Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day 12: Cutting the Keyframe Pieces

What's a keyframe, you ask? Well, naturally, the keyframe is the framework the keys sit on; it consists of a balance rail and a back rail. The balance rail is the fulcrum for the keys and the back rail holds pins that keep the keys from slipping side-to-side and clacking when the player releases one.

The keyframe consists of two side pieces that secure the oak balance rail and poplar back rail. I'll be using a tool given to me by Bill Rodgers, a friend and master carpenter, to determine how much to angle my table saw blade for the cut. For this reason, I call it my Rodgers Tool. It turns out the Rodgers Tool decided I needed to set the table saw blade at a 16 degree angle to get the proper bevel cut. Yes, I tested it on some scrap wood first.

Once the bevel cut tested out fine on the scrap, I went ahead and cut the balance rail.

As you can see, it could not have worked better. I'm so proud of my table saw right now. Next step: Cut the dados and rabbets into the side rails that hold the balance and back rails in place. Can't wait...


  1. I have a question about your balance rail. I see you are not using quartered cut good. When I have built ones in the past, I laminate pine or something different in between the top and bottom. Glue it together and it's more stable for tuning and room temperature/moisture changes. And I usually place quartered cut wood for the top and bottom laminates. If I can't find one piece, I can cut up a few boards and turn them just the right way.

    1. Interesting. So far, I've just followed Ernie Miller's book. Thanks for the suggestion!