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 …
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:
Some final progress on the Moraharpa before the festive break. Here’s the back being glued on. Continue reading
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.