Orlando Lutes: Martyn Hodgson Lute Refurbishment

Martyn Hodgson lute - refurbishment

Repair completed - spring 2014.

An early Martyn Hodgson lute came in for some refurbishment work. An 8 course lute with an attractive back made of figured sycamore with a golden varnish.

To improve its playability, the customer requested that the instrument be converted from an 8 course instrument to a 7 course one. This was primarily to improve the string spacing in the right hand where the courses were rather close together. A new peg box was planned, reusing the existing pegs, the neck shaped accordingly, and the worn fingerboard would be replaced.

The main changes comprised:

  • bridge hole spacing adjustment - fill existing holes and redrill for 7 courses
  • neck reshaping and new fingerboard - a narrower tapered neck to accomodate the reduced number of strings.
  • new pegbox - to replace the existing open backed pegbox, reusing the existing pegs.
  • varnish and refretting

Below are some photos of the refurbishment.

Original lute.

Closeup of older style 8 course pegbox with open back design. Many of the pegs had no travel left in them.

Removing the fingerboard. A chisel can be necessary to remove fingerboards attached with synthetic glues. But it was due to be replaced.

Removing the old pegbox, which was attached to the back of the fingerboard.

After the neck was reshaped, a new fingerboard was created. The photo shows the fine shavings created by scraping the malaysian ebony.

A new pegbox made and attached, ready to be varnished.

Varnishing the neck and fingerboard with an oil varnish, to blend in with the rest of the instrument

Varnishing complete

Finished now as a 7 course lute - showing reshaped neck.

Contact us if you have a lute that needs refurbishing or some TLC.

See other repair and refurbishment and setup examples.