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Anyone Building Spinets

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Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Al Dodson » Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:38 pm

I am wondering if anyone here builds spinets. I have access to a great deal of information including the string length measurements of 10-12 spinets and can obtain other measurements for at least six of them including one American made example.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Charlie Schultz » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:39 am

Spinet seems to be somewhat generic, at least to me. Do you mean with plucked strings (like a harpsichord) or hammered strings (like a piano) or something else?
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Al Dodson » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:34 pm

Hi Charlie,I,m talking about the traditional bent side spinet having plucked strings like a harpsichord. There is one instrument from 1779 that is hammered like a piano.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Charlie Schultz » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:20 am

Nice, I was hoping that was what you meant. I'd be interested in any measurements you can take, thanks.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Matthew Lau » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:11 pm

You may want to contact John from John Phillips Harpsichord.
He makes Harsichords, Clavichords, and Spinets professionally.
He's also a really nice guy.
I'll be visiting his neighbor tomorrow, and maybe dropping off some beers.

http://www.jph.us/
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Bill Raymond » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:55 pm

Anyone interested in making a spinet should check out the late John Barnes' little book "Making a Spinet by Traditional Methods". It's not expensive, and is available from John's son, Peter Barnes at www.peterbarnesharpsichords.com and from other sources.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Charlie Schultz » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:04 am

Thanks for the info.

I ordered the book from Amazon and got the 2015 revision. The 1998 revision of the book is online here: http://www.peterbarnesharpsichords.com/ ... spinet.pdf.

The full size drawing is available from a shop in Germany (http://www.vogel-scheer.de) for 98 Euros (+34 EU for shipping).
Last edited by Charlie Schultz on Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Updated price of drawing
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Bill Raymond » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:56 pm

Charlie, have you compared the 2 editions? If so, what revisions have been made?
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Charlie Schultz » Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:36 am

Hi Bill,
They seem pretty close- the table of contents is the same, page numbers all match. The illustrations look to be the same. The new book has 8 or so b&w detail photographs of the original instrument in the back. Also it looks like some drawings used to be available directly from John Barnes.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Bill Raymond » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:16 pm

Thanks Charlie.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Charlie Schultz » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:18 am

I received the "full-size" plans yesterday and am a little disappointed. For 98 Euros (110 USD) I kind of expected them to be on mylar or good quality bond paper, but they appear to be plotted on normal paper. Per the printed scale, it seems to be around 3/4" off length-wise and unfortunately only a few of the small pieces are dimensioned. On the plus side, there is a good amount of detail on the drawing.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Bill Raymond » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:37 am

Charlie, You may want to consider joining the University of Iowa HPSCHD-L list at http://list.uiowa.edu/scripts/wa.exe?A0=HPSCHD-L. They also have a Facebook page that can be subscribed to by list members. Expert harpsichord/clavichord/fortepiano makers and players contribute to the list and can answer any questions you might have along the way.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Charlie Schultz » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:14 pm

Good idea, thanks Bill. I used to belong to that list > 10 years ago and got turned off by some derisive members. I'll give it another go.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Bill Raymond » Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:21 pm

Charlie, the list is pretty well tamed now. There was a character who used to post inappropriate comments and profanity, but he was banned by the moderator who does try to keep things civil. That character used to post odd pseudo-philosophical ramblings, too under pseudonyms; possibly had some psychological problems. He's now back, but seems to be behaving himself. The Facebook page features photos that were otherwise not able to be posted on the list itself. I'm not sure I'll ever build a harpsichord myself, though I have the start of one given to me by a friend who wasn't able to complete it (in the mid-1960s!), but it's always good to see how others approach building instruments as there is always something transferrable to guitar making or other woodworking.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Nic Hambas » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:40 pm

A year or ten ago, I began researching the idea of building a spinet. My research led me to draw my own plans for an Italian square spinet, rather than the odd-looking English one. That work left me happy but exhausted. So I went back to building bowed dulcimers for a quick fix. Eventually, I got around to building the trickiest part of the spinet, the jack box. And that's where I'm standing now. I saw this posting almost by accident and got the urge to finish what I started. By the way, John Barnes' website makes no mention of any book or other printed material on the subject. Apparently, it's out of print again.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Bill Raymond » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:54 pm

Although Peter Barnes' website doesn't mention plans or book, I believe if you contact him by email he can supply you with either. I bought the book from him, but had to email him to ask whether it was available from him. I don't know why he doesn't put it on his site.
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Re: Anyone Building Spinets

Postby Charlie Schultz » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:17 am

I just got the book(let) from Amazon a couple months ago, see this post: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4601#p45071

For my build in progress (though progress has slowed as of late), see this thread: viewtopic.php?f=59&t=4681
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