Archive for January, 2011

Keychest front reinforcement

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

At the end of October, I retrimmed the keychest after putting in the wheel and  realizing some of the measurements were off. At that time I said:

Unfortunately, this necessary shortening messed up the nice double rabbet joint I had on the bottom of the keychest front. Now the base is thinner and weaker than the original piece. I will probably end up adding a second strip on top of the base to reinforce the joint.

So, over the holiday I made this reinforcement strip for the base out of some scrap mahogany.

KeychestFront13

Keychest front reinforcement part for the base

Not as strong as it was originally, but better than after the re-trimming of the bottoms of the keychest parts. The keychest will have screws [or dowels] going through the base of the front into the internal bearing brace of the instrument. I believe the screws will have to be angled forward to reach the brace, so that may help with this situation?

KeychestFront14

Part glued into place

Split nut

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

I had a busy Christmas and New Year’s with family, but did manage to get a little work done on the instrument.

I’ve seen a lot of pictures of hurdy-gurdies that had individually adjustable nuts for the melody strings. So, I decided to try that route. I used a rough-cut piece of ebony to make the separator between the two nuts. It is part of the same batch of scrap ebony used for the black and white trim around the body that a banjo-maker friend of mine gave me, only this piece was thicker. However, it wasn’t rectangular in cross section, narrowing slightly towards one end.

Nut1

Nut parts with scrap ebony for spacer

I cut a groove for the spacer in the block that goes under the nut. This mahogany block is not the one from the kit, but one Jerry and I made. I cut the original nut part in half with my scroll saw, but it didn’t come out straight at all. So it took a bunch of careful hand sanding.

Nut2

Groove cut in block, completed spacer, and divided nut

I don’t know if it will be a problem that the sides of that ebony spacer are not vertical while the sides of the nuts are. Hopefuly not. I could try to angle the nut parts to match, but would rather not due to the risk of another angle getting off. And hopefully the one screw hole will be enough per piece as well.

Nut3

Nut pieces in position

I put those bevels on the top edges of the ebony spacer. They are not the taper previously referred to. I probably should have rounded the top instead, and it would have looked more like the ebony nuts. Maybe I’ll make another one.
There is supposed to be a center screw through the back of the block which goes down into the head block of the body to hold the keychest in place on that end. Because of the spacer being there now, I’ll have to offset it, or more likely have  two screws.