Saturday, May 10, 2014

Day 9.1: Choosing the Arcade Wood

Arcades are the decorative caps on the ends of harpsichord keys facing the player. As you can see from the photo below, they are usually made from a light wood with concentric half-circles cut into them. The photo below is from The Harpsichord Project E-book 3.1 by Ernest Miller.

As with all of the external pieces and parts of this instrument, I will be making the arcades from quarter sawn oak. Now, this can be a rather expensive proposition - unless you are creative about the source of your lumber. After looking over red oak at Home Depot, I realized I could rip a plain, old $10 piece of oak lengthwise to get the arcade piece I need. Purchasing a quarter sawn piece of red oak at a specialty lumber shop would have cost me $20 or more. The photos below illustrate what plain sawn oak looks like when fronted for sale at Home Depot and what the quarter sawn side-effect looks like when turned 90 degrees.

Because I have good, reliable tools, I will be doing a lot more of this sort of thing. This will cut the cost of completing the instrument down a considerable amount, which is a very good thing.

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