Building your own harpsichord

Copyright © 2022 CBH & TPW

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Early Keyboard Instruments for professional and amateur builders

Instruments à clavier de facture historique pour facteurs professionnels et amateurs

What Your Kit Includes…

We assume you have not made any musical instruments before, nor done any woodwork, so your kit contains all the necessary materials to musically finish the instrument: Decoration materials are available separately. Special cloths, nails, screws, pins, wire and glue are all included.

TPW Ruckers Single Version 2 Case Assembled 12K jpeg
Ruckers Single harpsichord,
Version 2

Our timbers are the best for the job, chosen from four continents and well-seasoned. For the Hemsch French Double, as well as the Ruckers Single and Double, we use the traditional European lime wood for cases and keylevers, and Swiss pine for the soundboard.

The keyboards have the naturals covered and scored where appropriate, and are sawn apart ready for gluing on the sharps. The Delin Spinet has a simplified keyboard. A further refinement in our actions is the inclusion of wooden jacks for all the kits.

All machining is accurately done and mouldings crisply cut.

We offer our kits in several different degrees of completion, called “Versions”. The larger harpsichords come in Version 2 with the case rim ready assembled, which allows us to use a solid steamed bentside and guarantee the structural integrity of your instrument.

If you wish, we can take the construction further for you, to Version 3 with the soundboard installed, or even Version 4 with all the woodwork finished. Please ask us for further details.

Our Plain English construction manuals are written in an entertaining style and contain a set of progress photos or sketches. A full-sized paper drawing is provided. You will need a few common tools of your own to complete the kit, like hammer, files, electric drill, block plane and screwdriver.

Please refer to the specifications for the individual instruments. Note that in the interests of our policy of continual refinement, these specifications are subject to change without notice.

TPW French Single Version 1 Ready to assemble 14K jpeg
French Single harpsichord,
Version 1

Comparing our kits to others…

We invite comparison of our superior THE PARIS WORKSHOP product with all our imitators. We reiterate the audible difference from our use of the traditional European materials, and standard traditional wooden jacks. Our kits are not stripped down to a price, but sensibly include all the parts you need to musically finish your choice of instrument to a high standard: You don’t pay any extra for essential parts like lids or music desks.

How to Order…

Overseas customers should please refer to the information on our Export page: The following details relate to all domestic Australian deliveries.

A deposit of 50% with your order confirms delivery at the agreed price, unless Customs Duty or GST rates change. Upon receipt of your order, we will notify you when we expect your kit to be ready. This may be dependent upon several factors like stock availability and production scheduling in Paris, as well as your choice of options. Please note for those kits requiring soundboard installation, we require several weeks before shipping. If this delay is not acceptable, your deposit will be promptly refunded. We appreciate the understanding of our customers who are knowledgeable about purchasing high quality, finely crafted goods made in limited quantities. We regret that responsibility cannot be accepted for shipment delays beyond our control like airport disputes or strikes by Customs.

The balance is due when your kit is ready for delivery. If final payment is made by bank cheque, there will be no clearance delay and your kit can be shipped as soon as available.

How Your Kit is Delivered…

The kits are well packed without any additional charge, and we ship from Paris by air for reliability and safety. On occasion we may be able to deliver direct to you by air, but in any case our special road freight arrangement allows your kit to be delivered promptly at a fraction of the normal rate. Please ask us to provide an estimate. You are welcome to pick up your kit from our Peakhurst workshop, but please let us know, and be sure to check that your vehicle is large enough.

The Guarantee…

All our kits from THE PARIS WORKSHOP are guaranteed for a period of twelve months from delivery to the original purchaser against any shortage or unusable defect. We pack carefully, and all parts are guaranteed against damage in transit. If you happen to somehow damage a part during your construction, we can advize on whether repair is feasible, or if you prefer the damaged part can be replaced at cost.

How to Decorate Your Instrument…

To decorate your instrument in the appropriate historic manner, we make available a selection of materials similar to those we use for the custom instrument finishing: Please ask for details, or check the Decoration section in our Technical Library.

