Eight-Course Renaissance Lute Project

This is an  Eight-Course Renaissance Lute completed in December, 2015.  The lute was built from an EMS kit (http://www.earlymusicshop.com) .  The kit parts can be seen laid out in the first picture.  As can be seen the shell (back) of the instrument came preassembled, top (soundboard) prejoined with laser-cut rose (sound hole), and the pegbox and pegs assembled and fitted.  I was impressed by the quality of woods (rosewood, spruce, lacewood) and workmanship which I found in the shell and top, but both presented some problems before they could be fitted together.  The shell, not surprisingly, was cupped end to end, but preparing it to receive the top proved to be trickier than expected.  Only so much material from the top block could be removed without drastically effecting the neck thickness at the neck joint.  Also, while the laser-cut rose initially appeared to be a huge time saver I would have prefered a kit with an uncut top.  The rose pattern was a good one, but it took a week of tedious file and knife work to reduce the burn marks and make it appear completely hand-cut as possible.  The top was well joined and required very little thickness thinning.  The peg box construction was ok, but had a twist from tip to base.  Once again, it could only be planed so much without making the peg sides too thin and thereby weakening it.   The pegs came prefit to the pegbox, adequate peg-head detail,  predrilled for the string, and cut to length.  The bridge was the biggest disappointment.  It was poorly cut, had a bad mineral stain which wouldn't "disappear" after finishing, and worst of all had poorly located string holes.  I fashioned my own from ebony.  The nut material was rosewood which I didn't think would prove to be hard enough for the tricky outer string grooves so I cut one from ebony to match the bridge.  The finish is blond shellac using the french-polish method.  To inquire about your own lute built from EMS kit, or a custom lute, write or give me a call (Contact) . Click on a picture for a larger image.

EMS kit contents
Close up of laser-cut rose in top
Interior of shell
Fitting braces to top
Top glue up
Leveling fingerboard
Neck fit to body
Label detail
between french polishing coats

Email: lawrenceviolins@gmail.com

Telephone: 760 593-7248