I have started building new instruments alongside restoring old ones. Currently I'm working on three small square pianos.
Two are based directly on a South German recumbent harp piano, using drawings and photos supplied by the SIM/SPK in Berlin. There is a small but well documented group of these scattered in different collections, and though no two are exactly alike all of them share basic features: small size and compass, upward bearing nut, double pinned bridge, lightweight tangent-type hammers and extremely light and shallow touch, multiple hand operated effects, usually a mute or full damper, multiple moderators and a mutation operated by pressing a lever against the soundboard. Most are single strung and lack dampers.
The 4 ½ octave instruments under construction are double strung and measure 48×24”. Both will be veneered and furnished with simple stands with turned legs.
The second is a fantasy instrument based on Austrian sewing box pianos from the 1820s, but rearranged according to American building principles. It is double strung and has a 5-octave compass with a ⅞-size octave span, and two pedals. It measures 32×22” and has a matching veneered stand.