Thank you very much for the informed response.
The instrument in question is being built from the plans Grant O'Brien
drew back in the '70s from RCM 175 at the Royal College of Music.
Apparently the instrument went through at least 2 rebuilds during the
historical period. It seems to have started out as a C/E - f''' single
strung, and ended up predictably as a C - d''' double strung.
The soundboard is apparently fir and has but one bar or counterbridge.
I'm thinking that along with the Neapolitan (or Sicilian) construction
practice of locating the bottom board up from the bottom edge of the
bottom edge molding, the single stringing and the light soundboard
construction aim at a different resonance than the more usual double
strung 18th century Northern Italian sound ideal.
I think I'm going to build a version that may never have existed, that is,
a C - d''' single strung in brass.
Since you have built single strung Italians, can you comment?
The case wood in my realization (better word than copy?)is a stunning
piece of birdseye Maple that has been drying in my shop for nearly 20
years. It has not yet been reduced to final thickness. Even a bit fat,
it seems like it would conform to the benside curve without heat bending.
I was planning on using a guitar side bending blanket and electronic
heater controller. However, I dug out Hubbard last night and he writes
that in his opinion Italian bentsides were bent cold.
Is this wise?
Lastly (for this post), what is the trick to turning Boxwood brown? I
have some 40 year old Turkish Box and it came out of the log yellow in
Thanks for the help.