20 spool clamps like these : - I've made some cutting tests, with a router (and a compas), of the hurdy gurdy wheel in some cheap plywood. Results are quite good, the wheel is perfectly round. But the cheap plywood is not good enough in order to have a clean cup.

Editing blueprints

I’ve made some modification on my blueprints. I like it much more like that !

Builing a Hurdy Gurdy

Hello everyone ! It’s been a while now that I’m thinking about building my own Hurdy Gurdy ! After a lot of research and lots of talking with a luthier, I almost ready to start ! I wasn’t equiped and I didn’t had any place to build an intrument, but it has now been resolved because we moved to a house with a huge garage !! I built a workbench and i ordered some tools (but I’m still missing a lot of tools).