Sarangi Project

This is for discussions about sarangi, dilruba, esraj, or any bowed instrument used in India

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`hege
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:36 am

Sarangi Project

Postby `hege » Wed May 28, 2014 5:39 pm

Sarangi - A project undertaken as a journey back to both my musical and woodworking roots.

Of all the instruments this one intrigues me the most, and is not in my collection. Confused mostly by the variety (and costs!) of the market available instruments, I took it upon myself to just build one using sketches of ones I like that I have made from pictures collected on the internet.

How? Get (or in my case MAKE) a chunk of wood and cut away everything that IS NOT a Sarangi. :lol:

Please bear in mind I have never laid eyes on the actual instrument. I am working from pure visual standpoint, with some decent hand skills and tools.
Apologies in advance to any Master Woodworkers out there, if you see anything that makes you cringe! I'm a complete novice doing this.

Can anyone tell me how thick the Fingerboard and Mehrab areas should be? That is, after cutting out the belly of the piece, how much thickness should be left behind? I would think that thinner is better, with the caveat being the stress created by the tarab strings would require some nominal thickness. I have it at about 5mm now.

I have a question about the wall thickness where the goatskin is placed as well. Again, my instinct was to go thinner for more resonance. Is there some guideline, as I am sure there is not a standard!

I am using mechanical tuners everywhere except for the chromatics and main pegs. This was mostly an economic choice, as this is just an exercise to see if this can be done (by me), and have you checked the price of pegs, and the count on number needed? Adding it all up, I could have bought 2 market Sarangi for the cost of the pegs alone almost! :o
On that note I am trying something creative in the Khunti-tarab area of the Magaj using the mech tuners. I managed to get all 11 up there.

Is there supposed to be a sound hole(?) between the Pet and the Chhati parts of the body? I have noticed it in some pictures, and it is of different sizes. Any recommendations? I am inclined to make it as large as possible while retaining strength in the body.

Anyhow, I am creating a build log as this goes, I have just ordered the bone parts and strings, and am working on putting some polish to the wood now that most of the mechanical is done. I might make a couple of modern substitutions in some details as I finish this one up.

Any inputs greatly appreciated.

Thanks for tagging along. Some pics from my build log.
`hege
Attachments
IMG_0689B.jpg
Hollow in progress at Pet
IMG_0689B.jpg (48.41 KiB) Viewed 1034 times
IMG_0697B.jpg
Mech Tuners and Hollow belly
IMG_0697B.jpg (51.06 KiB) Viewed 1034 times
IMG_0679B.jpg
Draw, Saw and Chisel
IMG_0679B.jpg (68.21 KiB) Viewed 1034 times

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kalyan
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Re: Sarangi Project

Postby kalyan » Wed May 28, 2014 9:41 pm

Very cool! nice work. I would definitely go thinner for the body area than is pictured a sarangi will be much more resonant if it is not too overbuilt. I am not sure what type of wood you are using so you may or may not have to go a bit thicker than traditional for strength. In many sarangis you will find a support beam that will add strength lengthways and allow you to have thinner walls for the headed area I do not have any sarangi pictures handy but it is similar to what is found tin a sarode so I attached a few pics of different types. I will dig a bit further to see if I can find any sarangi pics in my collection. You just need to make sure the beam is well out of the way of where the bridge pushes the skin down so diagonally downwards from where the strings anchor.
Image
Image
Image
Last edited by kalyan on Wed May 28, 2014 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kalyan

goddenmusic.com. musicianmallusa.com facebook.com/goddenmusic

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kalyan
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Re: Sarangi Project

Postby kalyan » Wed May 28, 2014 9:45 pm

P.S. yes it should have a sound hole.
Good luck looks great so far
Kalyan
Kalyan

goddenmusic.com. musicianmallusa.com facebook.com/goddenmusic

`hege
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:36 am

Re: Sarangi Project

Postby `hege » Wed May 28, 2014 11:15 pm

Thanks for the encouragement Kalyan.

I have seen the support you are speaking of, and I will incorporate. Glad to know the instinct to thin out the walls is correct. To a point that is... lol I can imagine stringing the thing up and hearing a dreadful CRACK! I had thought about that clearance for the bridge pushing down.

This is just an exercise, I have no idea whether I chose a decent wood or not. Having no access to a chunk of seasoned Mahogany, I took slabs of dried Poplar and glued them together, parking my car on the stack while the glue dried for 24 hours. After that, out came the pencil, saw and chisels.

Sound hole will be incorporated as well.

Still not quite sure of the thickness at the fingerboard area, where the tarabs penetrate from the top surface. Any ideas?
`hege

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Sitarfixer
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Location: Merrillville, IN USA
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Re: Sarangi Project

Postby Sitarfixer » Sat May 31, 2014 5:06 pm

Hi, 'Hege. I've already built three sarangis. The fingerboard thickness is good at 1/4" - 5/16". Your side wall thicknessssssssss look good going by your posted pics. PM me with your eMail address and I'll send send you my sarangi blueprints.

