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.

Archive for January, 2008

Making the first stave

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Bending the stave


Measure the length of the first stave (center or mother stave) and bend it on the hot bending iron to the exact shape of the form.

Planing the stave

Rough carve it to shape with a carving knife or block plane.  Then shape the stave on a planing table so that the edges lie flat when the bent stave is resting on a flat reference plate.

Glueing center stave

Glue the first stave in place by applying hot hide glue to the headblock, tailblock and mating underside of the tips of the stave.  You can hold the stave in place with tape or push pins.

Carving the headblock

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Carving the headblock 

Attached the Basswood headblock to the form with two wood screws.  Carving is done with a drawknife and spokeshave, and the headblock is finished with files and sandpaper.  I also install a tailblock into the form, also made of Basswood.  Many makers make the body first, and then install the tailblock after the body is completed. 

Making the form for the body

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Form for body

This form is designed around what I consider the “standard” four-course bouzouki (tetrahordo) size and shape.  You can make a closed (solid) form or an open form.  Each has its advantages and disadvantages.  An open form is a little easier to make, takes less wood, it allows you to see and feel under the staves while you are building the body and it makes it easier to use tape to hold the staves together (although I use push pins).  This form is made of Basswood, but you can use just about any wood that is easy to carve (Mahogany, Poplar, Pine, etc.).  Seal the form with a few coats of any type of finish, and then coat with wax to prevent the glue and staves from sticking to the form.


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