Renaissance Workshop Company
The foremost manufacturer of early musical instruments worldwide

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  Aerophones (winds)

  With keyboard

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   Glastonbury Pipe

   Kortholt

   Rackett

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  Brasswinds

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  Chordophones (stringed)

  With keyboard

   Cembalino

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   Harpsichord

   Hurdy-Gurdy

   Muselaar

   Piano

   Spinet, Ottavino

   Spinet, Bentside

   Symphony

   Virginal

  Bowed

   Bowed Psaltery

   Cello

   Double bass

   Fiddle

   Rebec

   Viol

   Violin

  Plucked and Hammered

   Appalachian Dulcimer

   Bouzouki

   Cítara

   Citole

   Cittern

   Guitar

   Guittern

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   Harp

   Lute

   Lyre

   Mandolin

   Plucked Psaltery

   Ukelele

  Struck

   Hammered Dulcimer

  Electrophones

  Theremin

  Idiophones

  Limberjack

  Sanza

  Membranophones

  Bodhran

  Drum

  Nakers

  Tabor

  Taboret

  Timbrel

  Timpani

 

  Furniture

  Lids

   for Clavichord

  Music Desk

   for Cembalino

   Regency Music Stand

  Stands

   for Cembalino

   for Clavichord

   for Harpsichord

  Stools

  Decoration Kits

  Finishing Kit

   for all the Windcaps

  Soundboard Painting Set

   for Clavichord

   for Harpsichord

  Golden Set

   for Ottav. Spinet

 

  Spares & Raw materials

  Cork

  Lead wire

  Reeds

   Cane

   Plastic

  Strings & Wire

   Gut

   Nylon

   Metal

  Tools

  Drill bits

  Books

  Plans

 

Musical Instruments
 

  A ...

  Acordeón

  Appalachian Dulcimer

  Archlute

  Armonio

  Arpa

  Atabal

  Atril

  Autoarpa

  B ...

  Bagpipe

  Bajo barroco

  Bajón

  Balalaica

  Banjo

  Baroque Bassoon

  Baroque Flute

  Baroque Oboe

  Baroque Trumpet

  Baryton

  Basset Clarinet

  Basset Horn

  Bentside Spinet

  Black Cornett

  Bodhran

  Bombarde

  Bouzouki

  Bow

  Bowed Psaltery

  Buccin

  C ...

  Caja

  Carillon

  Cembalino

  Cello

  Chalumeau

  Chirimía

  Cister

  Cistro

  Cítara

  Citole

  Cittern

  Classical Guitar

  Clarinet

  Clarinette d'amour

  Clarsach

  Clave

  Clavecín

  Clavichord

  Clavicordio

  Concertina

  Contrabajo

  Cornamuse

  Cornetto

  Corno recto

  Cortholt

  Cromorno

  Crumhorn

  Curtal

  D ...

  Dolzaina

  Double Bass

  Drehleier

  Drum

  Dudelsack

  Dulcema

  Dulcémele

  Dulcian

  Dulcimer

  Dulzaina

  Dulzian

  E ...

  Espineta

  F ...

  Fagot

  Felle

  Fiddle

  Fídula

  Fiedel

  Fife

  Flauta

  Flauta de Pan

  Flöten

  Flute

  Fortepiano

  G ...

  Gamba

  Gemshorn

  Gittern

  Glastonbury Pipe

  Guitarra

  Gaita

  Gerader Zink

  H ...

  Hammered Dulcimer

  Harp

  Harpsichord

  Hog-nose Psaltery

  Horn

  Hoyboy

  Hummelchen

  Hurdy-Gurdy

  I ...

  J ...

  K ...

  Kettledrum

  Klarinett

  Koncertina

  Kortholt

  Krummhorn

  Krummer Zink

  L ...

  Lap Harp

  Laúd

  Limberjack

  Lira

  Lira da gamba

  Lirone

  Lizard

  Lute

  Lysarden

  Lyre

  M ...

  Mandolin

  Mountain Zither

  Musette

  Muselaar

  Music Desk

  Mute Cornett

  N ...

  Nácara

  Nakers

  O ...

  Oboe

  Odre

  Ophicleide

  Organistrum

  Órgano

  Orlo

  Ottavina

  P ...

  Pandereta

  Pandero

  Panpipe

  Piano

  Pífano

  Plucked Psaltery

  Pommer

  Portative Organ

  Psaltery

  Q ...

  R ...

  Rackett

  Ranket

  Ranqueta

  Rauschpfeife

  Rebec

  Recorder

  Regal

  Renaissance Guitar

  S ...

  Sackbut

  Salterios

  Sanza

  Schalmei

  Schreyerpfeife

  Schriary

  Serpent

  Shawm

  Sinfonía

  Slide Trumpet

  Smallpipes

  Sordón

  Sordune

  Spinet, Bentside

  Spinet, Ottavino

  Stands

  Symphony

  T ...

