Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Goodbye Harp

Cracks appeared several months ago in the soundboard of my big lever harp. Last night the cracking got so bad that the harp won't hold tune anymore. I tuned it up one last time and played it for a while, then got startled out of my seat by a loud snap as another section began to splinter.

It lasted five years - not bad for what it was. My friend Heidi James and I designed it on a whim and she spent three years off and on in building it. After I adopted it I continued to work on it, adding levers and reinforcing the pillar. There's nothing I can do about that soundboard, though. The corner of my front room is going to look very empty without a big harp in it.

I am considering buying a new soundboard ($70) and rebuilding it. A new set of strings would be nice too. Or maybe I should wait until I get an advance on my first novel and just buy myself a new one.

6 comments:

James Family Insane Asylum said...

Sad.
If you don't rebuild it and just "throw it away" I'd like to keep it for sentimental sake.
Let's me know.

beth said...

Poor harp! Good luck finding another one!

Rebecca Mother of A Tribe said...

After looking it over, I think it would be more work to rebuild it than to make a new one. Heidi, if you want it back, we can make some arrangement to get it to you.

Pmom@ChocolateandGarlic.com said...

I am sorry to hear this. I would love to hear you play Rebecca. Someday?

Kathy said...

oh.... i was sad to read this entry! how i have enjoyed hearing you play that harp! but so many things "die" here in mortality - it's part of learning to let go & say good-bye I think - but it's hard when it's something you have put so much of yourself into...

Neferset said...

I wrote to you some time last year and you gave me tips on harp building. I finally am getting my string set (expected tomorrow or Saturday). I've had the tuning pins for a couple of months.

Anyway, I came back here to look and found this. I don't remember if I talked to you before or after this post, but don't despair so soon!

What size soundboard blank do you need? I've been looking at various online sources for Baltic Birch and came up with a few places that offer 1/8 inch at lower prices. It's not quite as good as the Finnish air craft ply, but it is better than throwing out a harp that has been an old and dear friend.

I have noticed several builders out there who use the 1/8 inch 3-ply Baltic Birch and even one who uses Okoume Marine Plywood.