Making a Harp/Other Musical Instruments

I've just ordered plans and the hardware kit for making a lap harp. I'm going to make the wooden parts myself using curly cherry. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good source for the cherry? Also, I would appreciate any advice from people who have made harps or other musical instruments. Thanks, Donna Menke
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No advice but a URL.
http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/index.html
Mark
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What are you going to use for the soundboard? And is cherry strong enough for the arch? The strings exert a *lot* of force on the structure. (No, I haven't made a harp, but have played lap harps...)
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wrote:

I ordered the soundboard and back board with the hardware kit and plans. They offered the kits in walnut or cherry so I thnk I'm safe there. I don't think the figured quality would be less strong. I received the kit yesterday but they sent the wrong back- in walnut. We are getting that straightened out now. So Jim- how hard is it to play a harp- since I don't read music and seem to be kinda tone deaf? Donna Menke
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"Donna" wrote in message

That's the easy part ... the hard part is getting a harp tuned. :)
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Somewhat harder than I can manage, unfortunately. I just plinked around a bit, but didn't practice enough to actually make much music. However, the colored strings help a lot in finding where you are in the scale. Best of good luck, Donna, and most of all, have fun! (by the way, electonic tuners (e.g. Korg) are your friends - your very, very good friends :) )
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Mon, May 21, 2007, 6:14am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Donna) doth posteth thusly: I've just ordered plans and the hardware kit for making a lap harp. I'm going to make the wooden parts myself using curly cherry. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good source for the cherry? Also, I would appreciate any advice from people who have made harps or other musical instruments.
I've got instructions stuck away for making a small Celtic type harp. I'll get to it, one day. If I recall right, uses mostly plywood.
In the early '70s, made a dulcimer from a kit. It was mostly 1/8" luan plywood. Went together fast and easy, and sounded good.
Just finished watching How It's Made. They made a cross between a large Celtic and orchestral harp. Surprising how much was made from plywood. Solid wood wouldn't have given the strength needed. Varnish brushed on, not sprayed, apparently they don't get too anal about a really shiny and slick finish. Tuned using an electronic tuner of some sort.
As an aside, then they showed how electic violins are made. Then they colored parts of it weird, part natural wood, but it did sound good.
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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On May 23, 7:24 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

I did get the Korg electronic tuner with my order. Tone-deaf, remember. They sent the wrong back piece, in walnut instead of the ordered cherry, but they have sent off a replacement already. Good folk. Now, I'm seriously considering making one out of plain walnut first- as a practice piece. I can use everything I ordered to make it, and when I want to make the one out of curly cherry I'll still have everything I need except for the hardware pack and another soundboard. And if I'm going to make a mistake it will be on the much less expensive walnut. Then hubby and I can play duets!? Hah. He is even less of a musician than I am- if possible. How can I find "How It's Made" for harp making? Can you post a link, please. I tried googling it but didn't find it. I have a DVD coming too, but this sounds interesting. In case anyone is curious, this is the one I'm making: http://www.musikit.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=lim Can't wait to get started. Does anyone know how to set up these groups so that I'd get notification for a topic in which I'm participating? As it is I get a synopsis every morning, but I have to go to my profile to see the topics I've commented on. On my Yahoo! groups I get every posting individually into my mailbox, but that would be way too many with this group. Thanks- Donna Menke
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Thu, May 24, 2007, 6:28am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Donna) doth queryeth: <snip> How can I find "How It's Made" for harp making? Can you post a link, please. I tried googling it but didn't find it. <snip>
What can I say? http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=HOW+IT%27S+MADE
JOAT What is life without challenge and a constant stream of new humiliations? - Peter Egan
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On Thu, 24 May 2007 10:54:14 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

http://science.discovery.com/tv-schedules/series.html?paidH.13776.117072.9505.8&start0
Hope this helps.
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On May 24, 6:09 pm, snipped-for-privacy@forteinc.com wrote:

