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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cittern completed

 The cittern is now fnished, and I am happy with the outcome. I have learnt a lot, and my techniques are improving

There were a few minor glitches in the final stages. I had to redo the nickle plating on the tailpiece as some of the nickel flaked off when I drilled the hole to accomodate the strap button. After a bit of research I worked out that the brass needed an acid wash before the plating (even though it had a mirror finish), so I scraped of all the plating, repolished it and then gave it a bath in 20% hydrochloric acid - it's amazing what you can buy at the local hardware shop. After this, the nickel plating went on well and there was no flaking.

When I was fitting the bridge I was a little over enthusiastic in reducing the height, and the action ended up too low - particularly on the thicker G and D strings. To fix this I added a thin layer of ebony to the bottom of each bridge foot, and as well as correcting the height of the action, I think it looks quite pretty!

The instrument is quite heavy (particularly after working on the bowlback). This is partly due to the wider neck (the shape of the neck suits a larger hand size), but the 10 Schaller tuning machines also make a significant contribution. I think that future work will be towards smaller, lighter instruments

I am now looking to sell this cittern (drop me a line if you are interested!) - I will load up a soundfile over the next week or so.