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Questions: Instrument Plan #33

Questions: Instrument Plan #33

by R.E. Bruné

Originally published in American Lutherie #101, 2010


Joe Franklin of Whitesburg, Tennessee asks:

Regarding GAL Instrument Plan #33 (1937 Hauser by R.E. Bruné): Are the depth dimensions as annotated on the back view the inside or outside dimensions?

Plan author R.E. Bruné of Evanston, Illinois

The side measurements given around the circumference of the instrument are the measurements I took of the total outside dimensions at those points, so one would have to subtract the specific top and back thicknesses at those points to arrive at the actual side dimensions prior to cutting the purfling/banding channels. For those making replicas, getting this correct within ±1MM would suffice in my opinion, but I know the favorite pastime of luthiers is splitting hairs and arguing over which is the bigger half. Actually, I suspect the original dimensions may have been slightly bigger by about .25MM to .5MM but have retracted due to shrinkage. There is nothing in the side assembly that would prevent the sides from shrinking from dryness, and they are just about crack-free because of this. It seemed to me that the instrument was originally built under fairly high humidity conditions, or at least part of it. The back has no arch left in it, probably because of shrinkage; this is also a question I have been frequently asked. I drew the instrument as is, where is, with no attempt to “correct” what I thought might have been the original state. I leave this to other scholars.