Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Day 69: Finishing up Keys 20 and 51

Once I had the sharp key tops glued up, I could return my attention to the two remaining keys that needed to be notched and rounded: 20 and 51. It was a pretty quick session to get them completed and I'm happy with the results. It seems I get better at the freehand work the more I do it. Imagine that.

This past week, I've been able to bring 17 new people into the Facebook project page fold. Many of these are professional builders with decades of experience. Now, this can be a blessing and a curse. But mostly a blessing. As you can imagine, they have their own ways of doing things over the years and I have mine largely based on Mr. Miller's eBook Most Excellent.

A couple of the observations/questions/comments I received regarded my style choice for the instrument. Once that was cleared up, they offered two suggestions I am taking to heart: 1) Use a cabinet scraper to finish the keys; this will leave an incredibly smooth finish (more on this later) and 2) Use tung oil as the final finish on the keys; using something like lacquer would eventually rub off and look just horrible.

Overall, I'm honored to have these people take an interest in my little project; their suggestions are invaluable to a neophyte like myself. I value every one of them and hope they continue to interact on the project page.

On an unrelated note, I'd like to point out that tools, clamps, jigs and other sundry items that help me complete the instrument are showing up with increasing regularity. I'm amazed at how things I had not considered in many, many years can suddenly become an integral part of the build process. One such item is the lowly clothespin, a small clamp that works when a larger one would amount to overkill. The photo below is presented in honor of Donald Lengacher.

Until next time...

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