The Workshop

 

The R. J. Regier workshop is located in a rebuilt barn attached to an ell attached to a house. Within this archetypal Maine structure lumber and veneer are stacked and seasoned, sometimes for many years. Cabinetmaker's hand tools, benches, and machinery as well as equipment unique to musical instrument manufacture are near at hand. Harpsichords and fortepianos in various stages of construction or repair rest on wheeled carts for easy movement around the assembly area or into the listening room.
 
The workshop is not large and production is necessarily limited. Our priority has always been to concentrate on a small number of designs and develop them rather than to make sequential prototypes. Our first Flemish harpsichord was built in 1975, our first 5-octave fortepiano in 1977, and our first 6 1/2-octave fortepiano in 1983. As a design evolves, fine original instruments are examined and played, then visited repeatedly to be reminded of their musical character, flexibility, and feel. Period instruments are our touchstones and our guides, however, we are not enslaved by their construction methods. Both hot hide glue and certain parts cut out by laser have their place. We make modifications in response to materials available today, to the North American timber species we prefer to use, to modern workshop practice, to customer request, and to what we hear.

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