Hang this door harp on the inside of your front door and each time the door is opened you'll be rewarded with warm, melodious sounc|. The door movement sets the four wooden clappers in motion, causing each one to repeatedly strike the horizontal steel strings. Of Scandinavian origin, the door harp is a project that makes an ideal gift—one that's interesting, enjoyable, and easy to make.
The Autoharp pins are under a fair amount of strain when the guitar strings are tightened, so use maple for the frame. Begin by cutting two pieces % x 2Yt x 954" for the frame sides, and two pieces % x 1% x for the top and bottom. Referring to the drawing, note that the dotted lines represent the dimensions of the frame parts be fore the harp is cut to shape. Using this as a guide, glue and assemble the frame parts, then allow to dry thoroughly.
The front and back are made from Honduras mahogany. Cut two pieces 8" wide x 954" long to fit over the frame. Cut a 254"-diameter hole in the front piece, then glue and clamp the front and back to the frame. After it is dry, transfer the outside profile of the harp to the glued-up stock and cut to shape.
Eight Autoharp pins are used to tighten the steel guitar strings. They are available from Fretted Industries, 1415 Waukegan Road, North-brook, IL 60062. Locate and drill x %"-deep holes. Use a hammer to drive about W of the threaded portion into the hole, then use a wrench to thread the pin so that the string hole is about above the surface. Cut steel B guitar strings (available at any musical instrument dealer) to length and tighten between each pin.
The bridge is made from 54 x %" pine. To form its curved profile, use the table saw to« run a lengthwise groove about wide x ^s" deep. Use sandpaper to round off and shape the edges as shown in the drawing. Drill four M«"-diameter string holes in the bridge and glue it to the front.
The four clappers are made from 54" dowel stock cut to 54" length. Also, if available, ^"-diameter wooden balls can be used. Insert and glue the end of a piece of string into a small hole drilled in each clapper. Run the strings up through the bridge holes, adjust to length, and secure with a knot.
Sand thoroughly and stain to suit. Finish with two coats of polyurethane varnish.
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