Is there a "personal message" function?

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    randal on #222687

    I didn’t see one..

    Biagio, if you should see this: thank you again for the recommendations for wire harp resources. I yesterday obtained the FHJ compendium of articles and have thoroughly reading.

    I’m back at the harp recently, after some transition, a bunch work on other music…(I basically had to choose between cba and harp). The articles have been sn inspiration.

    Everyone have a blessed Thanksgiving!

    randal on #222688

    Thoroughly *enjoyed* reading

    Biagio on #222709

    Hi Randal,

    You are welcome. As I recall, the articles do not provide any specific guidance on specific harps or how to make them; just the history and principles. There are a limited number of people whom I know currently making them professionally:

    In the US – Jay Witcher, James Skeen (Folcharps), Triplett, Argent Fox, Phil Boulding (Magical Strings) and in the past David Kortier

    In Europe – William MacDonald, Ardival Harps, Eriu Harps, Tim DesRoches; more are listed at the historical harp society:

    Possibly a few others. Some of these are made in the traditional way, others use modern glues and 4-part box construction. Some are narrow spaced, some actually meant for steel strings.

    More design information can be found in the Yahoo Harpmakers forum archives. In truth any experienced harp maker could design and build one and in some ways they are to make easier than larger nylon or gut harps: the board is often not tapered, no bridge pins (usually).

    The main “issues” I encountered were sourcing metal strings especially silver and locating custom string shoes (if one is not content with home made wire ones and wants the back closed). The latter are expensive, so at least one person used 1/4″ ID bronze bushings.

    One easy way would be to buy the Musicmakers Limerick kit but place tuning pegs where bridge pins would normally go, lower the range four steps to a bass G and use brass or bronze instead of steel strings. You could also use a hardwood board instead of the supplied laminate one, after modifying the box and pillar foot a little.

    Best wishes,

    randal on #222715

    Hi Biagio –

    I’m looking for a 30-string (or clise) with narrower spacing. My 30-string is a Triplett, with wide spacing – it has good volume, but I prefer narrower spacing.

    William Macdonald currently has a harp available, but it’s a 22-str.

    James Skeen builds a 26-str, with narrow spacing, but I have a 25-string Triplett.

    Do you by chance know how long the wait list is for a Witcher?

    Biagio on #222756

    Sorry Randal, afraid not; probably “awhile'” If you want it fairly soon I’d suggest the Ardival Kinnellan:

    James’ narrow spaced 26 is a very nice harp (we collaborated on the design, so I know something about it) and a friend recently got one. Ann Heymann gave it a thumbs up – my friend is studying with her. James keeps his templates and might be persuaded to make a 30 string version.

    Once in a blue moon a Caswell Gwydion turns up on the used market. That’s “modified spacing” (Chris’ description) – about 12-13mm. Gorgeous harp but BIG and some of the bass are wound. They can be replaced with red brass and half hard silver however.

    Good luck!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Biagio.
    randal on #222762

    Thx. My large 30-str has that 12mm which I can live with, but the harp is notoriously bad at holding its tuning. My small harp holds its tuning quite well, but lacks volume if course..

    On another matter, can you recommend a detergent or disinfectant that can be used liberally on nylon strings?

    randal on #222763

    …something other than handsoap/water, like a solution in a convenient can or bottle, that is..

    Biagio on #222768

    I just use Cottonelle(r) wipes on nylon strings – about $6 in most grocery stores and they come in a box. Flushable too.

    randal on #222804


    wil-weten on #222818

    Hi Randal, I read that you are looking for a wire harp.

    My friend Harriet (‘Harpjet’ has a Gealach built my MacDonald for sale. She has asked me to mention this in this forum.

    You may like to have a look at:

    She’s not a member of this forum, but she is a member of the Facebook wireharp group.

    If interested, you may like to contact her at harpjet at gmail dot com.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by wil-weten.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by wil-weten.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by wil-weten.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by wil-weten. Reason: Still don't understand how to embed a video
    randal on #222855

    Thank you so much for the info. Those harps are most beautiful, but, alas, slightly outside of my budget.


    Biagio on #222859

    Well, if you have access to a workshop they are, as I said, not hard to make. There is plenty of information out there. Check out the resources on and the Harpmakers Yahoo forum.

    Deciding on the strings is the most time consuming but I have several designs saved; my own and those of Chris Caswell, and Karen Loomis’ Flockhart Lamont. You would have to determine whether you want it tuned na cawlee, if so in what key and what the 30th string would be – often D if tuned to Gmaj. Karen’s is for Cmaj. Both James and I use 11mm spacing but it is really up to you and your drafting table LOL.


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