Bowed keyboard- Streichklavier #4: soundboard done

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Blog entry by JonJ posted 03-30-2009 07:35 PM 7653 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: standing alone... Part 4 of Bowed keyboard- Streichklavier series Part 5: Adding strings »

The soundboard is done (but not glued on yet) bracing is in, and I think I’m very close to stringing it up. I may go ahead and apply finish to outside before I string it, so all the “nasty” work will be done before detail work. The soundboard is spanish Cedar…not sure if that is a good soundboard material, but saw it at the sawmill and just had to have it. The lid is done except for the flap that covers the end, and cutting it apart so part of it can fold back. It sprung a little, but I’ll whip it into shape with the latch mechanism that holds it down.
bracing in
trim on
soundboard test fit

-- Jon

7 comments so far

View oldskoolmodder's profile


802 posts in 5019 days

#1 posted 03-30-2009 08:04 PM

Your harpsichord is coming along very nicely.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Karson's profile


35295 posts in 5740 days

#2 posted 03-30-2009 08:48 PM

I contuinues to fill out. Great posts. I’m following them along.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5328 days

#3 posted 03-30-2009 09:23 PM

Looks good!

Be careful with the humidity when you glue in your soundboard. Too much and it will crack when it dries out. The crack will usually be on the treble end. Too little and it will buckle on humid days.

Shellac was always used on harpsichord soundboards. Material typically now it sitka spruce quartersawn.

You will also want to glue your bridge on before you install your soundboard.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View JonJ's profile


163 posts in 5180 days

#4 posted 03-30-2009 10:55 PM

Thanks for the tips on soundboard Gary- especially the humidity. Spring may be a really good time to glue this on, as the humidity is in the middle of the 2 extremes right now. I will have to keep an eye on it this summer if I keep it in the house with the air conditioning sucking all the moisture out of the air. I have had several rawhide drum heads break for that reason. I doubt I will glue the bridge…this will get a hammer dulcimer style (but thinner) bridge on the keyboard end, and I want to be able to move it. My reason for using this style bridge is to replicate as closely as possible the bridge placement of violin type instruments.
I wish I could’ve used sitka for the soundboard, but I bet that stuff is pricey, isn’t it?

-- Jon

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5500 days

#5 posted 03-30-2009 11:57 PM

it is so beautiful.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 5334 days

#6 posted 03-31-2009 12:31 AM

Beautiful work Jon!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View roy's profile


134 posts in 5134 days

#7 posted 03-31-2009 01:15 AM

nice work!! your making great progress!!!

-- tn hillbilly.." tryin to do the best i can with what i got "

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