Bentside Spinet Kit supplies all of the items to make a handsome replica of a 1765 Baker
Harris instrument. We have followed the details of the original with extreme care. By
patiently assembling the materials and paying close attention to the drawings,
instructions and photographs, the kit builder should be able to make a nearly perfect copy
of the Baker Harris spinet.
Eighteenth century English harpsichords in general were more often
veneered than painted. Veneers supplied with the Bentside Spinet Kit enable the maker to
reproduce the Baker Harris classic decor of figured walnut panels on the case and in the
keyboard well, outlined with degamé stringing and mahogany crossbanding. Walnut veneer is
supplied for the inside edge of the case, the jack rail and the name batten. The lid,
trestle stand, music desk and other smaller parts, including moldings for the case and lid
are provided in solid mahogany. The keyboard supplied with this kit has dark hardwood
sharps and light colored degamé naturals. A bone-covered keyboard is available as an
option. Reproductions of Baker Harris solid brass strap hinges for the lid, and butterfly
hinges for joining the keyboard cover to the lid are available at additional cost.
Phosphor bronze music wire is offered to those builders who wish to tune their spinets to
A-440 instead of A-415.
to the English Bentside Spinet kit...
now have a demonstration CD of this instrument available ($10.00 ppd.
in U.S.). Please - inquire via our contact
fortepiano kit is a replica of a Stein instrument of 1784 and closely reproduces the tone
and action as well as the details of construction of this early piano. It has a range of
five octaves, FF-f''' and is double-strung throughout except for the top 14 notes which
are triple-strung. The strings are low tensile steel from the tenor through the treble
ranges, and brass in the bass. The keyboard has a 6 1/4" octave span, a short (1
3/8") key front, and low, narrow sharps. The key levers are unbushed and guided at
the rear of the keyboard. The naturals are covered with ebony and the sharps with bone.
The fortepiano is intended to be veneered as Viennese instruments almost
invariably were. The Pre-Cut Kit supplies selected book-matched veneer and
veneering supplies, glue and special tools. This kit also includes moldings, corner
pieces, legs, and many small parts in solid wood of the appropriate species to match the
veneer. The veneer and exterior parts are normally supplied in cherry, a common choice
among the old builders. Alternatively, we are usually able to supply these items in
American (black) walnut. Builders who wish to use other species may make special
arrangements with us or may purchase the fortepiano kit without the veneer and exterior
The Fortepiano Kit comes in three variations. The Pre-Cut Kit,
the Assembled Inner Case and Frame Kit and the Assembled and Veneered Kit.
In the Pre-Cut Kit, all cutting, shaping and fitting of all parts
are done by us to the point where they are prepared for assembly by the builder. The
wrestplank has been veneered with spruce and drilled for tuning pins. The builder with
pre-cut parts will require a small block plane, a few chisels, marking and measuring
tools, clamps and other hand tools such as screwdrivers, hammer and drill. The builder
should plan to spend 300-400 hours on the project.
The Assembled Inner Case and Frame Kit comes to the builder with
the largest and most difficult steps in the woodworking project completed by us. We
assemble the spruce inner case (or liner) with belly rail, frames and diagonals and glue
on and trim the bottom. The wrestplank, already veneered and drilled, is then glued into
place. This option insures an accurate and well made case and reduces assembly time
The Assembled and Veneered Kit supplies an instrument for which
all of the woodworking and veneering steps have been completed in our shop. The fortepiano
at this point requires only stringing, assembly of the action, and polishing of the case
and lid. This version is intended for the builder with limited space and tools and who
wishes a finished instrument in the shortest possible time. The builder will require a
number of common hand tools such as drill, hammer, screwdrivers and square and should plan
to spend about 100-150 hours on the instrument.
An additional option available is one in which we will veneer the lid,
the flap and fallboard. Consult our price list for this option.
Send for a Kit
Catalog and Price Guide