Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | July 20, 2015

Building a Clavichord – 5

The case has been finished, as have the keys, including gluing on the sharps:

Clavichord - keys finished

If you look carefully, you can see that I’ve already started installing the strings. Just two so far in this picture, but I’ve been working on it. (Obviously, instead of writing.) I’m also putting the tangents in as I go. They’re the little brass wedges that actually strike the strings.

I’ve made the executive decision to omit the “roof carvings.” The keys are supposed to be carved to a sharp point between the two bends, or knuckles. If you look at the two lowest keys, you can see where I tried my best. They looked so terrible, I decided to quit while I was ahead.



  1. You coulda fooled me…and Peter too! Love, m


  2. Does the carving of the keys have a purpose other than just appearance?

  3. Nope. Just decorative.

  4. When you mentioned gluing on the “sharps,” what do you mean? I have been puzzling over that, as I wasn’t sure if you were talking about “sharps” in a musical context or it was a construction term. Sorry for a pesky question….

  5. The “sharps” are the “black” keys. In this case, cherry, to contrast with maple on the naturals, or “white” keys. They came as separate pieces of wood that got glued to the key levers, as opposed to the naturals, which were already maple-clad.

  6. I was wondering about that. (They could also be called the “flat” keys, in that case…)

  7. True, JPB. Collectively they’re actually known as the “accidentals”, even when you play them on purpose.

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