Flemish Framing

The Flemish framing as a simple geometry that really does work! These two photos show that framing before the bottomboard has been fitted. I like to glue the bottomboard feeling that greatly adds to the stability of the instrument under tension, others might disagree with that and chose to treenail the board on.

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Rulers and Templates

I posted a couple of days ago examples of how I use a master template and three shop rulers as reference for every instrument I made. I found these three photos today that show how these templates play a major roll for me and as such I find far more helpful that a drawing.

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Shrinkage and Settlement

Makers have several ways of allowing for settlement that always takes place on new instruments. I have found there is usually shrinkage from scantlings so the action tends to get a little closer to the strings. I pocket two very hard pieces of card under the cloth fitted to the underside of the lower manual keyboard. […]

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The Bob van Asperen Plectrum

Here is the first hour of todays procedure, I have described detail to each photo but will answer any queries.

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Some thoughts on jack design

There are a few fundamental details that need to be considered regarding jack design. Minimising as much as possible friction and minimise the travel of all moving parts.http://michaeljohnsonharpsichords.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=419&action=edit The guides that control the actual jack are helped if all touching areas of the jack are reduced to an area as small as possible and the […]

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Making Plectra

This photo shows all the tools I use to convert sheet Delrin, or in my case acetyl into harpsichord plectra. Delrin is just a bi-product of acetyl, a brand name given by DuPont, who I believe developed Delrin from the basic plastic to give certain industrial qualities. This advice was given to me by a […]

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Maintenance – Regulation

There are two important details that need consideration to give a good harpsichord final action regulation, the attack (pluck) and the escapement (jack return). The attack requires that there is a positive pickup of plectra to string so the plectra is allowed to go through a controlled arch as you depress the key and on […]

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Titebond Glue

There have, over the last few years, been quite a lot of negative reports made about Titebond glue. I use their Premium11 for quite a few jobs, and one is in gluing on a block extension to the 8ft bridge for the hook to be carved. Many years ago I carved the bridge from a […]

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Quills and Voicing

There is a coloured mark on the underside of a new plectra, the colour has no significance other than to tell you that the underside and does not relate to registers or certain racks of jacks.    I make plectra in strips that produce approximately 100 plectra in a strip, and I usually make several strips […]

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Maintenance Project – January 2015

I have just stripped all the dampers and repaired two broken cotton escapement ties. When setting up an action thoroughly it is better to have no dampers so separation can be very accurately achieved. I also added a thin card more lost motion between coupler dogs and the upper manual so the separation will now […]

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