Register Cutting Jig

There has been rather a long pause in the building process as I had to take some time off. I moved the harpsichord back down to the workroom after being in storage (in the corner of my dining room) for about a year! I’m now trying to get the Harpsichord Project back on track after this very long hiatus.

I spent a couple of hours re-reading many pages of the Harpsichord Project E-Book to recall exactly where I left off, which is the having completed the all the structural case work, bracing and installing the pin block. Ernie Miller (my mentor) sent a new addition to the e-book a while back about building something called the Schaffter jig (Alan Schaffter invented the Incra I-Box jig.) for slotting the harpsichord registers on the table saw. This is exactly what I need to move on to the next step, which is making the registers themselves. I was originally going to hand-cut all of the register slots since I do not have the recommended scroll saw and really didn’t want to invest in one. Ernie says the jig is the greatest thing since sliced bread!

I cut the base for the Schaffter jig and laid out lines. Cut pieces for the Fence and  Runner, and laid out and cut out the Pivot Lock. Then I completed the remaining pieces and the assembly and applied a couple of coats of urethane. I’ve completed the setup of the safety stops and first calibration steps for the jig.

I just love building ‘tools’ for instrument making. A lot of people just build tools and jigs out of scraps, but I’ve always felt that they deserve just about as much attention and care as the instruments themselves, and I expect to have them a long time. Who knows, I may want to build another harpsichord some day.

Schaffter Register Slotting Jig

Schaffter Register Slotting Jig

Now that the jig is built I’ll soon move on to actually making the registers. I prepared a blank earlier, but I’ll have to find it now!

I leveled all of the beech plugs in the sides of the case today and during that process I discovered that there were 2 fairly good-sized stress splits in the bottom of the case. Planed down some strips of wood to inlay into the split. Leveled the strips and planed the case bottom to fair the new joints. I will have to do the same thing to the inside of the case bottom as well.

Up to this point I have invested about $525.00 and 190 hours of labor. Still a long way to go!

About npcarey

Amateur Luthier, woodworker, music enthusiast, software enthusiast
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2 Responses to Register Cutting Jig

  1. Pingback: Harpsichord Registers (Next Phase) | Confessions of an Amateur Luthier

  2. Pingback: New Set of Uppers | Confessions of an Amateur Luthier

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