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It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:46 pm
by Randy Roberts
After several years of trying to get rid of the idea, I’ve more or less resigned myself to trying to build a theorbo. Why is beyond me.
I've never done any sort of bowl backed instrument before, and my understanding is that not much of what I've learned with guitars will be of much use with this project so this may end up more Laurel & Hardy than anything.

David Van Edwards in England was kind enough to send me his measurements of the Christoph Koch theorbo of 1650 that is in the Berlin Museum of Music, and so that's what I'll be guided by for the most part.

Re: It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:57 pm
by Jason Rodgers
Dang, you ain't kidding with this theorbo business. Bring it on!

Re: It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:49 pm
by Randy Roberts
I’ve got as far as partially completing the mold

Re: It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:51 pm
by Randy Roberts
After totally inadequate study, and using totally misconceived ideas, I decided an instrument that is over 6 feet long should have an adjustable neck and that the neck extension should fold in half for travel. It would be nice if it stayed in tune when extended again. So I’ve thrown these wrenches into the pot also, and started prototypes for the neck,

Re: It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:53 pm
by Randy Roberts
as well as the neck extension.

Re: It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:56 pm
by Randy Roberts
When unwelcome house projects interfered with further progress.

I have no misconceptions that this thing is going to get finished during the challenge ( nor in my lifetime), but the challenge should be a nice kick in the butt to try to get a little farther along.
The first step is get my darn shop back.

Re: It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:09 am
by Steve Black
If you made it a little longer, you could add oars and row it...

Re: It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 10:52 am
by Hans Bezemer
Good start Randy!
Do you plan to use gut-strings or nylon?
What will be the tuning?

Made some progress with the unwelcome house projects?

Re: It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 7:59 pm
by Mike Wilson
A Theorbo! Watching with interest!

Re: It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 11:25 am
by Randy Roberts
rough-shaping-mold.jpg


Well, finally got a couple hours to do "real" work and was able to rough shape the butt of the mold with a plane, spokeshaves rasps, and files.

Here's a shot of the tools above

Re: It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:14 am
by Neal Carey
That's a really nice looking mold Randy! I'll be very interested to see your rib fitting process and hope you'll be able to have some detailed pics.

Re: It might end up a Theorbo - Randy Roberts

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:37 am
by Randy Roberts
Thanks Neal,
It's pretty embarrassing to see how little I've been able to do on this since the last post. Lots of normal life getting in the way this summer.

After 12 years of trying to find what box I put the tool I need at the moment in, I've put the mold on hold while building a tool cabinet to store my most used stuff in one place, and have neglected progress on the theorbo. I'll continue to post progress as it occurs, probably in the "Other Stringed Instruments" threads, as I'm sure not going to finish in the running of this challenge. <g>