Glued bits and clamps

The next step in construction of the Moraharpa body – gluing the first two slices together. I found out the threaded studs I had used for the kontrabas, and made up more clamps of the right size for the Moraharpa. The old glue I bought for the kontra (Titebond hide glue)  is still OK, even though it’s a couple of years past its expiry date. One more layer to add, then I can start shaping the body.

Wood slices

The second slice is cut out, and I removed the veneer easily with a hot air gun; there were two layers on each side. The remaining (animal) glue was sponged off with hand hot water; here are the two slices drying. The surfaces have a very fine scoring to take the veneer glue; I will sand most of this off before joining the slices.

Wood shape

Well OK, it looks a bit like a tennis racket (raquet!) but I think this is the best way I can get the body built quickly. I don’t have anything suitable to make a body with bent sides (like a violin, and like the original Moraharpa), and I also don’t have enough wood thick enouth for the depth of the instrument. I think laminating slices together will work well – this is some sort of veneered hardwood; the veneer will have to come off. Hopefully heat will get it off easily.

drawing board

When I built the kontrabasharpa I kept enough wood back to build a Moraharpa – just in case. Having just returned from Halsway I am full of new tunes and lots of inspiration – including returning to this topic! So here’s the start – the first drawings.

It’s clear, now that I have started the drawings, that this is a bit of a strange instrument! I think it will be a lot of fun …

nyckelharpa strings

When we were in Sweden, I had forgotten to ask someone to bring some nyckelharpa strings to Österbybruk for my stock – I like to change the playing strings every year or so. I was going to ask someone to bring some over to Halsway in September, but duckduckgo-ing revealed that the String Zone now stock them. Excellent!