Finally, after all of the preparation, the soundboard is finally installed. Now, just wait for 24 hours for the glue to cure and pull out all the nails/spruce pads. This method of soundboard installation requires a “crown dowel”, which simply holds the center of the soundboard up about 1/16″ to create a slight crown to fight against future ‘sinking’ of the soundboard under all of the string tension. The dowel will be removed later on with the aid of the strings firmly attached and threaded out between all the bracing.
The last step is vacuuming out the inside of the instrument before glue goes on, and to drill a series of small holes around the perimeter of the soundboard, 1/4″ away from the edge, to hold all of the clamping pads. This makes the nailing very tricky, and in fact a few nail got bent in the process, but I simply bent them over to apply the requisite amount of pressure to hold the soundboard firmly along all of the liners.
It has been a long time getting to this point, and this is a major milestone in the creation of this harpsichord.
The next thing to do is to remove all of the pads/nails and clean up the soundboard, fit and mark the moldings and then go around the harpsichord, side-by-side and install the moldings which cover up all of the holes and create a nice trim and finish off the soundboard installation with all the pins for stringing.
The front bentside molding took more than a little finger pressure to get into place, so one it cures (overnight) I will install pins from the top of the molding, between 2 pin markings in probably 3 places around the curve. This should counteract some of the string pull pressure against the pins/molding. Pinning a joint is a common technique in furniture making. In the Ready to Sit Down post there is a clear illustration of pinned mortise and tenon joints.
Finally, all of the moldings are installed and some of the ‘dents’ put into the delicate edges were all cleaned up with a combination of shoulder planes. The last step in the soundboard installation was to install the Rose Band around the Rose hole. With this all done it is time to start masking off the instrument and begin the painting process.