Author Topic: My homemade electric piano  (Read 661 times)

Offline bourniplus

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My homemade electric piano
« on: March 28, 2017, 03:48:01 PM »
Hey guys,
I've been working on this project for a few weeks. At first I intended to make an electric clavichord, but in the meantime I got myself a real clavinet, so I decided to make a piano instead. It still has a long way to go before being gig-worthy, but anyhow, I just uploaded a little video, I thought I'd share this with the EP community.
Best regards,
Martin
https://youtu.be/CrXiU48pr8U
Mark I - Mark V
Clavinet model C
My electric square piano prototype

Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2017, 03:23:06 AM »
That is amazing, thanks for sharing.
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Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2017, 04:05:15 AM »
Very cool and a nice variaty of sounds with the effects. Are you planning to apply tolex on the case?
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Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 04:12:58 AM »
The current case design reminds me of a Clavinet I.
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Offline bourniplus

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2017, 05:33:46 AM »
Are you planning to apply tolex on the case?

I don't have any experience with tolex and read it's kind of expensive and not that easy to install properly, so I was thinking about a hardwood veneer to cover all the exterior sides of the plywood and the edges. But I'm open to suggestions!
Mark I - Mark V
Clavinet model C
My electric square piano prototype

Offline Fred

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2017, 06:58:23 AM »
Sounds beautiful!
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Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2017, 08:39:35 AM »
It's really amazing. It sounds different than any other keyboard - you really may have something special here!
 What did you use for strings? Clavinet strings? Guitar strings? How many strings are there per note?

« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 06:44:54 PM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline bourniplus

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2017, 09:04:05 AM »
Thanks guys. The strings are regular electric guitar strings, 49 of them, one per note. The basic design is very close to the square pianos of the late 18th century. No escapement, no backcheck. I realise that with bare wood hammers, the attack is very snappy, a bit on the clavinet side. If I want to make it more rhodes-y / CP80-ish, I'd have to cover the hammers with felt or leather. Maybe for the next prototype :)
Mark I - Mark V
Clavinet model C
My electric square piano prototype

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2017, 10:51:07 PM »
That thing looks cool.  Can you post more pictures or videos of the mechanics?   I'd love to see the action and the harp.
Awesome job.
Ray

Offline bourniplus

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2017, 09:05:44 AM »
Thanks Ray,
I've tried to attach pictures directly in the post but can't find how...
https://1drv.ms/i/s!Am7UqYdhEMpY0DdW-2g678tDc01_
https://1drv.ms/i/s!Am7UqYdhEMpY0Do8WIe20ZHQ7iA0
https://1drv.ms/i/s!Am7UqYdhEMpY0DmVslL42daf78n9
These are all the pictures I took. Someday I'll get a decent camera.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 09:09:59 AM by bourniplus »
Mark I - Mark V
Clavinet model C
My electric square piano prototype

Offline bourniplus

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2017, 11:19:54 PM »
Hey guys, I thought I'd share how this project is going.
The sound hasn't changed much, except that I put new pickups and wired them in series instead of parallel. I've covered the exterior with a mahogany veneer, I've yet to apply a finish. As you can see I made some "levers" to activate the mute and the sustain. I still have to make some kind of front panel and a keyslip.
The instrument had its first car ride today and should be used on a gig tomorrow!
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 11:41:19 PM by bourniplus »
Mark I - Mark V
Clavinet model C
My electric square piano prototype

Offline sean

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2017, 01:11:37 AM »

Awesome.  Really just awesome!

I love the pitch-bend by lifting the corner of the piano.   

Sean

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2017, 07:44:32 AM »
The cabinet is awesome too! Did you use parts from an old grand piano? The keyboard looks like a grand keyboard too. The hammers look like modified upright hammers. Really cool...
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline bourniplus

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Re: My homemade electric piano
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2017, 07:30:20 PM »
Thanks Steve. All the action parts come from an old upright. (As does the rounded part of the case.)

The hammers are now in the place of where the catchers used to be. It may not look like it, but I actually spent a lot of time deciding how the hammers would be positioned relative to the capstans. In the last few weeks, I ended up repinning most of the hammers, which had become very sluggish because of the autumn humidity. I learned that with such a simple action, there's a fine line between sluggish and double-strike!

The dampers were cut in half to accomodate their new location.

I drilled new mortises for the balance pins closer to the front of the keys (and made a new balance rail).

The case veneer was glued with hide glue, I still have a few "bubbles" that I'm not sure how to correct before I finally dye and varnish the thing. I also bought some metal corners but then I figured I'd have to route the sides for them to fit, so I don't think I'll use them.
Mark I - Mark V
Clavinet model C
My electric square piano prototype