Building the wire strung harp

  • Participant
    Biagio on #186418

    At Balfour’s suggestion I’ve started a documentary to share with y’all of this project. (I usually do that anyway for my records but in a less readable way – LOL). Rather than take up a lot of white space I’m putting this stuff in a file on the Yahoo! group I moderate, so those not interested can ignore the thing. First step in any new design: the string band. Here are the data:

    First is a rough graph of the string lengths, followed by charts of tension %tension and tension/length and finally the raw data.

    It’s a 32 string high head harp, and pretty much has to be unless I were to make the bass strings silver (too rich for my blood) or wound (yuck). I chose bronze over brass because it is more easily available around here – but brass would have a similar profile.

    Questions and suggestions are most welcome; it will be a good while before the data starts to turn into wood and metal!


    Allison Stevick on #186420

    I’m glad you’re sharing your project with us! It will be cool to see the progress.

    balfour-knight on #186421

    Way to go, Biagio! Thanks for doing this!

    Biagio on #186423

    Thank you Allison and Balfour! The design phase always takes the longest LOL. First I get the “numbers to look as I want: T/L to decline smoothly from (in this case) around 3.50 to 1.00, %T from 60% to 30% with decent looking lengths. That’s what is posted over on the virtual harp circle.

    Then comes the “interesting” part: transfer it to a drafting table and change things until it actually will look nice. In this case, adjust a few lengths in the upper register and lower the height by about 6 inches. That will make the last two strings wound silver over bronze (nuts). Well, I can live with that.

    So now I’ll hang it on the wall and forget about it for awhile, since experience says there will always be more changes – grin.


    Biagio on #186682

    Well, finally (I did say that design takes the most time – grin)! I did not like size of the thing (about 60″/1.5m) with all bronze strings so changed some of the bass to bronze core with silver wrap; the top three string I changed to steel, since there was not as much finger room as I’d like with bronze. Charts and data are here:

    in the file “Final String Band.” It will be 48″/1.2m tall in sapele. Whew! Now to wait for better weather….


    balfour-knight on #186683


    Glad to hear about your updated design! Talk about waiting for better weather, we finally are getting Spring-like weather in Western North Carolina. Today’s temps were in the high 60’s! (Fahrenheit) We even have crocus and daffodils beginning to bloom! I know this warmth won’t last, but we are enjoying it for a few days, anyway.

    Best thoughts,

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.