I used a jig saw to cut the thinner part of the body sides, and then after cutting a pilot slot, used a rip saw to take the wider section off the neck. Continue reading
Three layers of the wood I had available is enough for the body thickness. It’s a strange shaped instrument, so there’s a lot of shaping to be done after the glueing. Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
OK, here’s the rule. The Moraharpa must be made entirely from leftovers I have from the dismantled piano used to make the kontrabasharpa. I think I have enough, but it will require a bit of ingenuity.
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 …
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!
A long planned visit to Shetland with the family. Great that Geth finally got to see Shetland in the sun, and that Steff had lovely weather (and ponies!) to help make her first visit memorable. Continue reading