WORKSHOP AND PHILOSOPHY
the instruments are made using historically appropriate materials.
For almost all of the instruments this means European woods –
generally hardwoods such as oak, walnut, maple or cherry for the cases,
though some instruments will use deal, and soundboards of European spruce
or cypress. Other woods found
in the instruments might include beech, pear, boxwood, poplar, holly and
lime according to the model. Stocks
of all of these woods are kept for years before being used.
The occasional non-European woods include red cedar (pencil cedar)
which is found as an interior veneer in some early English instruments
(having been brought back in ships from Virginia, probably as ballast) and
ebony. Ebony is the only
tropical wood that is used in the instruments.
The keyboards follow the design of the original in all musical respects. To this end the materials used follow the original, as do the balance points, action depth, key guiding method and so on. There is little point having a reproduction of an instrument which compromises on the action. The only places where some alteration may be wanted, or even necessary, are the touchplate materials and/or keyguide material which are occasionally illegal to use (such as ivory or tortoiseshell). In these instances substitutes must be used, and the various choices can be discussed.
instruments are generally decorated in the same style as the original,
and are offered that way as standard.
It is possible to vary the decoration, usually in the form of lid
or soundboard paintings or chinoiserie decoration.
The stands are also built in the style of furniture of the
period, and they are described in the section on each instrument, or
else in the price list section.