Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Finishing the soundboard

I've only worked on the harpsichord twice this summer, thanks to lab. Got the soundboard pretty much done, just need to cut a hole for the rose and glue it in.

Also glued the bottom on. I might steam it off and reglue it... not sure it fitted nicely enough. But once it's finally glued, I can add knees (an alteration to the original instrument, to prevent twisting) and route off the overhangs.

Images are in no particular order.

Monday, November 17, 2008

4' Bridge Finished

The octave bridge is nicely cut and shaped. I'm ready to glue it and the 8' bridge onto the soundboard.

I decided to play around quickly with making some organ pipes. They were... special (read "silent"). I think the problem was not making a nice air curtain.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New octave bridge

On the old soundboard, the first thing I tried to glue down was the octave bridge. That failed (realized I wasn't using the glue totally correctly) and I tried to remove the bridge, but bent it a bit. Since I had about half of a 3" thick slice of a beech tree left after making the first set of bridges, I decided to make another octave bridge.

It's cut out and sanded to shape -- I spent a lot more time sanding the curve this time than the last, as I realized most of the waves in the long-dimension were from poorly roughing it out originally. So now it's nicely sanded out. Still need to do the trapezoidal shaping.

Since the wood I had to work with was basically unmilled, I had to (as before) surface it and prepare it for work. This was fun, as it was much faster than last time, and shows the nice grain under the oxidized surface. It went like this: quickly cut to the rough length to ease workability; join one face to make it flat, then join one edge square to the face so it can be squarely resawn; resaw to the thickness, within 1/8th of an inch; plane down by machine to thickness within 1/16th of thickness; then transfer outline from drawing with carbon paper and begin working up.

Meanwhile, I didn't want to start the tedious shaping process, so I took a break and made a French rolling pin with some leftover beech for my friend as part of her housewarming gift. It started as a 2x2" block of beech, 22 inches long, then I turned it to a perfect cylinder, then tapered the ends about 1/4". This is supposedly so it can pivot easily to aid in shaping pie circles, etc. Took about 1.5 hours to shape evenly, then a bit more to sand down to 150 grit, polish and burnish with woodchips. It's all nice and shiny, though! Then I quickly beveled the edges at the ends on a belt sander. I have another blank that I'm going to turn for myself later.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gluing the soundboard bars

I know I'm doing this a bit reversed, but I wanted to get something on the soundboard to reinforce it as soon as possible, and I had the soundboard bars (fir) all ready to go. So on they went!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

New soundboard fitted

The new soundboard is thinned and fitted to the rim. I used a beltsander for the thinning instead of a blockplane. Dustier, but less work! Also much more even thickness.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The new soundboard

is almost done. I changed up the order of work this time. Previously I thinned the entire piece of joined boards, then cut it to size. This time I cut it to rough size, then thinned it. Faster and more precise. Also, I used a belt sander this time to quickly thin the thing from about 0.200" to <0.013". Planing last time took several whole days; the sander took several hours. Joints are nice, still.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Soundboard, take two

I ordered a new batch of wood from Switzerland to make the soundboard anew. The last one wasn't quite perfect. This one I'm being super careful on, especially in terms of the glue joints.

Thanks to Mr. R. K. Lee (who drew the plans up), I learned that I need to let the dry glue soak up the water for an hour before melting it. Makes it much easier to spread on the joints quickly. The odd joints are glued and clamped (except for the one longest one; I ran out of clamps), shown in the picture in all 52 clamps.