Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Morin Khurr Plan

Okay.  You asked for it.

Lately I'm being inundated with requests for information about the morin khurr I put together several years ago. Every week there's at least one email from someone - all ages, from all walks of life, and from around the world.

Let's be clear. I'm not an expert in traditional morin khurr construction. I built only one, using techniques borrowed from guitar making. It's playable and the owner is very pleased with it.
There was no resource material available to me when I began the project, and I scaled the dimensions up from a photograph I found online. As luck would have it they were very close to those I later measured when I got my hands on an authentic instrument.

So far, of the many people who have contacted me about building them, I've only seen one person follow through and complete a morin khurr (it was amazing). 

I'm not going to teach you luthiery via email. It's just too difficult. If you're the inquisitive kind of person who wants to build an instrument you need to develop self-reliance and trust your instincts. I'm providing the basic dimensions but I'm leaving details and construction techniques up to the builder. This should be enough information for people with some experience building guitars, violins, or other stringed instruments to get started on a plan of their own. (Click on the image to enlarge and then you can right-click to save to your computer).

Total Length:  41.5"    1054mm
Width at bottom of box: 11-1/8"   282.5mm
Width at top: 8"   203mm
Box length: 12-1/14"   311mm
Neck, nut to body: 17-7/8"    452mm
String Length: nut to bridge: 22-5/16"  566mm
Neck width at body: 24mm 
Neck width at nut: 22 mm
Neck thickness: 22mm at nut tapers to 30mm at place where curve begins
Fingerboard thickness: 4mm (neck is flush with body plane, board is above it)
Nut height: 16mm to bottom of string
Bridge height: 35mm
Tailpiece length: 6"  150mm
Side depth: 92mm (no taper)
Plate thickness at edge:  4.5-5mm
rounded corner blocks inside
Top arching at the bridge rises to about 8mm
Soundpost about 7mm diameter
String spacing: 19mm at nut,  30mm at bridge. (outside edge to outside edge)


  1. Thank you very much for this information. I have a Morin Khuur I bought in Mongolia that is in a needy state and was trying to figure out how to make one to replace it. If people are actually interested in buying one from Mongolia, I suggest Morin-Huur.com . Otherwise, have at it.

    Again thanks and great work. It is very similar to what I have found by examining my own.

  2. thank you for sharing this. I wil let you know how it wen,t . the building. greetings Hilbert from the Netherlands.

  3. Hi Sir

    Greetings from India

    Me and my father make accessories/parts for Violin family instruments and Guitar. In woods as : Ebony/Rosewood/Boxwood

    We want to make : Pegs / Tailpiece/ Fingerboard/ Bridge for Morin Khuur. Please if possible give us measurements for these parts (if just roughly hand sketch is best)

    Our company name is : Viki Exports Pvt Ltd in city name Kolkata. India

    Our email address is : allaccessories@outlook.in

    My WeChat id is : vikiindia

    My WhatsApp no. : +919830169500

    We wait for your reply. Thank you

    Best regards

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thank you for the precious measurement information. Wish you good luck in your business and life...

  6. Thanks , I used your drawing for my MorinKhuur build, ended up with a playable instrument, I recently attended a Morin Khuur festival at U.C.Berkeley , a couple of players checked it out , tuned it up and were able to play it. My frustration is the paucity of detailed information available, plate thickness etc. Your plan got me mostly there, trial and error hopefuly will help in prefecting the process .
    Thanks again.