Saturday, May 3, 2014

In the Beginning

This blog presents my best effort to build a harpsichord based on an instrument created by Andreas Ruckers in 1640. I'm working from the incredible Harpsichord Project E-book 3.1 by Ernest Miller. This e-book has detailed instructions with photos, videos, and links to suppliers and I would not have attempted this project without Mr. Miller's excellent e-book. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to him.

When I tell people I'm building a harpsichord from scratch, many ask if I'm using a kit or they simply look at me as if I'm crazy. No, I'm not using a kit - all of the materials are described in detail and the method for creating the instrument is clearly explained by Mr. Miller. I have some woodworking experience, but I do not consider myself in any way a professional level woodworker. I initially put together my shop to build acoustic guitars and I've built some furniture and crafty goods for friends and family, as well.

It was some time last year that I began playing a harpsichord at the Portland Community Music Center when I realized the harpsichord and guitar are quite similar in construction. The soundboard on a harpsichord is as thin as a guitar top and the sides act much like the sides of a guitar. I was looking for harpsichord plans in general when I ran across Mr. Miller's e-book and the rest was, as they say, history.

I hope you enjoy watching my progress as I muddle my way through creating this beautiful instrument. I will make mistakes and I will have surprising successes along the way. More than anything, I simply want to learn how to craft a fine instrument that can be passed down by my family for years to come.

Onward! Darin

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