Saturday, May 3, 2014

Day 1: Starting the Keyboard

The base of the keyboard is made from poplar or basswood. In my case, it is poplar because both Home Depot and Lowe's carry it in various sizes and both are generally less expensive than a specialty/exotic wood store. Specialty stores will be necessary later when I begin using ebony and quarter-sawn oak. For now, I'm using poplar purchased initially from Lowe's. In fact, the photo below is their idea of "Please cut this board in half."

As you can see, good help is hard to find these days. Regardless, I purchased a 1" x 6" x 8' piece of wood for around $20 and needed them to cut it in half because I drive a Kia, not a truck. Hey, that's just how I roll. The goal here is to end up with six 1/2" x 5" x 18" pieces that I will joint (glue together in a side-by-side fashion) together to create one large piece from which I will eventually cut the keys.

The first step is to plane the two pieces to 1/2" from their original purchase size. Now, the interesting thing is that any finished lumber you purchase has already been planed so that 1" is really 3/4". This means I need only remove about 1/4" using a planer (photo below).

A planer is a wonderful piece of machinery. If the knives are sharp and everything is working as it is supposed to, a planer will make short work of trimming 1/4" from the boards. And, voila! As you can see below, I'm well on my way.

The board on the right above has been planed to 1/2", the one on the left is next. As you can see below, both are planed and ready for ripping and cross-cutting.

More to come...

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