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Questions: Charango Plans

Questions: Charango Plans

by C.F. Casey

Originally published in American Lutherie #104, 2010


Gerald Mercer from Angels Camp, California asks:

I am looking for plans for a South American charango. These are often 10-string, 5-course instruments and made using the shells of armadillos.

C.F. Casey from Winnipeg Beach, Canada

The website below will get you going on building a charango. The title calls it a ronroco, but it’s the same thing. They even use the two terms interchangeably in the site.

Here we’re dealing with a charango that’s carved out of solid wood, rather than using an armadillo shell for the bowl. Most charangos I’ve seen lately have been the carved variety, and the last few times I’ve visited my friendly neighborhood wood-pusher, they’ve been fresh out of armadillos. The site is in Spanish, but Google’s translation is no more horrible than such things usually are. In any case, the sketches have the main dimensions, which is the most important thing. ◆