Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day 73: Keyboard Work and Safety Concerns

I completed the final "finish sanding" of the keys last night using a Scotch-Brite pad because, dammit, I think they do a fine job as finish sanders/buffers. I would hazard a guess that they are akin to using a 1000-grit sandpaper, though I have no real evidence to support this. Regardless, I think they did a pretty good job on the keys.

The next step is to use several coats of a thinned oil, such as tung oil finish, followed by a coat of polyurethane to complete them. Owen Daly has recommended I use Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil Gunstock Finish Liquid to do the same. I had a hard time discovering what, exactly, this finish is made from, but I was able to find "linseed oil" in one of the specifications I found online. Given what I've seen of Owen's work, I may just trust him on this one.

Before I could get the keyboard into the shape you see above, I needed to first notch and round key 46. I had sliced off the top head a while back because it was a mess. Once the hide glue dried, I went to work.

I actually enjoyed the process. I found much more satisfaction in completing a nicely notched and rounded key using files and a rounded scraper than if I had used a router.

On a couple of unrelated notes, a new machine has mysteriously shown up at Tortuga Early Instruments Worldwide Headquarters.

I paid a Craigslist dude $75 for this beauty - it's a 6" Grizzly jointer with a nearly 4' long bed. This is significantly longer than the bed on the Delta, which will help me joint the longer pieces for the case and soundboard of the instrument. I'll be selling the Delta via Craigslist and will be sad to see it go (especially after all of the elbow grease I put into it).

During a break from the day job, I visited Woodcrafters with the intent of looking at finish oils and polyurethanes. What I left with was another matter entirely. I picked up two flat push boards for the new jointer. If you've ever used a jointer, you know it can be an exhilarating (i.e., frightening beyond description) experience without push boards.

I also decided to go ahead and purchase the new gravity heel setup for my Micro Jig Grr-ripper, a fancy-shmancy push board that I use on the table saw quite often.

As you can see, it allows me to lower a piece of plastic down to the table saw table level that pushes the piece of wood I'm running from behind while also pushing down on top of it. You saw a similar heel on the rip fence jig I made a couple of weeks ago. It's just a good idea all around. The photo below is the Grr-ripper with all of its accessories intact.

Yes, guys can accessorize, too.

Until next time...

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