Step 11: Fitting the keys

The bandsaw blade left wider spaces between the keys and reduced the amount of fitting I had to do, and I was able to remove the saw marks with a coarse mill file. I made the angled undercuts on the naturals with a small backsaw and removed the waste and relieved under their covered parts with a chisel so that they're about 4mm wider at the front and on top than on the bottom.

I had to deepen the wide part of the balance pin holes a little, and some of the wood had sprung a little to one side, and because they were used ones most of the key pins had been bent so the spacing was uneven at the front and at the back. I was able to fix this mostly by twisting and bending the pins as prescribed by Hansing, using pliers with protective wooden sleeves so I wouldn't nick them, and only had to plane a couple of keys that looked kind of too close together.

The ivories often are rounded with a file on the sides neighboring other ivories, and the heads chamfered at the back edge in front of the sharps. This makes them look funny when someone reglues them on the wrong keys.
Need to know exact dimension of keys, could not make out as figure shows.
My project....<br><br>Soon to be a instructable!
yes al are perfect to build own hand piano, now start to play that.<br/><br/>if you don't know then learn it from here<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.mi.edu/majors/keyboard/4.aspx">Keyboard Lessons to Learn</a><br/>
An incredible display of both research and craftmanship. I've restored uprights, reed organs, and pipe organs to working condition but have never built one from scratch. My next project is to restore a square 1869 Steinway chamber grand and will need to take into consideration some of the things you did here. The square Steinway's hammer angles appear to be at different angles depending on its position along the keyboard, so I anticipate having a lot of fun with this one. You mentioned several times that your keyboard was destined to be used in a square pianoforte with an early type action. What model and period are you shooting for? A short keyboard combined with a light touch hints that this might be a model built for a small woman's hand to be played at home or in a small music chamber.
Thanks. The piano is the kind that's often disguised as a sewing stand, it's about the same size as <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.trocadero.com/Atena/items/581055/item581055.html">Austrian ones</a> but is a <a rel="nofollow" href="http://books.google.com/books?id=SdsPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA282">rear tuning square</a> with <a rel="nofollow" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wm._Knabe_%26_Co.#Knabe_.26_Gaehle">&quot;a double action, like Chickering's&quot;</a> and a plainer case and stand. It has a wooden frame and hitchpin plank, and the speaking length of the top note is 56mm. I was going to put together a slideshow when it's more presentable.<br/><br/>I don't think the touchweight measures less than you'd find at least on English or American squares before 1850 but the small, light parts make it respond quickly - the hammers themselves are a little lighter than <a rel="nofollow" href="http://hammerfluegel.net/viewer.php?album=albums/C-c/Chickering/Nr_4013&pn=1">these ones</a>. It has a straight hammer rail but the hammer line is curved, which you can kind of see in step 16, and the hammers are drilled to match the angles of the strings but they're trimmed so they have a more trapezoidal section, which seem to be pretty common techniques to gain space and still have the right tone.<br/>
What I want to know is how well the key board plays.Can you upload a video?
Sorry, I don't have a way to make a video and it's kind of mute right now, without strings and stuff. For what it is it plays fine, but it's not like a modern piano - the action is the old English kind you can see in the animation on <a rel="nofollow" href="http://home.comcast.net/~rblang/knabe/action.htm">this page</a>. There are fewer parts and the feeling is different from the way they work together, and there's much less weight so the touch is very light. The biggest restriction in mine is from the small size of the keys, but they can't be any bigger.<br/>
imagine a keyboard for a computer, that is a normal keyboard just stretched out!
I know they're not computers, but the first one is House's printing telegraph, from before 1860, the second was reportedly invented by Henry Bessemer about 1840 and called the pianotype, and the third one is Mergenthaler's linotype. The other way can be interesting, too, like the <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/english/index.html">Archiphone</a> or <a rel="nofollow" href="http://samchillian.com/">Tip Tip Tip Cheeepeeeee</a>.<br/>
really interesting tutorial. Thanks for this. i'll have a go building one over the weekend then... :D
Wow, agreeing with Purocuyu, that also confirms for me that I will never build a piano. Too hard for me. Nice job, I like your way of Instructables, I hope to see more from you! +5/5 stars.
Wow! I've been wanting to make a keyed instrument some day, but didn't really have all the logistics down for the actual keyboard assembly. Thanks for the great guide!
Someone's gonna work at Steinway someday................
wow, nice work!
WOW Great job man!
grate job!
ouuups i will to buy a piano better. Great JOB
Wow, this just confirms that I will never build a piano. the photos were cool nonetheless

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