Spinet Assembly Progressing

Hello everyone:

It has been a busy time with projects and visitation, but we are moving ahead.

As you can see, two major pieces have come together for the spinet case assembly.  The spine, or backboard, went on first, then the small bentside that closes off the left corner assembly.

The small bentside laps over the end of the spine, with the interior veneers butting it, as seen here:

The bentside butts up against the left cheek that was previously installed.  See the joint here:

Now a close view of the cheek joint from above:

This upper edge will be finish planed and covered with a cap veneer nearly 1/8 inch thick. You don’t want to know how I sweated blood making sure this joint would pull up tight.  It helped that I slightly angled the nails so that they would accentuate pushing in the direction of the cheek.  But as any of you know, nailing on a butting piece can be an art so that it fits up neatly.  I’m pretty relieved.

The upper corner of this joint also has a nail in it.  See it here:

My notes on the old spinet indicate a nail at the lower edge of this side.  I haven’t done it yet, but I will have to check my photos or the instrument itself to decide whether it is original or part of later repairs.  I can always add it later if necessary.

It will be interesting to see how this joint holds up once the string tension works on it. But this is the assembly on the old spinet, so we’ll see what happens.  That’s what our work here is all about.

Everything was butted on and nailed in place with hide glue.  All the nails along the lower edge and up the corner of the bentside/spine joint will be covered by moldings.  See the nails in the corner here:

The nails visible in the middle will have to set and covered either with hide glue and walnut dust or small slips of walnut.  I’ll worry about that when I get there!

Here is the assembly from the spine side:

Note the nails along the bottom and two to secure the spine to the wrest plank.

Since this side faces a wall, there is no need to hide tool marks or nails.

Next up:  the long bentside goes into place followed by its liner.  The liner is the shelf just under the interior veneer work onto which the soundboard will be set.  You can see the one already in place on the spine in the opening photo.

Here is a shot of the spine liner and register liners coming together.  These liners were glued to their respective pieces before being installed as part of the larger assembly.

So that’s where spinet work stands to date.

Unfortunately, my labor has been curtailed of late due to an injury and tendonitis in both my hands.  Recovery is proving slow.  Much of this blog was written before the injury in mid-May, so I’m just adding this now, as far as my hands will allow.  I’ll be back at the bench soon, hopefully.

We have more stuff in the works.  It’s all coming.


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3 Responses to Spinet Assembly Progressing

  1. Dave Ray says:

    Ed, take care of those hands. They do fantastic work for you. Get well soon. God Bless

  2. Ed, this is beautiful work- I’m jealous of your opportunity to make a living doing this!

    I have tendonitis myself, and can understand the pain you are going through. Just be sure to listen to the doctor, and follow instructions!

  3. Niels says:

    Hi Ed,
    Thanks for the update and the fantastic work!
    Here’s wishing you a speedy recovery!

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