The Harpsichord Project E-book

A Construction Guide for the First Time Builder
Ernest Miller Harpsichords


The instrument that is the subject of this e-book was built from October, 2008 to May 2009. During its construction, I wrote a series of non-technical articles for North Carolina describing the building process. At the same time, a four page article about my harpsichords appeared in the April/May 2009 issue of American Woodworker magazine. As a result of these two seemingly unconnected occurrences, I was inundated with e-mails, from the U.S. and abroad, asking for more information and details. It soon became obvious that I couldn't keep up with these requests on an individual basis. Writing a book detailing the construction process seemed to be the only viable solution - and so the Harpsichord Project e-book was born. A year later, after many revisions and formats, version 1.0 of the e-book was completed in its current .html format. Due to its extreme length, a printed version would be prohibitively expensive, especially considering the relatively small number of people who would be interested in the subject matter. I chose the .html format to allow for any updates and/or corrections to be easily downloaded by the reader - thus making it possible for the reader to always have the latest version.

What's Included What You Need What's Not Included
  • Over 1,100 pages of instruction
  • Over 1,100 photos and illustations
  • CAD files for instrument blueprints
  • Constructing Wooden Jacks
  • Computer templates for intricate assemblies
  • Complete list of necessary tools and machinery
  • Complete list of suppliers
  • Complete Index
  • Videos teaching necessary skills
  • Sound files of the instrument in concert
  • Complete instructions for building necessary jigs
  • All measurements displayed in Imperial (inches) and Metric (millimeters) units
  • Harpsichord 5.1 E-Book
  • Computer - minimum screen res 1024 x768
  • Firefox or Chrome browsers recommended
  • Free Adobe Acrobat Viewer
  • Internet Connection
  • Printer
  • PowerPoint (optional)
  • Photoshop (or similar)
  • Patience
  • CAD software (optional)*

    * Helpful for viewing blueprint, but
    Acrobat viewer will suffice. LibreCad
    is free, simple to use, and more than powerful enough for our purposes.
    A brief tutorial on its use is included in the ebook.

The Harpsichord Project e-book is not a course in woodworking. It is assumed that the reader has a reasonable competency in safe woodworking techniques and has, or has access to, the necessary machinery.