Early Guitars and Vihuela

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I have the GAL plans for the Baroque Guitar, and somewhere on their site or somewhere else it was mentioned that the top (and the back) used some type of cloth as the lining (Kerf) with about 18- Half-Inch (1cm)x 1/4 inch little bridges that attach the top to the sides. but the main lining was cloth and hide glue. I would like to go ahead and try this out, any one ever use this method?

Flaminco guitars use loose kerfed linings, each one is attached individually (x 100+) with hide glue so I don't see any issues with this method, just wondering if it is seen on older guitars or if a full lining is actually preferred or?....?

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On Sinier de Ridder's website there's an article about the inside of Voboam guitars.

(rightclick --> save as)

They opened an original Voboam up and found a glue soaked rope as inner lining. This suggests that the Voboams used the 'spanish method' of building (on a solera, top first, back last). I'm quite eager to try this some time.

Linen (flax) is one of the strongest natural fibres. I know a company that uses it instead of glass fibre to make boats and cartops.

Ok, yea, that confirms what I suspected after I saw the Flaminco build video. (There goes the side binding). Does the 'Spanish foot' take tension off the top? I he used rope, I'm wondering if the inside cloth on a standard 5 course should be all along the edges also? In between the tantalons.

I guess the paper was mainly used to hold up a complex bowl back together.

One other question I have is the fretboard. Are Ya'll making it wedge shaped? So its about 3/16" at the Nut, and (2mm?) at the bottom end where it connects the top? Not sure it that is necessary any longer. Do you truss rod the necks?

I wouldn't know how to fit a truss-rod, and doubt if the Voboam or Sellas families would have done either!  On a lot of guitars the neck veneers hide the neck/fingerboard joint, but I can confirm a wedge shape on the Mattheo Sellas in Dean Castle (extra 2 mm at the nut) and on one of the privately-owned Voboams I mentioned (and at least one lute).  Its purpose would probably have been to make correction for a raised action easier, although removing a fancily-veneered fingerboard can't be that easy.  And of course, it may have already been so used on many extant guitars and lutes.

My experience suggests that the most likely area of joint separation is between back and sides at the shoulders (bandoras and orpharions as well as guitars).  The added rigidity of the slipper foot should reduce this by moving the 'bending area' away from the neck.  The Italian bombé back, slipper foot and 'dead-wood' together make a very rigid back.  The next likeliest separation area is between back and end block.  Seemingly all 17th c. guitars have a larger gluing area block/back than front/back.  The Voboams even carved a small foot there.

I'm inclined to think that any 'tantalons' in 17th c. guitars are later alterations.


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