Rhodes 88 MkII keys Hacking off a section. The hammers & dampers. Reframing the keybed. Removing old felt. Adding new key felt. Reassembly Some rough black walnut. Cutting to dimension. Planing to final thickness. Cutting side & back panels. Ripping the front panel. Setting tablesaw to 45° Beveling all panels to create miter butt joint. Some decorative rounding for the side panels. Cutting it out on the bandsaw. Cutting out the front panel. Measuring how far back the front panel needs to sit. Marking it onto the side panels. Routing out a slot for the front panel. Dowel joining the front rail to the side panels. A quick mock up. Gluing it together. Ratchet clamp while the glue dries. Miter joints are weak, need to add splines. Spacing out the splines to resemble the keys of a piano. Spline jig (build link in description) Maple and ebony strips. Cutting out white and black splines. Gluing in the splines for reinforcement.
Cutting flush. Routing out a rabbet for the bottom panel. Simple plywood bottom. Gluing in the panel. Adding weight to clamp while the glue dries. Added nails later for extra grip. Measuring for the cheek blocks. Cutting out blocks of walnut. Sanding to correct profile. Not dark enough. Let's torch it! This gives a faux ebony look. Securing from underneath. Securing the key bed to the cabinet. Drilling through key bed and the bottom panel. Countersinking the bottom. Bolts that screw into the wood. Screw in left handed, the exposed bolt on the other side is regular right handed. Test fit assembly More black walnut for the top panels. Resawing to thin panels. Planing smooth. Adding F holes to one panel. Drilling out the rounded ends.
Scroll saw to complete the cuts. Test placement. Disassembly. 2 coats of polyurethane. Finishing inside and out. Even poly makes walnut look good! Fabric finishing touches. Front panel is decorative, just covering in black fabric. Covering F holes to keep out dust. Adding red felt between front panel and keys. Test assembly. Brackets allow the tops to be removed if maintenance is needed. I'm countersinking the holes so the screws will sit flush. Adding handles. Voila! See part 2 for the completion of the instrument!.