  Tabor

  Taboret

  Tambor

  Tamboril

  Tambourine

  Theremin

  Timbal

  Timbrel

  Timpani

  Transverse Flute

  Trombone

  Trompeta

  Trumpet

  U ...

  Ukelele

  V ...

  Vielle

  Vihuela

  Viol

  Viola

  Viola d'amore

  Viola da gamba

  Viola de rueda

  Viola pomposa

  Violín

  Violonchelo

  Virginal

  W ...

  White cornett

  X ...

  Y ...

  Z ...

  Zanfoña

  Zink

  Zither

 

Spares & Tools
 

  A ...

  Adhesives

  B ...

  Bags

  Bits

  Books

  Bows

  C ...

  Cases

  Claviers

  Cork

  D ...

  Desk for Cembalino

  Regency Music Desk

  Drill bits

  E ...

  Electronic tuner

  F ...

  Finishing kit for Windcaps

  Furniture (Regency Music Stand)

  G ...

  Glue

  Gilding set for Ottav. Spinet

  Gut strings

  H ...

  Hide glue

  I ...

  J ...

  Jacks

  K ...

  Keyboards

  Keyfronts

  Klaviaturen

  L ...

  Lead

  Lid for Clavichord

  M ...

  Machine pegs

  Music Desk for Cembalino

  Regency Music Stand

  N ...

  Nylon strings

O ...

 

  P ...

  Pegs

  Paint

  Painting Set for Clavichord

  Painting Set for Harpsichord

  Plectra

  Plettri

  Q ...

  R ...

  Reeds (Cane)

  Reeds (Plastic)

  Raw materials

  Registers

  S ...

  Saltadores

  Slides

  Springers

  Stand for Cembalino

  Stand for Clavichord

  Stand for Harpsichord

  Strings (Gut)

  Strings (Nylon)

  Strings (Metal)

  Stools

  Sautereaux

  Soundboards

  T ...

  Tables d'harmonie

  Tastiere

  Tastenfronten

  Tools (Drill bits)

  Tuners

  Tuning keys

  Tuning pegs

  U ...

  V ...

  Varnish

  W ...

  Wire

  X ...

  Y ...

  Z ...

 
Knowledge Base  -->  Taking up  -->  Make or Buy | Making | Materials |

Excerpts from several articles and customer opinions. First published Feb 2003


Make or Buy Your Instrument

Advantages and disadvantages

The ways of obtaining a musical instrument are either by buying it, building one from scratch or using a kit. The first option can mean buying an original instrument, assuming one is available, buying a reproduction or buying a new design.

A KIT is a set of materials, tools, accessories, documentation, license and service, so that you can put them together and assemble a working product.
A PLAN includes the documentation, license and service. No parts are included.
A FINISHED is a working instrument that some times can include some tools, accessories, documentation and service.

You could think that copying an original design you will be benefiting from the mature experience of one of the finest makers of the instrument who worked at a period when the instrument reached one of its high-points. But with a new or modern design you will be benefiting also from the technology and the experience acquired of the study of many similar instruments and their evolution with the years or centuries.

There are a number of very good makers who reproduce copies of original instruments or ones derived from originals. This means that the cost will be less than that of an original and the instrument will be in first-class playing order. If there are problems the maker will be available to handle them, something which may not be possible with an historic original instrument.

Building an instrument is undoubtedly very satisfying, starting with pieces of timber and producing a fine, playable instrument of which one is very proud. Almost every one who has produced an instrument from scratch gets the conclusion that if he were building another, he would make one from a kit where all the hard work had been done!

Some woodworking skills are needed to build an instrument from a kit, but can be quite like making a cake from a packet if the kit comes with pre-shaped parts, a detailed full size drawing, easy to follow step-by-step instructions and pictures of all the important details.

Some kits require you only to put screws into pre-drilled holes and glue together pieces of wood. Others will expect you to mark out, cut to size, trim, etc. The more work you are expected to do, the more risk of mistakes if you do not have experience and the less the cost of the kit.

Following you can find the advantages and disadvantages of obtaining your instrument from several points of view.

      Finished   Kit   Plan
  Quality.

The quality of an instrument is not only its sound.

Basically it is measured by the stability, the durability, the easiness to be fitted, played and repaired...

The design and the materials do the 95% of the quality of an instrument, included its sound. Only a very bad construction can avoid to reach the 100% quality.

  The RWC has the accumulated know-how and expertise of the best craftsmen during more than 100 years.

Our finished instruments are made after the best designs, with premium materials and in the best conditions.

We pride ourselves in the quality of our work. Our craftsmen work in our own workshops to produce the parts for all our instruments, each instrument being carefully hand built to the highest standards.

  The RWC kits are designed so that anyone can get a professional instrument.

The materials are chosen because of their tonal and durability qualities and are considered the best for their function.

The designs are all of them based in existing instruments considered the best in the world.

We supply in our kits the same top quality parts used in the finished instruments.

  You can choose the quality of the materials and even do some modifications on the design.

If you choose a plan is probably because you are confident in your skills and the quality of the instrument will be accordingly to them.

