Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day 34: Slotting the Guide Rail Ends

I began the process of slotting the guide rails ends of the keys last night. It is, in a word, terrifying. The process is to draw two lines on each side of the original hole I drilled to place the guide rail pins when the keyboard was still a solid piece of wood. Then, I use the band saw to cut a slot using the lines as guides.

The cut results in a slot that is too tight for the pin. This means I must sand down the slot using a wee, little file. It's totally, completely nerve-wracking. In fact, I think I overdid one so that it's a little looser than I wanted it to be. Ignoring this soul-crushing event, I charged ahead and ended up with five of the 21 completed. The photo below illustrates Key #1 after notching and sanding.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the one that's a little loose. As you may or may not know, I also maintain a Facebook page about this project. A Facebook user who, I believe, lives in Australia gives me wonderful suggestions from time-to-time. For instance, after seeing the first photo above, he suggested I clamp a stop behind the blade so that my notches are consistent and I do not saw into the main body of the key. This is an outstanding suggestion because it's really quite difficult to see the blade's progress as I cut.

I tell you about him because I intend to ask him what to do about the loose notch. Perhaps it's not as loose as I think it is, yet it gives me significant pause for reflection. This is one of those tasks where screwing it up results in a bad, bad situation. I hope I do not have a one of those on my hands now. More to come on this after I ask him about it.

Until then...


  1. I assume you rectify the loose slot later, so I shall refrain from suggesting how I would have dealt with it. (I am going through in order of posts) I have not seen this kind of key end guide before.

    1. Yes, the keyboard has been completed for many months now. I'm onto the case at this time, though I've been delayed due to table saw motor pulley wheel woes. I should have the fixed motor back in the next couple of weeks. It's really been too hot here in the Portland area for glue-up, anyway.