Harpsichord Kits

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Harpsichords
Spinet & Virginals

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English Bentside SpinetLet me say this about our kits: if the kit is carefully assembled, well voiced and handsomely finished, the result equals the product of any professional maker and resembles its prototype very closely....
Frank Hubbard

Since 1963, Hubbard kits have been assembled throughout the world and are in use by professional and amateur musicians alike. This is a woodworking project you will never forget, a musical instrument you will enjoy for a lifetime, a family heirloom to endure for generations.

Flemish SingleOur technical staff stands ready to support your effort from start to finish through our HOTLINE, e-mail, fax, telephone and snail mail.

Hubbard harpsichords have been re-creating history since 1948.  Frank Hubbard was in the forefront of the revival of early keyboard music in the 20th century, coming personally in touch with over 500 antique instruments in the course of his research. With this knowledge base and the continuity of Frank Hubbard's brilliance through his apprentice Hendrik Broekman, Hubbard Harpsichords' Technical Director for the past 25 years, you are assured of the best instrument money can buy.


Types of Kits

We feature several different instruments in kit form:

 

Flemish Virginals "Mother and Child"Designed with the amateur woodworker in mind, Hubbard kit instructions explain in detail procedures for assembly, decoration, and voicing of the instruments and manage in the process to impart a great deal of information on the art of antique and modern instrument making. As much as possible, the details of the original, whether involved with the production of the sound, the feel of the action, or merely an ingredient of the style and practice of the period, have been retained.

With patience and diligence, any amateur woodworker can follow the instructions and produce a thoroughly professional instrument. We have not designed in any short cuts to make amateur assembly quick or easy, nor have we cut corners in order to make a cheap "bare bones" instrument. Our hallmark is quality. We inherited it from Frank Hubbard and we intend to keep it that way. Our always available highly-skilled technical support is both our and your assurance that your Hubbard instrument will be a credit to both of us.

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Kit Alternatives

All Hubbard kits are offered in several versions, each carried to a further stage of completion, so that the builder may select his starting point depending on his resources. In this way, both the amateur and the experienced craftsperson can be assured of a project that is both challenging and pleasant work.


The Pre-Cut Kit
All kits start with this version. The Pre-cut Kit contains all items and materials needed to complete the instrument. Where possible each part is accurately dimensioned, shaped and tapered as appropriate, with miters, dadoes, rabbets and mortises cut and joints prepared for gluing. Decorative moldings are cut into all appropriate parts. Tools required are normal hand woodworking tools (all described in the manual), about a dozen woodworking clamps, and a solid, level workbench of appropriate size on which to work (We can help you with the design of an inexpensive suitable bench.) The Pre-cut Kit is finished by most builders in four to five months of spare time work, probably about 350 hours.

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The Pre-Cut Kit With Case Assembled
All Pre-cut Kits are also available in this version which is offered for builders with limited time and space. The rim of the instrument (spine, cheek, bentside and tail) is glued together. The belly rails, wrestplank, nameboard and cap molding are fitted and glued in, the bottom installed and trimmed, and reinforcing keys are cut and fitted into the bentside joints. Thus, the builder begins with an accurate and strong case, the most difficult part of the construction having been completed in our shop. This version of the kit can be completed in from 250-300 hours.

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The Pre-Cut Kit With Case Assembled
And Soundboard Installed
Since it is a matter directly affecting the sound and musical qualities of the finished instrument, the installation of the soundboard is, in our view, a most critical part of the construction. At this stage the soundboard is dried, fitted and marked out for its bridges, hitchpin rail and ribs. After the soundboard has been tapered, the above parts are mounted, including a gilded rose where appropriate. The moisture content of the soundboard is then regulated prior to its installation in the instrument. After the soundboard has been properly installed, the hitchpin rail moldings are fitted and glued in place. The case proper is then finished as if in preparation for painting.  This option reduces the cabinetmaker's task by 40-50 hours and guarantees that all the work necessary to ensure the instrument's longevity has been accomplished by a very experienced craftsperson.

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The Assembled Case Kit
In this version the Pre-Cut Kit is fully assembled in our shop. The case and frame assembly is complete, the soundboard installed, and the bridges, nuts, and hitchpin rails glued into place. All case and accessory hardware is fitted and installed. The builder is left to complete the musical assembly, voicing and decoration of the instrument.

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Hubbard Harpsichords

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updated: 11/20/03