10 Mar

plywood clavichord project

My piano is going out of tune.

The local tuner says it can’t be tuned. but, seeing as he’s also the owner of the local piano shop, I really don’t think I can trust his word on that – especially as another tuner (in Dublin) laughed immediately when that was said to him.

I’m certain that I can tune the piano, but I’ve been told not to, by both the tuner in Dublin, and also by Bronwyn’s mum, who owns it – apparently the slightest mistake can be costly.

And so, I’m going to build my own keyboard, which I can tune if I want to.

Here’s a picture of the end-goal – a well-made clavichord:

To buy a ready-built clavichord would cost 8000 euro or higher. To get a kit version which you put together yourself would cost 3500 or higher.

I feel that’s a little bit high, so I’m trying to make a simple clavichord, where the materials cost 50 euro or less. I’m not counting the cost of the tools.

So far, the materials have cost less than 25 euro – a sheet of 22mm plywood, and some wood glue.

Today’s progress is that I have the basic shell of the thing created. It’s 100cm x 30cm in size, with internal walls of 10cm.

The keyboard will be four-octaves in length. 49 keys, from C two octaves below middle.

I’ll start cutting the keyboard out tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish off all the woodwork by then.

Then it’s time to start thinking about the strings.

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