More keyboard work . . .

Completed the sanding and leveling of the stock for the keytops, using Bolivian Rosewood. Cut 34 heads and 34 tails plus 1 extra-wide tail for the d’’’ key. I now have all of the parts cut out for the keyboard. Will hopefully be able to get the board drilled, install the pins and cut the keys apart this weekend. This is turning out to be a fascinating project, using many of my woodworking skills and learning to do many new things with even more precision. My goal remains to build this instrument with as little investment as possible.

Harpsichord Key covers cut

Harpsichord Key covers cut

Put another coat of dark brown stain on the walnut sharps. I also put filler on them and sanded them smooth to 320.

Walnut Sharps with first coat of filler

Walnut Sharps with first coat of filler

Before each step I sit down and read the “E-Book” again and review the email notes from Ernie so as to minimize the possibility of error.

I laid out the alignment lines on the sides of the keyframe, tacked the keyboard on with 3 brads and drilled the 102 necessary holes. Something went awry with 2 of the holes, where the alignment block had a hole that wasn’t square so I had to fill the holes with glue and a toothpick. Afterward I took the keyboard off the frame and plugged the holes in the frame and all appears fine. Before removing the keyboard I took a nail of smaller diameter and tested each hole to ensure that I did not miss any, which I think would be easy to do. We want to keep the alignment of the holes as accurately as possible.

Keyframe after drilling

Keyframe after drilling

Sanded all of the sharps and put on the 1st coat of Birchwood-Casey Grain Filler. After drying overnight, will put on another coat tomorrow.

Cut and ground about 75 pins for the rails. Created a guide block to hammer the pins into the rail and keep them nice and straight when they are hammered in. Completed cutting the rest of the pins for the rails. Completed the pins, ground all pins on the fine grinding wheel, then using the Dremel tool, polished the ends of the pins to remove any heavy scratches. Set all of the pins in the key frame today.

Put the second coat of grain filler on the sharps. Put third and final coat of grain filler on the sharps. More work on the sharps, buffed with steel wool, applied two coats of Tru-Oil.


About npcarey

Amateur Luthier, woodworker, music enthusiast, software enthusiast
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2 Responses to More keyboard work . . .

  1. Dan says:

    Since completion of the instrument have you had any issues with loose or sticky keys due to having used round pins and no bushing felt?

    • npcarey says:

      The instrument is quite far from complete . . . I’d say the project is about half done. The keyboard is the first thing I built and after it has sat for a couple of years I have found a few keys a tiny bit sticky, but I had planned to do all the tweaking and adjusting later on when I’m closer to being finished.

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