Previously I built a viola da gamba using 1/8 inch paneling as a facade covering the straight sides made from toe kick.
It's neck was made from an ax handle using neck-through construction and worked fine.
I used that 3" radius blue plastic tubing from the hardware store to be the arched fingerboard cut at an angle so that the nut area was narrower than the bridge side. Worked perfect.
Strung it with classical guitar strings and used rubber bands for the frets. Sounded great except the 1st string didn't always speak well when bowed.
Anyway, I've got an idea now after seeing Afghani rabab and banjitars to make another bowed gamba with sympathetic strings like a dilruba or sarangi and a 6 string banjitar with sympathetic strings. I'll call them a dilgamba and a rababitar.
a) Looking for a quick and dirty solution to the sympathetic strings, which do not need a buzzing jiwari bridge since it's not a sitar. Normally the rabab has sympathetic strings which come through holes in the main bridge instead of using two bridges. They only come out of the half of the bridge having the lower pitched strings, then angle off to the side of the neck like a banjo.
I'm wondering if anyone has experience making sympathetic strings. I'm not looking to do a slick, pro job on them. Just something a beginner can easily pull off. Would you use 2 bridges or stick to 1 with holes for the sympathtic strings like on rababs?
b) Also, what kind of tuning pegs would you use for the sympathetics on the side of the neck? There should be 12 packed close together. My idea is to use violin pegs. They can be kind of pricey though.
I'm not so good with tools and don't want to take the time to fashion my own pegs. I've got a pro audio business which takes up most of my time and just want a playable instrument which sounds right and is easily tunable. It can be a little funky like tuners made of dowels or something. What do you guys recommend?
I made my own in this instructible (step7)
You can also get a couple of hundred by demolishing an old piano.
You can get them here!