Case Mouldings for a Harpsichord

I’ve been working on the Harpsichord’s case mouldings for the past two weeks. At 1/4 x 1/2 inch they are rather small and delicate, and all have to be routed. The routed profile is only ~ 9/32 of an inch, some of which is curved.

Curved Moulding Detail

Curved Moulding Detail

Making the curved moulding is just like making the bentside, laying up thin strips of poplar 1/2″ wide x ~3/16″ thick, ending up with a piece that is ~1/2 x 1/2. This glue-up is then put on the same form used to make the bentside, then after it is dry running it through the thickness sander until it was 1/4″ thick. With that blank, setup the router table, with lots of feather boards to hold it rock steady and push them through. The non-curved parts, which is most of them, are much simpler. Just a number of 1/2 x 1/4 inch strips of poplar run through on the 1/2″ face and voila, mouldings!

After preparing all of the moldings they then had to all be mitered to fit to a very close tolerance, which is somewhat finicky work and takes a lot of patience. One thing about building an instrument like this is that you learn you must be extremely patient. And if a part doesn’t come out the way it should or the way you like it, you make a new one!

Harpsichord Mouldings Installed

Harpsichord Mouldings Installed

Installation is pretty straightforward, dry fit all the pieces, then install them with glue.

Once the glue is dry, I flush out any slight variances with a small plane that takes a shaving so thin you can read the newspaper through it!

Now that the mouldings are installed I will hand fashion a brass hook that will hold the Jack Rail in place on the Cheek side. Stay tuned!

About npcarey

Amateur Luthier, music enthusiast, software enthusiast
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