Restoring the Nahat, progress report.

12:13 pm Oud

Today is the big day. Come this evening, I will be playing this Nahat.

The new nut is already attached. It’s made of bone.

The fingerboard is ready to be attached. I ended up doing a little more plaining and smoothing in order to be able to lay the new fingerboard on top of the old one. I had originally intended to remove the old one, but decided against it because I was afraid of causing damage since the old fingerboard is attached so solidly, and I am not exactly an expert. The new ebony fingerboard is smooth as glass. I might need to do some more plaining if it buzzes. Extra careful measurements and calculations has resulted in a deliciously low action. But I will know for sure once I glue the fingerboard whether I can keep the low action or I might have to sacrifice some of it to prevent buzzing.

Here is a sad bummer. In order to preserve two pieces of decoration from being covered by the fingerboard, I ended up making the fingerboard go up to a high B flat, instead of D as I had originally planned. If I find that high C and D are hard to play in this set up, I will make an extension for the fingerboard that will go all the way to the high D.

The face is much improved, all the cracks fixed, all the loose braces reattached, epoxy all off the face (that alone took dozens of hours, as I tried to work on one molecule of epoxy glue at a time to spare the face any further abuse). There are still problems. They don’t affect the sound, but they don’t look extremely beautiful. There is slight discoloration where the epoxy was used. There are residues of the original pick-guard because the monster who “improved” the oud (I wish he or she or it would email and explain) was as careful removing the original pick-guard as he/she/it was putting the new (linoleum) pick-guard and additional linoleum decorative touches (aren’t those supposed to be only used for flooring?). More annoyingly I could only improve the buckling at the bottom of the face slightly. I plan to revisit that someday, but not any time soon.

Here is a good piece of news. As I am still working on the CD (those things take so much longer than planned) I might be able to record a piece or two with the restored Nahat.

Pictures? Sounds? Next week.


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