 

               
      Finished   Kit   Plan
  Comparing several instruments   In a shop you can compare the sound of several instruments. It is difficult to know the exact used materials and the construction techniques, which have a big influence in the future behaviour.

If you order the instrument to a maker you have to trust in his experience and renown.

  You can compare the quality of the design and materials, but not the final sound of the instrument.

You can test one instrument made from the same kit by another builder, but it will not be exactly the same.

  You can compare the design, dimensions and construction techniques.

This is more than 60% of the quality of the instrument. The lasting percentage is divided into 35% for the materials and 5% for the construction.

               
      Finished   Kit   Plan
  Time   You can enjoy your instrument just after buying it.   Even though the kit can be very easy to assemble, you will need time to finish and tune it.

Respect to buying the plan, buying a kit you save the time to select the materials and to make the parts.

  You will need enough time to collect all the materials and tools, to make all the parts, to assemble them, to finish and to tune the instrument.

Some common materials are only useful for musical purposes if appropriately treated. It is the case of the wood for the soundboxes that usually is quartersawn and naturally seasoned for five to twenty years.

               
      Finished   Kit   Plan
  Room   You will only need the space to store and play the instrument.   All the RWC kits can be assembled at home. Only for the biggest keyboards a small workshop, garage or empty room can be necessary.   In addition to the space needed to assemble the instrument, you will need some room to make the parts. This tasks are quite more 'dirty' and a small workshop is necessary.
               
      Finished   Kit   Plan
  Apprenticeship
To know an instrument is not only to know how to play it with musicianship and virtuosity.

Old musicians built and fixed their instruments. They also experimented modifications in the instruments in order to get other or better sounds.

  You will not learn about the construction of the instrument.   You will learn everything about the construction of an instrument.

You will also learn how the parts are made, but you will have not a big practice of making them.

Making an instrument will give you such a familiarity with its  operation that you will be able to fix, repair and even modify it.

  After finishing your instrument you will know everything about selecting materials, making the parts and assembling an instrument.

You will also be able to fix and repair it.

               
      Finished   Kit   Plan
  Price
The cost to have a ready-to-play instrument has to include the cost to get it and, in long term, the cost of its maintenance.

In occidental countries, the price can be approximately 40% due to the materials and 60% to the labour.

In developing countries like China, India, etc, up to the 90% of the price of an instrument can be due to the materials and only 10% to the labour.

  Some of the cheap imported historical instruments now available may turn out to be a false economy.

Occidental handmade instruments tend to be expensive to buy, but the expense is likely to prove well worthwhile, given the hundreds of hours of pleasure to be had from them.

In any case, historical instruments tend to keep their resale value reasonably well, if you have to sell again.

  It is difficult to valuate which of the three forms is cheaper if you consider your time of getting the materials and building.

Obviously the kit allows you a smaller outlay than buying a finished instrument but you will have to dedicate some time to assemble it.

If you have to sell the instrument you will find that the dedicated time is generously compensated.

  If you buy the plan, the first outlay will be smaller, but finally you will need to buy all the materials and tools, and some of them are not easy to find.

Maybe you will have to wander to many shops and it will cost you the transport. Or you will have to order some pieces abroad and the shipping costs will increase dramatically the final cost.

Getting the materials and tools can take quite long and be frustrating if you do not know who can provide you with them.

               
      Finished   Kit   Plan
  Conclusion   Our finished instruments are all of them of the best top professional quality.

You will not be able to find anywhere the same quality at that price!

If, for whatever reason, you are not satisfied with your purchase you may return it for a full refund [more]

  You can have the same professional instrument at a fraction of the price with our kits.

The kits contain the same top quality parts and show you how to build the instrument, letting you into the secrets of the craftsmen who make the instruments.

Each kit is supplied with a detailed working drawing and comprehensive instruction manual to take you a step at a time through each stage of the construction process and allow you to work at your own pace.

  Building an instrument from scratch can be a challenge and requires a degree of skill.

We only recommend to buy the plan if you have a quite well assortment of tools, easy access to the materials, the room in which to make it and enough time to dedicate to the instrument.

 

Essential tools to build a instrument

It's impossible to give you a definitive list of tools required, partly because no two projects are identical and partly because each person has different preferences and budget. The best way to approach this question is to break down your project into discrete operations, and then the tools required for each operation will be fairly obvious. To spread out the cost, and to avoid the trap of buying tools you think you'll need only to find later that you've wasted your money, buy tools only after you are certain you need them. By the end of your project you will have acquired a complete workshop exactly tailored to your preferences and budget.

The kits of the Renaissance Workshop Company come with some difficult to find tools and instructions to make your own.


More questions

If you do not have experience making a musical instrument from a kit or if you doubt about the feasibility and quality of the result, you can also be interested in other doubts and questions sent by other people.


       

Copyright © 1999 Renaissance Workshop Company Ltd.
Last modification: 19 de agosto de 2014
Phone:(+34) 91 450 30 50
info[@]renwks[.]com