musical instrument

Finally! Time and some patience in Galloway has allowed me to finish the keys and put some strings on. However the observant will notice that the keys still don’t do anything – they still need the tangents. To be continued …

clamp and keybox

At last, some more progress on the Moraharpa. During these ridiculous lockdowns I have been too depressed to do very much, but have finally got around to assembling the keybox. It will take a while to finish the keys, but at least this is a start.

A few people have asked about drawings and dimensions for my Moraharpa. I worked from various sources online but drew my own, and worked out what I would need for a keybox similar to a kontrabas keybox; I did not want the “authentic” original and rather limited keybox.

The body is finished now, but I am still finishing fitting the keys in the keybox!

Here’s a photo which will have to do:

Moraharpa design drawing

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.