TPW Brochure 23K jpeg

Advice & Reassurance…

At any time, we have enthusiastic builders of our instruments on several continents sharing their progress with us. Expert advice to all our kit builders is as close as your phone or computer: We encourage any query you may have before, during or after your construction, and if you do happen to get stuck or your circumstances change, we are always available to do any part of the work for you.

The Building Process…

Building an instrument involves a considerable investment of your time as well as your money. We have a real stake in the successful completion of your project. Many of our sales are to persons who have already built one instrument and are so satisfied with their success that they choose to make another from THE PARIS WORKSHOP. Will you be the next to join them?

Our Printed Brochure…

Sadly, we have no hard copies of the printed brochure from THE PARIS WORKSHOP remaining. The information on this website, however, is complete and always up to date. If you are genuinely interested in building your own instrument please use our TPW Enquiry Form to ask any specific questions so we can help you choose the best instrument for your needs.

Please note we may refer your enquiry to one of our colleagues if we judge because of location they can serve you better. We look forward to your enquiry and eventual order.

Australian domestic prices of the standard versions…

The Double-fretted Clavichord after Hubert
51 notes: C–d''' boxwood & pearwood keyboard
Double strung throughout, 127 x 36cm
Wild cherry case without stand
Optional cabriole leg stand, v1 $2480
Version 1: $6450

The Unfretted Clavichord after Gerlach
61 notes: FF–f''' grenadilla & bone keyboard
Double strung throughout, 163 x 47cm
Cherry case and turned stand
Version 1: $10280

The Delin School Spinet
56 + 1 notes: GG–d''' transposing maple & fruitwood keyboard
1 x 8⁠´, no buff, 165 x 60cm
Poplar case, wooden jacks, three screw-in legs
Version 1: $9100

The Italian Virginal
56 + 1 notes: GG–d''' boxwood & fruitwood keyboard
1 x 8⁠´, no buff, 168 x 57cm
Lime case, wooden jacks, turned stand
Version 1: $9890

The XVIIth-century French Single Harpsichord
56 + 1 notes: GG–d''' transposing reverse keyboard
2 x 8⁠´, buff, 197 x 80cm
Cherry case, wooden jacks, three screw-in legs, lid, music desk
Version 1: $14090

The Neapolitan Harpsichord
49 + 1 notes: C–c''' boxwood & walnut transposing keyboard
2 x 8⁠´, no buff, brass strung, 200 x 76cm
Wooden jacks, turned stand, music desk
Version 1: $11930

The Ruckers Single Harpsichord
56 + 1 notes: GG–d''' transposing reverse keyboard with fruitwood accidentals
2 x 8⁠´or 1 x 8⁠´, 1 x 4⁠´, buff, 211 x 87cm
Lime case, Swiss pine soundboard, oak music desk & turned stand, wooden jacks, registers through cheek
Optional bone-slipped sharps for the reverse keyboard $810
Optional bone keyboard $1050
Version 1: $12150

The Ruckers Double Harpsichord
56 + 1 notes: GG–d''' transposing reverse keyboards with bone-slipped accidentals
2 x 8⁠´, 1 x 4⁠´, buff, 222 x 87cm
Lime case, Swiss pine soundboard, oak music desk & turned stand, wooden jacks

Optional bone keyboards $1970
Version 2: $19560

The Hemsch French Double Harpsichord
63 notes: FF–g''' transposing reverse keyboards
2 x 8⁠´, 1 x 4⁠´, buff, 237 x 94cm
Lime case, Swiss pine soundboard, beech music desk & turned stand, wooden jacks

Optional Louis XVI-style stand, v2 $12510
Version 2: $23170

Australian dollar GST-inclusive prices ex Peakhurst effective 1 April 2023.
Please enquire for export pricing.
Prices and specifications subject to change without notice.

Please request details of other available versions, instruments or options.

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