Cembalobau : Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse aus der by Martin Skowroneck

By Martin Skowroneck

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It is especially suitable in cases, where the registers are slightly diagonal, and therefore the key levers in the bass are a little longer. The balance rail must be firm, should not twist, needs to hold the balance pins securely and must not split. Hard wood is theoretically best suited, and indeed many historical balance rails are made from oak, beech, walnut or chestnut (only the Ruckers made the whole key frame, including the balance rail, from their main material poplar). If you can find a straight, old and dry piece of one of these species, you can use it for the balance rail.

E. planed - perhaps with a toothing plane. The small slant of the bridge, which lies towards the sounding part of the string, is applied only when the bridge is glued in place6. The wood sorts used for bridges are: beech, pear, service tree, maple or walnut. Other sorts are uncommon, however there are some Italian bridges from cypress. Oak would be hard enough and is bent easily, but for bridges it is too rough and irregular. The Ruckers made their bridges from service tree (which is somewhat harder and tougher than pear; it is difficult to distinguish both species by their looks), and the 4' bridge from beech.

The under side is finished last of all and the soundboard is now planed down to the desired thickness. Should any area remain rough on this side, we can just leave it like that. This is to be preferred to planing both sides smooth, but partly too thin. For finishing, the planed surface is rubbed (using clean fresh wood shavings) along the grain - this gives a pleasant silky gloss to the soundboard. On this surface, one can paint tempera flowers without any preparation - on a sanded soundboard the paint tends to run out into the surrounding fibres.

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