The last couple of weeks have been an intensely interesting study in attention to detail. Mr. Miller's eBook Most Excellent is clear and precise. I am not. I keep making mistakes over and over and over and over. This simply will not stand. So, I've had to come up with a mitigation strategy that includes both a laptop in the shop and checklists for every cut moving forward. It's sad I need to do this, but I need to do this. I've grown weary of fixing mistakes.
Speaking of mistakes, the first one we'll discuss today is the upper belly rail, or UBR. The UBR serves several functions related to support and placement of the soundboard and registers (guides for the jacks). After cutting and then fixing the dado (discussed in an earlier post), I discovered that I had cut the rabbet on the wrong side of the board. I then cut off the rabbet and had a little do-over party.
Because the poplar piece I wanted to use for the fix was not long enough, I created a half-lap joint that I knew would be even more stable once the piece was glued onto the UBR.
Once it was glued up, I cut the rabbet (again), this time on the correct side, and smoothed it out on the new bench using a 1/2" chisel.
All was well...until I tested its placement in the case. I discovered the pinblock supports I had cut and glued up months ago were not dimensioned correctly. Good grief. Rather than start a harpsichord case-fueled bonfire in the backyard, I deliberated a bit (Owen Daly calls this "head-scratching time") and emailed Ernie Miller who helped by clarifying the necessary dimensions. I then decided I should at least try to hog out what needed to go to reach the correct dimensions.
I started by creating a template that was the size of my desired end dimension.
This little template helped me draw some cut lines in a highly constrained space. Once the lines were drawn, checked, and rechecked, I started the exacting process of chiseling out the unneeded material.
Wonder of wonders, it worked! The supports are now dimensioned in the right places and I can get back to gluing in the UBR, Thank goodness for sharp chisels - they saved the day.
After discovering my latest mistake, I decided to throw the keyboard into the case to check its fit.
Fortunately, it's just right. I honestly don't know what I would have done had something been off - probably fix it and live to fight another day.
Until next time...