As usual January is brought to life with a few trips over to Glasgow, to attend some Celtic Connections concerts. Continue reading
Some final progress on the Moraharpa before the festive break. Here’s the back being glued on. Continue reading
We had a trip of a few days up to Inverness to visit family and friends. The weather was mostly dreich but we enjoyed the trip. Continue reading
The Moraharpa build is well underway but I was reminded of another instrument I had come across by accident, and realised that I had enough wood left to make one. It’s also very simple, so has been bashed together very quickly. The photo shows the completed instrument; it’s known as a Jouhikko in Finnish, or a Tagelharpa in Swedish. My version has three strings, made from twisted horsehair. 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.