Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 – 1858)
As you can see, the inside surface of the lute body is clean, and I can now glue reinforcing strips along the seams.
I have cut the strips from medium weight rag/cotton paper: that is the traditional method. I don’t see any particular merit in changing something that has lasted the distance.
Many contemporary makers prefer to use modern material – but I recall the comment of a famous luthier, now departed:
“The way a lute is made affects the quality of the sound”.
I have used these miniature steel Scrapers to clean up the inside of the lute body.
They are not sharpened like chisels. I run a burnishing iron two or three times along the cutting edge, at a slight angle – and this is sufficient to create an effective scraping ‘hook’.
The edge has to be renewed from time to time. It produces a beautiful polished finish.