Hjem Home digital organ Organ related Building a pedal board - 8
Building a pedal board - 8 Print E-mail
Written by Vidar Fagerjord   
Wednesday, 15 October 2008 21:10
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Update 16.07.2009

The jointer / planer is a fantastic piece of equipment! I bought some 100mm (3.93') floor moldings made from oak for the toe boards. I jointed one side and one edge and then ran the pieces through the planer. They started out about 8mm (0.315') and ended up being 5mm (0.197'). Since I stack three of them, the toe boards will be 15mm (0.59') thick. Should be very sturdy!

The curved toe boards will follow the 9" radius of the curved frame pieces. I made a simple jig for the glue-up by cutting the curve in three pieces of floor beams (buy the cheapest wood you can find). I glued the three pieces together, then smoothed the jig so that there is no ridges or bumps.

Tip: make a template from MDF or similar, then use the router and a copying bit to smooth the curves (you need to rough-cut them first). Saves you a lot of time!

I applied glue to each joining side of the three toe board pieces, stacked them and placed them on the jig. Then I used a clamp to press them into the jig at the center (be sure to mark the center of your jig, and the pieces being laminated). I continued adding clamps until the pieces was firmly formed to the jig. Remember that when you've added a clamp to the left of the center, you need to add a clamp at about the same distance from the center on the right side. This ensures that the pieces can slide on each other. Since the top piece has a slightly smaller radius than the bottom piece, it will slide out over the end a bit.

I used scrap pieces of wood to protect the wood from the clamps - and to distribute the pressure over the whole width of the toe board. I really need to invest in more F-clamps (the metal ones that looks like an F) since they can produce FAR more pressure than the quick-clamps. You can clearly se why in the next image:

See the squeeze-out under the F-clamp? I solved the problem by using a F-clamp to press the pieces together at all the quick-clamps, then squeezed the quick-clamps as hard as they would go. Should do the trick.

As you can see on the above image, the end grain of the wood lines up so that the curved toe board will look like it was made from a single piece of wood. That was the primary thing that got me to buy hardwood instead of plywood. A lot more expensive, but the result should be VERY nice! You can of course use plywood, but the sides will show the stripes very good. An option could be adding veneer strips or painting the edges black as a decorative element. That's entirely up to you. I want a consistent look, so... Oak it is!

Can't wait to see the end result! I have never laminated wood before, but I am confident that this should work nicely. The jointer / planer is a crucial tool in this process, since I can make perfectly square, parallel, straight and true surfaces on the pieces. Note: I roughed the surfaces with some 80 grit sanding paper and a sanding machine so that the glue will get a good grip. The jointer / planer makes a VERY clean surface - almost ready for varnishing!

I did not do anything to the last edge, since the toe boards will be cut to follow the radius of the pedals.

Tomorrow, I will make the front toe board. And I am going to borrow a load of clamps from my uncle - I do not have enough clamps for the wider piece. Guess there's something to the woodworkers saying "you will always need more clamps no matter how many you already have"...

Update 20.07.2009

I've started work on the bench while I let some ideas mature - plus, I really needed a break from the pedal board!

But - some work has been done! The front toe board is glued and turned out great. I used a lot more clamps, but still got a few gaps. Which proves that bending wood should be done by bending over a form, not into. Oh well, one learns...

Here's an image of the three strips of oak I used for the toe boards:

These are 5mm thick, which means that the toe boards will be 15mm thick - about the same as the side panels. Should be more than strong enough!

I also mounted all the dowel pins - the inner frame is now completed!

Now I need to mount some felt and some big wooden dowels. I will screw the toe board to the wooden dowels to secure it in place. There will be some felt underneath the toe board as well, which should dampen the noise from the pedals very good.

I still need to do the final sanding on the pedals, and then finish them with clear lacquer. I keep putting that job off for some reason...

Be sure to check out the organ bench I'm building as well!

Update 24.07.2009

The main focus now is to complete the bench, but I haven't forgotten the pedal board! I added the first coat of clear lacquer to the sharps. I'm going to let the first coat harden thoroughly before I scrape and sand the surface in order to get a perfect finish. Here's my high-tech jig for drying pedals:

Note the inverse curvature? That is essential for the drying process, since... Nah, just kidding. I simply used some scrap material - namely the cutout part of my toe board jig. I slammed a lot of nails into it and clamped it to a shelf in the workshop. I then added the lacquer with a VERY fine brush, and hung the pedals to dry. Simple and effective!

Update 07.08.2009

I haven't done much on the pedal board lately. The bench has taken most of my time. But today I started on a job I've dreaded: the first coat of lacquer to the naturals! Not because it is difficult or anything - I just hate brushes!

Only 6 more to go. I am going to apply two coats on every side of each pedal, and then add 4-5 coats on the playing surfaces - should be adequate for the wear the pedals will get over the years.

I got to play on the organ in the local church, and I can assure you that I'm a LOT more relaxed about the pedal board! The organ's pedal board had a lot of lateral "play", but I did not notice it when I played it. I also found that the pressure from my springs will be about perfect!

Needless to say, I was like a kid in a candy store during those 90 minutes! This weekend will be spent on the organ bench - only the bench I'm talking about stands in front of a 42 stop Jemlich organ!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 21:15
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