Workshop...

Drilling the Keyboard and Keyframe

Most soundboards are made of Sitka Spruce. With rare exceptions, this wood is not available in the approximately 1/8" thickness that we need to make a soundboard. This requires re-sawing a thicker plank of Sitka into thin slices. The Sitka plank in this photo is 2" thick x 6' long. The bandsaw is used to slice 1/4" thick slices from the plank. With any luck, I will get six or seven 1/4" planks from this thick Sitka plank. The planks are then fed through a drum sander to diminish their thickness to a little over 1/8". The edges are jointed perfectly straight on a jointer and are then edge glued together to form the large, 1/8+" thick soundboard. Compare this to the thickness of a piano's soundboard that is about three times thicker at 3/8". This is necessary as the downward pressure on the piano's soundboard is much greater than the downward pressure on a harpsichord. Similarly, a 3/8" thick soundboard would not work at all in a harpsichord, as its strings are too thin and light to move a soundboard of that thickness.