Musical Instruments Restoration #3: Bandurria - Key of E

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Blog entry by BertFlores58 posted 07-01-2013 04:17 AM 5961 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Violin Part 3 of Musical Instruments Restoration series Part 4: Bandurria Picolo Progress »

As you know, this series is not a real sequel where numbering is not arranged chronological. Just look and see where the continuation of each. Though, all of the posts deals with my new line of skill development in restoring musical instruments from my family heritage, there are a lot of learning ideas based on my experiences. I am just an amateur that looks to the possibilities of rectifying those difficulties using only available resources.

So this is one new instrument again…. The previous Banduria Picolo has no connection with this Banduria Key of E. For all of us, here is the image of a bandurria whose parts are named. This is to guide us.

TRANSFORMATIONS. When I received this Bandurria, the condition is too much to handle. But I was able to restore it.

Glue … This is really old banduria.. I was on grade school when I was playing with it. The glue used was previously the water soluble welwood glue. This type of glue after several years, becomes brittle and turned into flakes or sometime powder. This is the reason why I have to take out all the elements (parts) so that I can glue back. Every wooden pieces were out on this banduria. The frets were still in good shape.

The Head ... The worst thing of all. The holes where the tuning assembly are held are not centered or perpendicular to the base of the tuning head. I plug in with dowels then redrill with new holes.

The Neck Luckily the wood used is red colored and just enough to scrape and sand. I shaped it a bit so that it will not be so stubby to hold. This is strong and solid. Nice color too.

The Body ... Except for the glue all the parts can still be reused. Only the sound board (top plate) is having weaker parts. The wood has bended in the portion were there are some carving (grooves) part for the rosette and blackbird marquetry. I manage to put this marquetry and the rosette including the lining on the edges back in place. The glue I used is the PVA one. I am confident that the joints will hold with this glue.

Notice the bulging of the plates near the sound hole. This is caused by the tension of the strings. Please note that there are 14 strings in all that will pull the body to the neck.

THE FINISH The front and the hole body were done with shellac. I scrape them all because I like it to be in natural wood finish. Those days, stains for musical instruments is a must. They want to have the look brighter in the center portion and darker on the outer portion near the ream.

Here is the old finish….

Here is after the applying natural finish using my newly discovered finishing varnish… the URETHANE varnish. Nice and shiny…

With strings

So it is restored….
I have to say that it is still in Key of E just because I am afraid I am using the wrong strings. I remember that this is the bandurria that my late father told me to use 3 steps lower than the standard tuning because the fretting are much longer than the standards. BUT I am happy as it sounds brilliantly crisps and clear. A little bit of tensions on the string and then I will adjust the bridge and the fretting.

THANKS FOR LOOKING and reading… Hope everyone learn this beautiful rondalla instrument.

-- Bert

3 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8519 posts in 2808 days

#1 posted 07-01-2013 08:35 AM

Well done! :>)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2886 days

#2 posted 07-01-2013 10:45 AM

Thanks for sharing this! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3300 days

#3 posted 07-01-2013 06:44 PM

Great restoration Bert. Now if you can just supply us with a sound bite that would be top it off.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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