Bouzouki Construction - Making a Traditional Greek String Music Instrument




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

Contact me for any further information and help here:

Step 1:

-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 :
the drawings
(drawings are from book "A.N.E.M.O." , you can find more pics here )

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, 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.

Step 10: Attaching the Top on the Body

Step 11: Attach the Fingerboard

Step 12: Binding

Step 13:

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Great job! are you sill building instruments? I am trying to get some

    plans or an instruction book in english but its very hard

    do you know something about it?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    hi , where did you buy the bowl and the neck blank from ? as I am having trouble sourcing both on the web (how much did they cost too?)


    8 years ago on Step 7

    this is the most beautiful unicorn ever made in the world (: