Harpsichords, clavichords, spinets and virginals ... closely based on the best extant antiques from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Which stage of the kit should I choose?
The more work you have time to do for yourself, the lower the cost of the kit. But the cost must be weighed against the time at your disposal.
Stage 1: Ready to Assemble
Fretted Clavichord after Hubert, Stage 1
The parts of the case are delivered cut to dimension, including the required angles, ready to be assembled, sometimes with slight adjustments. Accordingly, the soundboard, lid, and bottom are always delivered a little oversize so that they can be perfectly adjusted to the dimensions of the case you have assembled. The keyboards are then finished and balanced key by key.
Stage 2: Case Assembled
Flemish Single Harpsichord, Stage 2
In this stage the case is already assembled with its wrestplank, liners, and braces. Your work starts with thinning and sanding of the soundboard as appropriate, gluing of bridges and ribs, fitting and gluing the soundboard in the case, and then gluing the hitchpin rails. You also glue on the wrestplank veneer and the nuts.
The remaining woodworking consists of gluing on the bottom, fitting the lid, and assembling the music desk and the stand. The keyboards are delivered as described for Stage 1 and so require the same attention to balancing.
You also drill for the various pins (bridgepins, hitchpins, etc.) aided by the full size plan as a template. Then, if you desire, you may decorate the soundboard and case before stringing and voicing.
Stage 3: Soundboard Installed
Flemish Single Harpsichord, Stage 3
Similar to Stage 2, but with the soundboard, hitchpin rails, wrestplank verneer and nuts already installed. The bottom is in place as well. All the drilling is already done except for the nuts, which are drilled with a jig after you install the strings. The woodworking consists of fitting the lid, and assembling the stand, music desk, and keyboards. As with Stage 2, you do the stringing, voicing, regulation, and decoration.
Stage 4: Case Assembled
Flemish Single Harpsichord, Stage 4
With this stage there is no woodworking left to be done with the exception of the keyboards, which are delivered as described for Stage 1. The bottom is already glued and trimmed, and the lid and flap are in place. The music desk and stand are assembled. All the drilling has been done except for the nuts, as with Stage 3. The work commences directly with the painting (or natural wood finish). Still to be done: the stringing, the pinning of the nuts, and the mechanical parts: the keyboards, voicing, regulation, and decoration.