Ugears Hurdy Gurdy

(1 customer review)


Number of parts: 292
Assembly time: 4-5 hours
Level: intermediate
Model size: 40*16.5*22 cm

The hurdy-gurdy is a string instrument that produces a sound resembling one of a bagpipe by a hand-turned wheel rubbing against the strings working similarly to a violin and a fiddle bow.

The history of this instrument begins in the 15th century. One of the earliest forms of the hurdy-gurdy was the organistrum (a portable organ) in Medieval Europe. After some modifications it became a common instrument among travelling musicians in England and went through its renaissance period in the later 17th-18th centuries as more of the noble class musical instrument for the amusement of the rich. Those instruments were decorated by craftsmen with inlays and carving and had the built-in hurdy-gurdy mechanism into the guitar or lute body. Some call the Hurdy-Gurdy music “a medieval rock’n’roll”, which we find pretty cool. It captured us and we decided to create the Ugears’ version of the Hurdy-Gurdy.

Inspired by the art of medieval craftsmen, enriched by smart engineering of the XXI century and created by Ugears engineers’ collective imagination. Richly detailed with an eye toward romance and artistry, our version of this indelible symbol of medieval life and adventure impresses all who come across it and get a chance to play it.

The Ugears Hurdy-Gurdy is a fully fledged musical instrument. It’s easy to play: just turn a crank with one hand putting the rhythm into the music and push the keys with the other. A unique combination of good taste, wood and mechanics. An awesome gift and smart hobby idea for your friends and family.

Ugears has created this 3D puzzle with great care and perfection. It is made of attractive, high quality wooden material. All parts are pre-cut into plywood boards and are easily removed for assembly.

SKU: 70024 Category:

Additional information

Assembly Time


Number Of Parts


Model Size

40*16.5*22 cm

1 review for Ugears Hurdy Gurdy

  1. Ken Webster

    It’s a great model for reasonably experienced teen and adult modelers. Precision laser cut parts with a few spares fit together well. Some are a bit tight and require some smoothing (I used a needle file). There is sandpaper provided but that doesn’t offer the control of a needle file. Smoothing bearing surfaces is essential as is removing the little bits of wood from where the part are broken out of the boards. This is especially so of mechanical parts like bearings, gears and keys. Obviously it isn’t a musical instrument as real gurdys cost $5000 give or take. It is a functional model. All parts are plywood, it doesn’t have engineered durable mechanical parts so don’t expect it to last or play like a real instrument. Have some perspective on what you are buying here. I took my time putting it together, wanting that to last a couple of weeks. As with all things mechanical, it helps if you have some mechanical knowledge and make sure all the parts are oriented correctly, fit & work together smoothly and correctly before committing to the next step. There is wax provided for lubrication, use it. As I wanted to try to extend the working life of the model, I melted the wax and dipped the moving parts, placing them on paper towel to mop up the excess melted wax. Once the wax set, I ran the shaft of a thin watch makers screwdriver over all mating surfaces to remove excess wax. Excess wax will just jam the parts but you need it for lubrication so the parts move together freely and smoothly. Doing this made the model run smoothly with minimal mechanical noise (considering that it’s all wood).
    The Negatives:
    1. The plywood is not great quality with the lamina containing splits that cause some bits of wood to split off some parts when they are removed from the boards. Some had to be glued back together, other times there were spare parts. I think marine ply would be a better choice as it has the best integrity
    2. There is not enough wax provided, even if I hadn’t resorted to melt and dip, the tiny bit of candle just crumbled apart and was clearly not going to be enough.
    3. The board locations for some of the small parts wasn’t in the instructions which made it hard to locate them, all the part were there, with spares.
    4. I don’t own a phone to use QR codes, so I can’t access those steps form the instructions. However, I have enough music knowledge to get by. Too bad if you don’t…..
    5. The position of the melody string shown in the instructions causes the lower keys to ply 1/2 step too sharp. Moving the string to the slightly further away position gives good intonation for lowest few notes. The higher ones are off a bit but there are several possible solutions, I haven’t decided upon yet.

    I am a musician and have made some instruments and tweaked others, So I know that I can tune the intonation & this will make it sound a whole lot better. It is never going to sound like a professional instrument though, or even a student one for that matter. Be realistic about expectations.

    Overall, the model being the size it is means it play in a higher register than normal. If the wheel is smoothed and setup correctly as per instructions. It plays fine for what it is. To apply rosin, it is easiest to dissolve a little rosin in isopropyl, you don’t need much rosin but you need enough alcohol to cover the wheel well, wait for that to harden. With the strings still off the wheel, dab tiny amount on each string just above the wheel. Wait the the rosin to harden a bit and apply some cotton wool to the string. This protects the string from wear and also improves the sound performance. Search YouTube for Patty Gurdy’s instruction on applying cotton.

    Most of that is addressing the unrealistic expectations that I have seem online for this model. It has been a interesting model to assemble and it looks great, making for an interesting display and something you can play a bit, at least for a while. I marked it down to 4 points mainly because the of the quality of the plywood and the reliance on QR codes with no alternatives.

    Have fun with it.

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