Introduction: Bouzouki Construction - Making a Traditional Greek String Music Instrument
Here is a simple step by step guide to build a six-string bouzouki.
Look on the construction details written on the pictures
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-To save some time i started with a ready made body for the instrument. It is made from walnut.
If you want to make your own check this video here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMiNrQfyMQc
(drawings are from book "A.N.E.M.O." , you can find more pics here http://anastasios.iwrite.gr/?p=128 )
Step 2: Shaping the Body - A
Step 3: Shaping the Body - B
In this step we need to cut a trapeze shape out of the middle of the Body-tip, so we can glue later inside it, the Neck.
Step 4: Slats A
We glue this short slat, were the metal part which holds the strings is going to be screwed.
Step 5: Slats B
-Now we will shape two thin 'slats' which we will glue in the inner perimetre of the body. Those slats will support the Top and top's Beams.
-To bend the slats i sprayed them with hot water first (just a few), then i draw their shape on desktop to use it as a guide for bending. Fix them while bending, using clamps. (bend them slowly giving some time to the wood to stretch, to avoid cracking) .
Step 6: The Cap
-For the Top we need to join two 3mm boards. We use Fir (spruce) cause its soft wood and able to vibrate.
-To join the two pieces you first need to flatten the surfaces that are going to be glued. The easiest way is to put a sand paper down on a flat surface and trim the Cap holding it vertically. To be sure about this use a guide.
-I have add two pics in the end (from http://bouzoukimaker.blogspot.com), that were missing from my construction. A diy table to fasten the two parts of the Cap (prevents them from bending upwards when you will press-glue them together.
Step 7: Gluing the Beams of the Top
Beam dimensions are 0,6x1,5(in the middle). Their height gets shorter in the edges: 0,8 (The edges are going to be glued into the pockets opened on the Body's steps.
Their length of each beam depends on the position the will take on the Top. The exact position of those beams will affect the sound a lot.
Step 8: The Neck
The Neck is made mainly out of linden and three parts of wenger. I bought this part ready made (pressed-glued). The wood grain curves of every part of the Neck should face opposite side when the parts will be glued. The two outer parts of linden should have the wood grain curves , curving opposite direction than the direction the strings pull the Neck (prevents future bending).
Step 9: Attaching the Headstock on the Neck
-The Headstock goes in the upper edge of the Neck. It is made from linden. The tuning pegs of the strings will be screwed here so this part should be fasten well on the Neck.