Friday, September 3, 2010

Shomacker Work Continues

Today, after making sure the plate was in proper position, I dry fitted the bridges to the board, and then dry fit the board to the piano rim. I was then ready to set the bearing. This is done by cutting notches in the oversized bridge cap to the level that I want to plane the entire bridge top to. This is done so that the level of the bridge top is slightly higher than the natural plane of the string when stretched between the upper and lower pressure points, thus creating down bearing on the bridge. This is a situation where I want enough down bearing, but not too much. Every rebuilder has his own recipe as to what that is. Mine shall not be revealed on this page! Also note the picture of the old and new board side by side.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Schoemaker Upright Board Pressed

Today I pressed the board for the Schoemaker upright. The task was pretty non-eventful. This was board #65. I need to get it and the bridges installed by the middle of the month.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Upright Soundboard Panel Glue Up Completed

After gluing up five parts of the panel each at 12" or less, these piece were run through the thickness planer to even up the joined edges. The next step was to glue these 5 pieces together forming an almost complete panel. The final step was to glue the small corner pieces into place. When dried to 5% EMC, I can begin fitting the panel to the piano.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sound Board Panel Building Day

I spent the day gluing up the soundboard panel for the Schoeninger upright. I am still waiting for several pieces to be shipped, but could begin because I am building the board in sections. This is a new experience for me as I usually purchase the boards already glued up. But there is a financial consideration- the unglued panels can be shipped UPS or FedX at a reasonable cost. The glued up panels must be shipped common carrier, and this costs almost as much as the panel itself. In this case, I am glad I am gluing it up myself, as the supplier laid it up incorrectly, which I can correct. If it had been glued up by my supplier, I would have been in a pickle! I even had time to glue up a board for my next harp project.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Schomacker Upright Board Under Construction

After enjoying a number of weeks away this summer, it's time to get on the Schomacker Upright board. I am still waiting for the final pieces of the board, as there was a mix up in the angle of the panel grain, that required me to re-lay up the board.Fortunately, the board was a kit, and not already glued up...I would of been in real trouble! Today I cut and shaped the ribs, and fit them into the rim. Hopefully the needed pieces of spruce will arrive soon so that I can continue the project.

The bridges have already been capped. Sorry that I didn't photograph that project.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Steinway A Strung...Finally!

This week I finally completed the belly work on the Steinway. I had hoped to get it completed before our family vacation, but didn't get it accomplished because of a rash of tuning calls. I'm glad it is finished as I will be away for 2 weeks, and need to get on to the upright sound board when I return. Hopefully the spruce panel will arrive shortly after I return.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Steinway A Ready to String

I had hoped to string the Steinway this week, but a flurry of tuning calls has delayed the process. Next week I am on vacation, so hopefully June 28 will be the day to start. The pinblock has been drilled, and the plate suspension dowels installed, and the board top finished prior to the plate installation.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Schomaker Upright Piano

I recently began a soundboard project on a Schomaker upright piano built in Philadelphia in 1903. This is a very interesting piano. I will note some of it's unique features.

First off, the sides are doweled and held to the back by two large bolts and nuts. There was no glue used. This is wonderful for the rebuilder, as the sides are very easily removed and replaced.

The rim that the soundboard is attached to is a large laminated "U" shaped rim, much like a grand piano rim. The pinblock is mortised into this "rim" and the bottom portion of the pinblock serves as the top liner for the soundboard to be attached.

Instead of back posts, there is a cast "spider" that is lagged to the corners of the rim, and is attached to the bottom side of the pinblock. The plate has a horn much like a grand piano, that comes in contact with the spider.

This piano should rock! It has a strange scale, so should be re-scaled. I'll keep you posted as work progresses.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Steinway A Soundboard Trim

After the new soundboard is glued into the piano, there are several pieces of trim that need to be installed. These are 1/2" cove moldings. These are round, and need to be pressed both down onto the board and side ways to the piano side. The photos show the cauls I use to accomplish this.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Steinway A Soundboard Glued

I am hoping to get my Steinway A strung in the near future. The first step is gluing the completed board into the piano. Today was the day...nearly 1 year after the board was pressed. In that year I have done case repairs and sprayed with black lacquer, recapped and installed the bridges onto the board, and finised the underside of the board.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Harp Progress

After a few months off, I'm back on my harp project. The base has been dry fit to the shell, and the neck/pillar has also been dry fit. Note that the pillar and neck are one piece of Delignet. It will be veneered on both sides with 3/16" cherry veneer to match the shell and base.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Woodworking 101

One of my greatest joys in life is teaching my 6 year old grandson woodworking skills. Recently he used the scroll saw (with grandpa's guidence) to build a simple wooden train from plans. Benjamin says it is for his baby sister, but I think he will enjoy playing with it until Emily gets a bit older!

Upside Down Piano

A recent project has been adding a few years of life to a piano set to be discarded. One of the jobs was treating the pinblock with CA glue.I got the "bright" idea to treat it form the bottom. So I flipped the piano (not recommended in the customer's home) and applied the CA glue from the bottom. Advantage- no mess on the plate, coils, pins, etc. Disadvantage- I don't think the glue soaks in as well because the pins are not pulled back by the tension, leaving a small void to be filled with the CA glue. Comments anyone?

Long Time...No Blog

I can't believe that it has been nearly 2 months since I have been on my blog. Several reasons...One is that I have had no rebuilding work to report on. Secondly, I have been spending a lot of time in ministry preparation, which cuts into my time for extras, like blogging. I have three puppet programs upcoming in May, using largely new material. And UpStreet continues to keep us busy as we look to wind up the 2009-2010 year in a few months, and need to recruit for the new school year. I am anxious to get back on my harp building as it has been on hold these past 2 months as well. So hopefully, I will be adding things a little more regularly in the future.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Harp Sound Hole Jig

I constructed a jig to cut the sound holes in the shell utilizing a plunge router. Worked effortlessly to create perfect sound holes in a matter of minutes. Now I need to make the base and soundboard.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Harp Shell Nears Completion

The stave harp shell that I am building is nearly completed. First the ends were trimmed to match the base and cap. Then three braces were constructed and epoxied into place. Finally the shelf for the soundboard was installed.All that remains is installing several screws to the stricture for added strength, and to cut out the sound holes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Harp Shell Progress.

The base and the cap for the shell have been fitted in preparation for permanent installation. Six blocks were installed on the staves to add additional strength to the base of the shell. The fitting of the base and cap was rather interesting because of the multiple angles required. Epoxie will be used for the installation as it will provide good strength and gap filling ability.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Harp Stave Shell #2

Taking the lessons learned from shell#1 failure, I made shell #2 today. Still not perfect, but improved from #1. The following changes were made:
The thickness of the staves was increased from 1/4" to 5/16"
Stave #1 and #10 were cut to 3/4" end to end with outside edge at 90 degrees
Inside cauls were employed
Less tension was put on tape across the grain
The end dimensions across the top seem to be good, and the base is now closer to the desired depth. Now it's time to build the bottom panel, and bracing.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Stave Back Harp

I have begun jigging up to build my second harp. I am planning to adapt the plans for a Regency harp to accommodate a stave back. This appeals to me because a rounded back is more comfortable to play, and using staves allows you to do some interesting with matching grain and figure of the wood. My first attempt was fairly successful in the glue up stage as you can see by the photos. Unfortunately, I learned an important lesson today the hard way. It is important to do the internal bracing first before you try cutting the back to size and shape. The last photo shows what happens when you don't....disaster. The bandsaw blade shattered the entire shell into many pieces. If at first you don't succeed, try again!