Spinet Construction Update

Hello everyone:

The spinet case before the treble cheek was attached.

As mentioned in reply to a comment on our last post, I’ve installed the treble cheek (the right hand one when facing the spinet) onto the spinet carcass.  The framing of the keywell of the instrument is now complete.

This piece was a replacement for an earlier one that unfortunately severely warped before it could be installed into place.  Having gone through the making twice before, this  went fairly fast.

The treble cheek completed but uninstalled, with potential crotch walnut veneer for the front panel above the keys.

I went into detail on making these cheeks back in February 2011.  Click the archives for that month on our front page and find “Spinet Assembly Moves Forward (A Little)” for a refresher on the issues involved.  In the next photo, note the veneer cut away to allow the core walnut to butt against the bottom edge and the end of the front rail.

Fitting the treble cheek to the wrest plank dado and butting the bottom board and front rail.

From fitting to installed:

The treble cheek glued and nailed into place. Crotch walnut veneer on white pine sub -veneer, all on solid walnut.

Treble cheek view from its exterior side, plain solid walnut to match the other case walls.

The butt joint of the treble cheek to the front rail.

So the case assembly moves to the last piece, between the treble cheek and the bentside.  A butt joint against the cheek and a miter to the bentside.

The last case wall section being trimmed on a shooting board.

The last case wall piece in context with the treble cheek and bentside.



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6 Responses to Spinet Construction Update

  1. magman07 says:

    Your attention to detail and the professionalism in your work is so dearly inspiring. Thank you.

  2. Dennis Heyza says:

    I’ll never build a harpsichord but always enjoy your posts, Ed. BTW your presentation on making jacks at this year’s symposium was fascinating.

  3. Brian O. says:

    That is beautiful work! And it is good to know that every once-in-a-while you guys have a one that warps and has to be remade.

    I can see that last case wall piece is mitered to the bendside, but how is it fastened to the treble cheek? Do you nail it through the vertical dado on keyboard side or something?

    Lovely to your updates!

    • Brian, you are on the money! The wall piece butts against the cheek, with two nails securing it through the dado on the other side, and miters to the bentside, also with three or four nails securing there. The old spinet I’m copying is littered with nails, the most practical way of clamping up these off-square assemblies. Thanks for the comments, you and everyone else!

  4. mochajaguar says:

    Dear Anthony Hay’s Cabinetmaking Shop,

    I am rather new to this site and really enjoy reading the construction updates as well as treatises. I am a mechanical engineer by trade with a passion around colonial furniture and cabinetmaking – the trade has always been very fascinating to me – – very beautiful work. I look forwards to learning more.


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