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CBH Harpsichord structural repair

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Published on Jul 31, 2009

• Always read the accompanying technical description!

More harpsichord stuff @ http://www.hpschd.nu

This video shows an interesting harpsichord repair undertaken in the field to return a harpsichord to playing condition.

Many harpsichords show structural problems with insufficient case strength to support the string tension: Failed bentside hitchpinrail, wide or multiple soundboard cracks in the treble, soundboard sliding over the gap, frozen registers These problems can be caused by any combination of design, materials or workmanship, and can be exacerbated by damage during moves or environmental stress.

The instrument was destrung and the action removed. The cheek hitchpinrail was removed. The treble end of the bentside hitchpinrail was peeled back, along with the 8´ and 4´ bridges. The treble of the soundboard was removed, revealing the catastrophic failure of the 4´ hitchpinrail, lack of upper brace wedges along the bentside, and curling of the bentside liner. An additional treble brace was installed, and wedges fitted. A bellyrail stiffener was installed along with a gap spacer. The larger soundboard fragments were reconstituted and a new soundboard section made for the extensively split and rather thin extreme treble. The bentside hitchpinrail was reglued, and the cheek hitchpinrail refitted. The treble ends of the bridges were reglued to the soundboard, and the soundboard painting touched up. The instrument was then restrung and revoiced.

Zuckermann Flemish Double Harpsichord 1984, private ownership, Honolulu

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