Tools, Finishing the Case, Nameboard

More tools are required, and although I don’t need some of these for quite some time, I like to take a break from the main building to do these little projects. I turned two maple handles on the lathe to make hitch and bridge pin setting tools. Once turned, I drilled ¼ inch holes and inserted approximately 3 inch long brass rods. Applied 2 coats of gun stock oil. Had to go to Harbor Freight to purchase a set of numbered titanium drill bits to finish the tools, but I needed them anyway. Hobbies like this require quite a few tools!

Harpsichord - pinning tools hand made

Harpsichord – pinning tools hand made

Time to do more work on the bottom of the harpsichord. Laid out the holes every two inches along the bottom and drilled. Flipped over the bottom and countersunk the holes in the bottom so that screws will easily go below the surface of the bottom. Here’s the completed bottom.

Harpsichord Bottom

Harpsichord Bottom

Trimmed case sides to final width of 8 ¾” and cut all of the angles in the tail, spine, cheek and bentside. It turned out to be less of an issue than I thought. When the instructions say to cut a 62 degree angle in the tail, you simply take 90 degrees minus 62 degrees and set the blade at 28 degrees. Same for the 135 degree angles which turns out to be 45 degrees. The trick for cutting the bentside to tail angle because of the curve of the bentside is to shim the end until it is level and then cut it at 45 degrees.

Completed fitting the case sides and attaching temporarily with screws.

Cut dadoes and rabbets and the escapement window into spine and cheek. Reinstalled all sides and fit the nameboard.

Laid out and cut the lever windows in the nameboard. Completed the escapement window cover and installed with 5 x 5/8” brass screws.

Installed all case sides and nameboard with glue and epoxy. Now it is time to install the bracing, so I purchased screws and epoxy, and poplar boards for interior bracing. Sanded and smoothed all case side joints and flush trimmed the bottom.

Cut, fit and installed the keywell molding. Prepared the upper and lower belly rails.

Installed lower belly rail. Discovered after testing the fit that the keywell area was 1/16” short. Shaved 3/32” off rear of key stiles and adjusted left side with a piece of iron-on oak veneer to match the wood. Even after measuring multiple times and being very careful to cut to the line, the left side was just a hair too short, so I ironed on a piece of oak veneer to match it up and ensure it was completely even with the right and that it would slide side to side correctly.

Installed the upper belly rail with considerable care to ensure that the face was 90 degrees to the bottom. Here is the assembled case so far.

Harpsichord - Belly rail and case

Harpsichord – Belly rail and case

Cut and fit most of the lower braces to the case. Completed cutting and shaping the lower braces to fit the case. After cutting out the lower brace shapes, rounded over all of the edges for purely aesthetic reasons, even though they aren’t seen after the case is closed in.

Installed the lower braces.

Harpsichord - Installing Lower Braces

Harpsichord – Installing Lower Braces

Removed all of the screws used to clamp the lower braces and plugged with poplar plugs on the sides and also removed all the screws in the bottom and plugged with pine plugs made with a plug cutter. Completed the plugging, cutting them flush and sanding them smooth. There are some areas around the plugs that will get filled later, just to have a perfectly smooth bottom. I installed the tail and spine liners inside the case as well.

A few more construction photos of various parts of the case.

About npcarey

Amateur Luthier, music enthusiast, software enthusiast
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