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.