The gestation of a harp

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    Liam M on #155130

    Been gone for a bit Michael. I just looked at the photos, It looks like it is proceeding well!

    michael-rockowitz on #155131

    Hi to all,

    Spent a good part of yesterday trying to get the edges of the soundbox level, for glueing the soundboard – they had migrated during glueing, and then I sanded some of it down – making it more uneven then I realized.

    Liam M on #155132

    Keep at it Michael, you will get there.

    As you work, do you ever muse how the old luthiers did it in the ancient days with no power tools, crude glues and clamps? I know I do……

    Audrey Nickel on #155133

    The old Irish harps had bodies carved out of a single piece of willow, which eliminated a lot of the need for things such as clamps, power tools and glue.

    There’s a fellow in our local harper group who’s trying to make one the old fashioned way…it’s slow going!


    michael-rockowitz on #155134


    I’m not sure what a WEST body is.

    Liam M on #155135

    Wood (or Wet) Epoxy Saturation Technique. You soak thin wood strips in epoxy, then tack them to a frame to dry. It allows curves that would be other wise impossible with the wood because the strips are so thin. By biasing the grain you gain exceptional strength. Long ago I built a sailing dinghy in this manner. If you do it right the framing can be totally removed after the epoxy sets.

    michael-rockowitz on #155136

    Hi Liam,

    Thanks for explaining that.

    jennifer-buehler on #155137

    They’ve discontinued it and I don’t know what the sound was like but the Triplett Nino used fiberglass for the body.


    Liam M on #155138

    Your kerfs I would think are similar to the stave back technique. I am looking to contour more to the shoulder, an ergonomic design. As to WEST, no not difficult for your level of talent. You prespot the strips and then move quickly when the strips are saturated. They

    michael-rockowitz on #155139

    Liam, Jennifer,

    It seems as though Triplett is still making the Nino with the fiberglass back.

    michael-rockowitz on #155140

    Hello to all,

    I just had an idea for putting my harp together.

    Liam M on #155141

    First thing that comes to mind is the second resonant frequency generated in the inner string…..which will be a function of length, mass per length etc. but also will have a contributing factor from the outer string…..

    michael-rockowitz on #155142

    Hi Liam (and everyone else),

    I’ve just established that the proposal I made in #56 has at least one significant (possibly fatal) defect – the difficulty in being able to access the back of the soundboard for string changing.

    michael-rockowitz on #155143

    Hi to all,

    I think I may have written too soon – the solution might simply be to use particularly long long-nose pliers for changing the strings, (or to use the longest I can find, and if necessary, add some extensions to the handles) and to use the side sound-holes/access ports for entry.

    I was thinking that if I were to do this, the whole thing could be attached by screws, no need for glue at all between the back and the sides, or between the soundboard and the sides, since none of the stresses in this design really require glue (I think!). Possibly, though, the use of many screws might increase the risk of rattling.

    unknown-user on #155144

    change your strings by putting the string through the top of the sound board and push enough of the string

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