The joint between the gulu and dandi of this old left-handed Rikhi Ram sitar became loose. A tiny little gap was seen between the two pieces when the sitar was tuned properly.
So, the whole sitar has to be opened to reach the joint surfaces and to be glued again.
Here the original joint is seen properly.
Because I was unable to loosen this joint, I decided to make a new one out of a piece of mahogany.
I also made it fit accurately, as it is done in the construction of acoustic guitars.
So, no need of driving screws into the gulu.
After this, the body is to be closed again. First the top plate is glued to the dandi.
Secondly, the tabli is glued to the tumba and gulu. Hot glue is used.
Finally the body is ready for finishing touch…
But, I think I also should try to find a better way for loosening the original joint…
Some years later there is another opportunity, and (quelle coincidence), it is also a RR, the Rolls Royce of Sitars… by means of steam ?
Yet another “cheap and easy” joint repair is described here.
Excellent work! When it is so well documented, you can trust the professional. I just sent you an email to to do the same to my Kanai Lal’s neck joint. thank you for this great site!
really fine work Klaas. I found that a dovetail at the back of the neck is optimal for reinforcing that pesky neck/gulu joint. The stress and pull is forward towards the strings. When the builders in India put screws inside the neck joint, it really does nothing to counter the pull of the strings on the neck!
I’ve seen many old sitars with a bone fish right at that spot on the back of the neck. None of them had a seperated joint.
Superb restoration ! Well done ! I’d love all the hacks in Delhi, Miraj and Calcutta to see these picks. These are the jokers who stare you in the face after looking at a nut off by 5 degrees and tell you the square is broken. I wish you much success in this noble venture – showing the hacks in India how a sitar SHOULD be built with the hopes of maybe restoring a little of the lost pride so painfully evident there. I salute you ! ! !
Thank you so much Klaas for sharing this.
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