Hurdy Gurdy Making Process

A reference document containing the overall order of things when I’m making Hurdy Gurdies.

TODO: Write up early stages (this document was started as I was gluing up the sides of two gurdies)

At this point, everything starts happening very quickly. Efficient planning is required to get everything in the right place at the right time.

Shafts, Wheels, Cranks

  1. Make the shafts
  2. Make the wheels
  3. Make the cranks


  1. Clear + set up the lathe
  2. Set up go-bars in shed


  1. Rough out the braces
  2. Make the braces shiny
  3. Drill shaft holes in the braces
  4. Get top, back and braces from wrkshp ⇒ home (where the go bars are)

  5. Cut wheel holes out of top

  6. Glue braces to top
  7. Glue braces to back

Attachment of Plates to Sides

  1. Cut sides roughly to shape
  2. Sand and plane sides to the fit for top
  3. Attach top to sides
  4. Sand and plane sides to the fit for back
  5. Attach back to sides


Make the electrics as modular as possible, using headers and heat shrink to connect the elements. Use male headers to indicate the direction of the flow of information (e.g. headers from pickup cable have male headers, header on output jack cable has female jack).

Test the electrics continuously, both for continuity and short circuits.


Keyboxes should be 5-6mm in thickness. Plane to a clean surface and mark a datum out, then mark out string geometry (remember both highest and lowest string height). After that, mark out heights of natural and accidental key rows, as well as the top of the keybox (and a rough line to indicate the total height inc. lid).

TODO: Add more as I go along