`hege
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:36 am

Re: Sarangi Project

Postby `hege » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:57 pm

A little update.
I received Skin and Bone Goodies in the mail :D
A pic of added a brace to allow thinner walls and (maybe) help prevent "corner lift".
A picture of some nice curves, and a picture of a pretty nice backside :wink:

I'm actually beginning to have some hope. Strings are due in the mail today!
'hege
Attachments
IMG_0721_brace low res.jpg
slight angled brace
IMG_0721_brace low res.jpg (31.19 KiB) Viewed 964 times
img_0713_curvy body low res.jpg
Curves!
img_0713_curvy body low res.jpg (31.89 KiB) Viewed 964 times
IMG_0711_pretty backside low res.jpg
pretty backside!
IMG_0711_pretty backside low res.jpg (40.3 KiB) Viewed 964 times

`hege
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:36 am

Re: Sarangi Project

Postby `hege » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:33 pm

Sitarfixer wrote:Hi, 'Hege. I've already built three sarangis. The fingerboard thickness is good at 1/4" - 5/16". Your side wall thicknessssssssss look good going by your posted pics. PM me with your eMail address and I'll send send you my sarangi blueprints.

Thanks SF -
PM'd you. Looking forward to seeing how real plans compare to my little project. Worst comes to worse, I'll have a nice piece of "folk art" to hang on the wall this round. Surely next time will be better.

`hege
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:36 am

Re: Sarangi Project

Postby `hege » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:46 pm

Props to Sitarfixer for forwarding a great set of prints for Sarangi. :)

The journey for this first instrument continues, as my guesstimates were not far enough off to prevent a completion, of sorts. It may still wind up as wall art :lol:

Is there a standard bridge to nut length, or is it as it appears, every instrument basically unique by slight amounts of dimension?

And if every instrument somewhat unique in that way, I suppose you don't necessarily get to sit down with your pals and trade off instruments, everyone would be out slightly of tune, as they would be attuned to their own instrument and string length. After an hour of that, then they would be unfamiliar with their own instrument... For some reason I get a smile out of that thought, and understand why the instruments have such long life. You just don't go from Sarangi to Sarangi, like say a Western guitar. You spend you life with it.
`hege

peeceebee
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Re: Sarangi Project

Postby peeceebee » Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:59 pm

Scale lengths vary somewhat, generally about 14-15", but the octave should be at the top edge of the skin. So equal length from nut to skin edge as top of bridge to skin edge. And bridge should lean back slightly.

peeceebee
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Re: Sarangi Project

Postby peeceebee » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:01 am

It's surpassingly easy to switch instruments with somewhat different scale lengths, as long as the octave is at the skin edge-

`hege
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:36 am

Re: Sarangi Project

Postby `hege » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:38 am

Thanks for those bits, peeceebee. Octave at the skin edge. Makes sense for both questions.
`hege

edit: I also realize this answers the question of bridge location! Thanks again PCB

`hege
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:36 am

Re: Sarangi Project

Postby `hege » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:35 pm

A couple of updates and teaser pics....
Getting ready to finish up in another week or two.

Rubbed her smooth and added a little Cognac for color.
headstock color tease with partial Phulia in progress.JPG
headstock color tease with partial Phulia in progress.JPG (48.47 KiB) Viewed 882 times

Phulia (eyelets) in two styles. Turquoise (string over) and stone (string through).
phulia in progress.jpg
phulia in progress.jpg (45.72 KiB) Viewed 882 times

Working out the last details on the bridges and nut locations, using cotton string.
start setup_low res.jpg
start setup_low res.jpg (53.09 KiB) Viewed 882 times

Obviously nothing planned, all shooting from hip as it were.
Had to provide additional holes in the string guide to accommodate the "
compactness" of the headstock area. So far, so good.

`hege
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:36 am

Re: Sarangi Project

Postby `hege » Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:30 am

Well I took a vacation to hell this weekend!

What do they do there, you ask?

They fit pegs.

For all eternity.

Actually not as bad as I though it was going to be. As soon as the skin grows back on my fingertips all will be fine.
Special thanks to Sitarfixer for his assist, without which I would not be to this point.

Again, some time to stop a look it over, before proceeding to the next and last big hurdle, the skinning. That's for next weekend.

Thanks all for looking and I appreciate any and all comments and questions.
`hege
Attachments
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finally!
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IMG_0798_B.jpg
peg day
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IMG_0794_B.jpg
side angle
IMG_0794_B.jpg (101.08 KiB) Viewed 814 times

`hege
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:36 am

Re: Sarangi Project

Postby `hege » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:52 am

A question for those familiar with these instrument wonders...

The angle of the main strings over the bridge, from the tailpiece going forward.
Is there a general guideline I could use as a starting point, knowledge wise if not (this) instrument wise?
I would think a sharper angle would tend be louder but put more overall stress on the skin, a shallower angle maybe more sensitive to pressure of the bow but not as loud overall?

Or not so important, just get the thing standing up securely?

The angle of the bridge to the skin? Perpendicular (90deg) or slightly leaning away from the fingerboard?

Thanks all,
`hege

naad_brahma
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Re: Sarangi Project

Postby naad_brahma » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:31 pm

You really need to thin down that body, that is way too thick, you're going to get no volume or sound out of that thing. The string angle is something that is more dictated by intuition. After playing and re-stringing sarangi you develop a feel for how high the bridge needs to be. The skin will be constantly settling so you have to take this into account. Better to have a bridge that is too high rather than one that is too low and needs shims raise it, the later will result in less volume. I'd suggest just buying a reading made bridge, string it up, and then after a few months under tension determine the long-term bridge for it. The upper nut is important too. You will want to set the height of it based on where you intend to fret on the string. Most players now are playing in between the nail and cuticle.


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