Greek Bouzouki Construction Blog
This is my Greek Bouzouki Construction Blog. I will be posting pictures and an explanation of how I design and make my instruments. I will also be covering other Greek bouzouki topics related to purchase, proper set up, and playing accessories. Please stop by often, and feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

Glueing the stave reinforcement strips

Stave reinforcement strips 

After the glue on the kerfed linings has dried, the stave reinforcement strips are glued in place.  On lutes, it is customary to glue a thin strip of linen or heavy paper along each seam between the ribs.  On Greek bouzoukis, some makers will line the entire bowl (body) with strips of cloth soaked in glue (Titebond or similar glue) with the strips running across the stave seams.  This will then get covered up with a decorative embossed foil paper in a later step.  Other makers do not line their bowls with cloth soaked in glue at all, but most still use the foil paper.  I think it is a good idea to add some reinforcement to the staves and body, and have developed a technique which does not add too much weight and does not dampen the vibration of the body as much as a full cloth lining.  I use strips of carbon fiber cloth, about 1 inch wide,  soaked in epoxy.  I place one strip right at the widest part of the body, running across the stave seams, and one strip half way between the last strip and the headblock.  I then use a semicircular shaped piece of carbon fiber cloth to cover the area where all the staves come together around the tailpiece.  The staves are the narrowest there and are not supported, except for the area behind the tailblock.  Since the staves are so narrow, and there are lots of seams and stripes all coming together, there is not much vibration goin on, and adding the carbon fiber there is worth more for support than it takes away from vibration.  Carbon fiber is now being used to make some very high end instruments (violins, cellos, mandolins and guitars) and has been found to have very good tone, so I think it is a better choice than cotton cloth and Titebond glue.  Once the reinforcement strips and epoxy have dried, you will notice a marked increase in stiffness of the body.

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