Originally, probably yes - or at least for wealthy patrons. In those days, many homes had small harpsichords (virginals) much like many homes had a spinet piano when I was a kid. Now, it's guitars that are the instrument of choice.
As Charlie shared earlier in the thread, I've also seen many examples of Ernie's fine craftsmanship. If the harpsichords aren't exotic enough you should the music boxes he makes. Like miniature versions of the harpsichords complete with the same artwork and most in playing condition. Those amaze me almost more than the big ones they represent. To create something so unique and then replicate it exactly in smaller form.
I'm at a loss for words, but others have done a good job for starters!
A few basic questions for maestro Ernie if he'll put his journey in reverse/pause and possibly replay a few times for us...
1. Who makes and sells such incredibly detailed plans for harpsichord construction? I searched SketchUp Warehouse and didn't find anything that would be useful.
2.. The "blueprint master plan" has been purchased, dissected, and duplicated for an assortment of templates before construction. Now, where and how to begin?
3. An incredibly complicated cutlist (XL spreadsheet?). I need these wood species; flat, rift, quarter sawn and X board feet of each one to fabricate many individual and unique pieces per the plan and then how do I keep track of them along the way?
4. Ernie's pic #1 in reverse and stripped down to a WIP?
My daughter and SIL live in Grimesland and I'd like to visit Ernie in Chocowinity sometime when I'm down there visiting. ccasion1
I've written a 900+ page e-book on constructing a harpsichord. You can get more info there and download a free demo on keyboard building. In my opinion, the best place to start is to do a lot of reading and learning. Building a harpsichord (or any other musical instrument) is much more than getting a plan and buying lumber. I've tried in this e-book to give detailed information on what to do and, more importantly, why to do it. Perhaps you can download the free demo which explains how to build the keyboard and, and the same time, get a feel for what this work is like.
I'm five minutes from Grimesland and you're always welcome to stop by the shop. Just send me a PM and let me know when.