Monday, June 27, 2016

Overspun bass string winding machine

I am now able to produce overspun wires up to 76" in length.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hugh Gough Italian, 1956

A little gem from London.

French double after Moermans, Andrew Wooderson

This is, perhaps, the most perfectly made instrument to pass through my workshop. It has been restrung in Malcolm Rose English iron and brass, voiced in black Delrin plectra, with new dampers and a thorough action regulation. 

Dowd French Double, #81, 1965

It's always a joy to work on instruments made by Dowd, as they are so beautifully and perfectly crafted. This one has been restrung and voiced in black Delrin plectra. A lovely, classic revival instrument by the Dean of American harpsichord builders.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Broadwood square piano, circa 1809

This instrument was previously "restored." The bridge was not glued to the soundboard. It was attached only by a dozen or so screws, and the soundboard was not glued to the liner. Enough said.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Viennese fortepiano

This instrument was made circa 1785, very likely by Karl Benedict. Having undergone a previous restoration, I have remedied some errors made by a well meaning but poorly informed technician.  The beak leather, prell springs, prell hinges, and a few poorly spliced hammer shanks have been replaced, and the hammer line has been corrected. 

Zuckermann Flemish single

This little gem has been restrung and voiced in my workshop. Flemish single, 8'x8'/buff, 415/440, GG-ddd. It was built by a talented young man while he was still in high school. Aside from a few issues with the string spacing, he did an admirable job of assembling and decorating this instrument.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Welcome to my workshop!


Video by "Those Video Guys," Somerville, Massachusetts.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Jacob Kirckman bentside spinet, 1750

This instrument has undergone a previous restoration of very poor quality. The keyframe cloth was replaced with the wrong type of cloth, as were the keylever jack cushions, and it was strung in steel. Additionally, the soundboard appears to have been re-coated with a heavy varnish. Fortunately, most of its original components are present and intact, and the previous work done to it should be fairly easily corrected.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Willard Martin, 1989, after Mersenne

This instrument arrived in my workshop in tough shape. Many strings had been replaced, and the voicing and damping was uneven. After a complete restringing, new voicing in white Delrin, and thorough action regulation, it has been transformed into an instrument which I will be sad to have to part with. This instrument belongs to the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, PA.
(Click on images to enlarge.)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Viennese fortepiano

This instrument was made by John R. Bennett and Jake Kaeser in Stonington, CT., 1979.
It has been restrung in Malcolm Rose English iron and brass, and the hammers have been re-leathered.
Additionally, the escapement lever cushions were removed and replaced, substantially reducing the sound of the lever's return to rest position. The damper system also required a complete overhaul, and the action has been meticulously restored and regulated.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dowd French double manual harpsichord

This instrument was restored by me for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
William Dowd, FF-fff, 415/440 transposing, instrument number 279, 1973.
Restrung, plastic jacks/registers replaced by wooden jacks/registers furnished by Jake Kaeser.

Broadwood square piano

Pictured are before and after photos of the restored John Broadwood & Sons square piano, circa 1819.

William Post Ross English Double

This instrument arrived in my workshop in unplayable condition. The lead weights in the rear of the key levers had expanded to the point where the keys were binding together. Not a single key was functioning. Additionally, the old style Hubbard jacks were badly warped, and the strings were badly rusted.
It has been restrung, and the jacks and registers have been replaced with wooden jacks furnished by Jake Kaeser.
Originally an FF-g''' non-transposing instrument, it has been converted to an FF-f''' 415/440 transposing instrument.
Pictured are the keyboards prior to restoration, and a view of the restored instrument.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

David Jacques Way Flemish double, 1988

This is one of the most beautiful instruments I have ever restored. The bridge & nut pins are perfectly spaced, the jacks function flawlessly, and the keyboards are perfectly cut and balanced. A perfectly made instrument.  Restrung, voiced in white Delrin, for a private party. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

1819 Broadwood & Sons square piano: Excerpt from Clementi Sonatina in C major, op. 36, no. 3; Dale Munschy

The 1819 Broadwood & Sons square piano restoration is coming along nicely. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Broadwood square piano hammers

Pictured is an 1840 repair of one of the hammers, with a newly fabricated replacement. The hammer head, hammer leather, and hinge plate are the originals. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hubbard/Stein fortepiano, wood to metal kapsel conversion

Pictured is the action of a Hubbard fortepiano, after Stein, 1784, built by Mary Sadovnikoff, 1976. The wooden kapsels, being loose, wobbly, and completely unreliable, have been replaced with nickel plated brass kapsels. (Click on images to enlarge)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sutherland Italian

Pictured is a large Italian made by David Sutherland, 1976, Ann Arbor, MI., in my workshop for a "check up."
(Click on image to enlarge.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

John Shortridge Flemish Double

Pictured is a Flemish double by John Shortridge [undated, circa 1975] which recently underwent a complete restoration in my workshop. Originally a non-transposing instrument, it has been converted to a 415/440 transposing instrument. Voiced in white Delrin, it features a full soundboard painting by the well known Sheridan Germann.

(Click on images to enlarge.)