Build a Squarpent: Assembly


Once all of the angled cuts have been made, and all sections have had their cut edges lightly sanded to remove burrs, it is time to to assemble the instrument. 

Start by laying the 'down tube' section down, with the large end opening facing up. Lay the small 'bottom bow' section on top of this opening, as shown in the photo. Make sure to place the smaller end of the bottom bow section onto the down tube section. Check the two sides of the bore to make sure the center lines are in alignment.

Once comfortable with the fit and the way it looks, separate the two sections and apply wood glue to both sections along all edges where they will meet. Carefully place the sections back together, once again checking the center lines. Wipe excess glue from the outside of the joints, but leave the insides of the joints alone; it is too hard to wipe up the glue here without disturbing the alignment.

Prop the vertical (bottom bow) section with a heavy object to prevent it from sliding out of alignment; the glue makes a good lubricant when wet. Allow the glue to set.

In the same manner, lay the small 'up tube' section down and place the 'top bow' section onto it. Check alignment, glue and block as before (not shown in photo). This sub-assembly can dry at the same time as the larger assembly above.

When the glue joints have completely cured, add the 'bell tube' section to the 'down tube/bottom bow' assembly as shown. DO NOT GLUE YET!

The bell tube should be parallel to the down tube when the joint between the bell tube and bottom bow sections is aligned. However, it will not stay aligned without some added support; dowel sections will be used as support spacers.

This photo shows a thin 3/4" diameter dowel section placed as a spacer between the bell tube and down tube sections. Use four such spacers, two near the bell end and two near the bottom bow. Due to slight errors in cutting and alignment, it will probably be necessary to make each spacer with slightly different lengths. 

Note in the photo that a line has been drawn near the bell; this is measured at about the 91" overall length point of the tube. During tuning, it may be necessary to cut some of the bell end away, but it should never be shorter than 91" unless something else is very wrong! Using this line as a guide, make sure to place the spacers well clear of the area that might be cut off later.

This photo shows the spacers near the bottom bow (visible in the shadows between the tube sections). Also note how the center lines match up all the way around the bottom bow 'bend'.

Once the spacers have been cut and test fit, apply wood glue to one side of each spacer, and place them on the down tube; twist them slightly while pushing down, to make for a better glue joint. Next, apply glue to the tops of the spacers AND to the joint edges where the bell tube and bottom bow meet. Place the bell tube in place, re-check alignment, and make sure that the glue on the tops of the spacers has squeezed out somewhat (a sign that the spacers fit correctly).

Wipe excess glue from the tube joint, and use cotton swabs to remove excess glue at the spacers.

Block the bell tube to prevent shifting, and allow the glue to set.

Once the above assembly is dry, turn it over and add the 'up tube/top bow' assembly. Here only two spacers are needed, since the tubing is not so wide.

When all glue has completely set in the above assembly, add the final 'bocal' section. Prop the instrument up against a table, and fit the bocal section to the up tube section. A pipe clamp, or other long reach clamp, will work well for holding this joint together. If a clamp is not available, wire, tape, etc; may be used with care.

Add a small piece of wood to the joint to reinforce it, as shown in the photo.

This completes assembly of the Squarpent. Insert the mouthpiece and perform the same bugle call tests as before. If any leaks are detected, rub glue into the bend joints and allow to dry. Once the test is performed successfully, proceed with drilling the finger holes.

All photos made using a Kodak DC240 digital camera.

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Copyright Paul Schmidt 2002
added August 2002