Friday, 2 March 2012

Today at the workshop

Not exactly an 'outdoors' post this, but I thought my blogging friends might be interested to see this rather poorly harp that I started working on today.
The soundboard of this 'Grecian' pedal harp has seen better days, and there are two reasons why. The main one being that this harp is around 180 years old, but secondly, it had been strung with modern concert harp, wires which had put far too much load on it.

Here, I have removed the 'top strips' which run down either side of the soundbox, to reveal the screws helping to hold the soundboard on. I have also cut with a hand saw down either side of the centre strip.

Actually, this old soundboard had lasted very well. With a harp of this age I was expecting to see 'tell-tale' extra screw holes from one or two previous boards. As there were none, this proves that it was the original soundboard - quite unusual. The whole body had been glued using animal glue which had broken down to a certain extent. However, this meant that I could carefully remove the old struts (shown here) from the back of the soundboard to re-use on the new one.

The screws look hand-made as they are all different sizes and the slots are not always running right down the middle!

The holes at the back of the soundbox literally let the sound out. But one side of the body had parted company with the supporting ribs. I could push a shim of metal behind them.

So the last thing I could do to it today was to glue and cramp it all back. The glue I used is extremely strong (much better than the old animal glue)