Putting dou together

Hello everyone!

Today, I finished my first dou and I still cannot believe that it´s done! While I am still waiting for a reamer, I can finally start on a doukake…


…got inspired by James Low´s shamisen:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcPVNkCo9dg.
Of course, it´s not as elaborate and I think that I was being more lazy to carve out all that herringbone pattern :blush:

Waiting for the glue to dry.

First coat of camelia oil.

Wood used: Sweet cherry (prunus avium)

Thanks for “stopping by” and happy building! :heart:

Wow! Very impressive! Nice texture matching on the last photo!

Thanks Alexey! I was just lucky with the lumber I got :slight_smile:

I find the dou to be the most labor out of all the parts and it is evident this one has been made with care and precision. Simply exquisite! :clap:

Well, I am still admiring the beautiful sao you made! For me, the worst part was the nakago and I think that I went off the instructions with that one :smile:
p.s. What kind of wood did you use?

That one was made of sapele. Though it’s rather soft and I don’t think it was the best choice. I have tried some other woods and I decided on purple heart. It’s very suitable for the task in reference to availability, aesthetics, and material properties. Padauk is good too.

I actually start cutting the joinery while the sao is still square and I find this makes the nakago much easier to make! It took me at least 4 attempts to feel confident with making the sao in its entirety, so keep at it and you will make something great! Your completed work makes that evident.

Here is the shamisen I am working on right now (out of purple heart):


You will notice the slimmer neck and squarer dou. I suppose I favor the look of jiuta shamisen. I have altered a bunch of the proportions of the designs in the book to my taste. I have also made the tenjin more curved. I remember you posted before on how you thought the tenjin should be more curved, and I agree! Here is my extra curvy alteration:

I am eager to see your shamisen completed. It’s going to be great!

1 Like