Cittern construction resumed!

I am delighted to announce the follow-up to David Norman’s post last week about cittern construction. It turns out the instrument was much more complete than David was letting on, and it is currently receiving several layers of French polish. This is being done by John, who cast a loving eye over it at our last rehearsal and has taken it away to administer the polishings (thanks, John). I’m quoting him in full:


Here are pictures of work in progress.

I’ve added eight layers of french polish – another five or six to go. The swirling patterns should disappear by the final stage of the process when I polish with the magical Liquid Number 2 (warning: do not ingest)

I decided to polish the sound board rather than treat it ‘authentically’ with beaten egg white, reasoning that the aesthetic effect would far outweigh any denigration of tone, which would, in any case, be indiscernible to anyone with normal ears.

The fretboard is to remain unpolished and will be ‘oiled’ with some suitably over-priced commercial fretboard oil. (What does it do? It oils fretboards. Does your fretboard need oiling? Why not try fretboard oil. specially formulated for oiling fretboards. Hmm! Feel that oily fretboard etc etc) (no, there’s more: Mummy, why is your fretboard so oily? Because I use fretboard oil to oil my fretboard… stop now, for Heaven’s sake…)


3 thoughts on “Cittern construction resumed!

  1. It’s looking brilliant in spite of the neglect it suffered when it was in my hands! I’m looking forward to hearing about its adventures when it’s finished.
    David Norman

      • Thanks Fiona and Jane for showing me the finished cittern. It is beautiful – and a brilliant idea to cover up my unfinished carving with classy veneers. Hope the cittern music books helps John to fathom out the tablature codes!
        Best wishes, David

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