Hi Guys, thought some may want to see how I'm getting along, so I've made a blog on making the harp. Check it out: http://harpmaking.blogspot.com / Thanks, Donna
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"Donna" wrote in message

Great ... keep the information coming. I've recorded my share of harps, from Celtic to pedal, in the studio (AAMOF, at one time recorded an album with 10 various size harps, with a couple of cuts of them all playing at the same time ... talk about making the air in a room vibrate!).
This site http://www.folkharp.com/ is run by a harpist friend and recording client for many years and is a good source for harp related items and music.
Looks like a real fun project and one I don't think I would even attempt, although looking at your other work I'm sure you'll do well. Did you happen to catch the harp making segment of that Discovery Channel show? Intriguing process.
Keep up the good work.
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Tue, Jun 12, 2007, 2:22am (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Donna) Hi Guys, thought some may want to see how I'm getting along, so I've made a blog on making the harp. Check it out: http://harpmaking.blogspot.com/ Thanks, Donna
Neat. Now if I could just remember what cartoon character used one just like it for shooting arrows like a machine gun.
Did you ever get to see the harp on How it's Made?
JOAT If a man does his best, what else is there? - General George S. Patton
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On Jun 12, 7:40 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

No, I don't get cable or the Discovery Channel, though I've seen it now and then in motels when traveling. I've tried to see it online but they just refer me to the TV stations. I'll bet it is interesting, and I would very much enjoy seeing it. Thanks for the reference anyhow. Maybe I'll see it someday. In the meantime though I've got to tell you about how I was a brave woman today. I used my dado set for the first time (I've had it for 6 years), cut up through a zero clearance insert plate, and then did it again at 9 degrees. That took all the balls I got. My heart was jumping like a jumping bean. I have a hate/hate relationship with my table saw and just making a simple cut is almost more excitement then I can take. The things I do for this harp. . .lol I'll post some more photos on the blog tomorrow. The soundbox is nearing completion- I worked on it for 5 hours today. Donna
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Wed, Jun 13, 2007, 2:39am (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Donna) doth sayeth: No, I don't get cable or the Discovery Channel, <snip> I have a hate/hate relationship with my table saw and just making a simple cut is almost more excitement then I can take. <snip>
How It's Made is worth the cost of cable. One of the main reason's I got cable in the first place was Monster Garage.
Ooo, I think you've got the wront attitude toward your saw. You should have a "this machine scares the crap out of me" attitude instead. Hate/hate, you're likely to get careless, trying to get t all over in a hurry. Scared, you pay a lot of attention to what you're up to, and stay out of the line fire in case of a kickback; always use push sticks, so you don't have kickbacks; and, especially, to keep your body parts out of the whirly parts. Works for me.
JOAT If a man does his best, what else is there? - General George S. Patton
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On Jun 13, 12:20 am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Well- I may have been exaggerating just a little. If I can get the job done with any other tool (not counting the router-which is at about the same level as the TS) I do. The band saw and sanders are my tools of choice- that is why that is all I use for making boxes. So for making a 1/8" wide groove 1/4" from the edge of a long board, 1/4" deep- I'm gonna bite the bullet and use the TS. A kick back way back in 1973 got me in the hip bone and it hurt- scared me too- and I have a long memory for things like that. Can't remember what had for lunch yesterday- but I remember that kick back. Actually I taught power tool use for 6 years and managed to get over my fear but not my caution. I use the Grrripper and that helps a lot. I feed mostly from the side- like I taught my ladies. their 'chest' got in the way of reaching across the saw- especially if they were short and stout. We all ended up keeping our body parts. Off for a 12 mile bike ride then will see how the dado set works- take some photos- post them on the blog, probably by 5. Donna
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Just updated the blog- http://harpmaking.blogspot.com / Donna
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hey donna heres a group you may find fits the bill you can get email notification also many music builders hang ou there http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com.au/index.php scroll down the list till you find "musical instruments" forum there are many other forums as well - woodwork related
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