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DragonFly Harp #7: 1/20/2011 S-L-O-W Going

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Blog entry by Donna Menke posted 1309 days ago 1141 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: 1/12/2011 Part 7 of DragonFly Harp series Part 8: 1/25/2011 Sound Box Completed »

Days and days of mostly just staring at the dumb thing wondering why- oh why- things did not meet the way they should. Take a little off here- then a little off there- shoot!- think I took some off the wrong side. This was not the way to go.

My micro-plane was going to be my salvation, but it may have created more problems than it fixed.

Talk about creative clamping! Trying to get all the angles right and everything where it is supposed to be so that the screws in the base will end up in the right places. Not so effective.

The base is screwed- (no comments from the peanut gallery)- but the sides are not in the correct alignment. Fiddled with it every day (day after day) for 2-4 hours and still didn’t have it just right. Finally gave up and decided to work from the neck down. Maybe the top of the harp (knee block) will be able to keep everything aligned and I can drill yet another set of holes in the base- running out of room there now.


We won’t even go into how many hours were spent taking the measurements for this paper pattern. It seemed to fit fairly well, so I made a cereal carton cardboard model to see if it was going to fit.


I glued up some scraps of cherry to make a big enough block for the knee-block, and then I cut it using the band saw. Not a good fit at all. Took it to the big belt sander to refine some of the angles. Finally used hand sanding on a flat surface to get it pretty close.

Went shopping for some new toys. Gotta be a better way to measure small angles on small areas. Finally got a digital angle gauge and angle-measure-thingy at Home Depot. They both work fairly well, and I like the digital readout, but there is no way to accurately measure an angle when the side is just 1/4” wide. Lesson learned- cut it right the first time- dummy!


Dry run to fine tune the details. Lining things up on the plans is a big help. It ain’t perfect, but I think it just may be close enough.


Ready or not- it is glued. Tough job because of all the weird angles. It wanted to squish out when the glue was applied. Lots of clamps and lots of glue and I’ll know tomorrow morning whether or not it will do.
After the screws are in the base correctly I can measure for and cut the soundboard and back board. Once they are cut I can work on them for adding the string reinforcement and decoration to the soundboard, and put the sound-holes in the back board. That should be easy. Nothing could be as hard as making and fitting and gluing that knee block and making the base.
Time- 8 days, 23 hours
Total= 60

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com



11 comments so far

View BarbS's profile

BarbS

2433 posts in 2711 days


#1 posted 1309 days ago

Hoo-boy. That piece is a struggle. And I didn’t hear you say you wanted to go into production mode on these, either. ;-)
I know you won’t give up, Donna. Keep thinking how much this instrument is going to mean to you!
And thanks for posting your process.
-BarbS

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2786 days


#2 posted 1309 days ago

oh man… that’s a frustrating process.

so did you get any “ah ha – this is how I’ll do it next time” discoveries?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

568 posts in 2892 days


#3 posted 1309 days ago

Why hush yo’ mouth- don’t even think the words- ‘next time’!

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View RonPeters's profile

RonPeters

708 posts in 1506 days


#4 posted 1309 days ago

Donna,
Maybe you could make a 1/4 size prototype? That way you will use less good wood and still have to ‘fix’ the angles at less cost. You could even use MDF for that. The clamping would be the same as well.

Still, it’s a pretty cool harp!

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2786 days


#5 posted 1309 days ago

ooops sorry :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

568 posts in 2892 days


#6 posted 1308 days ago

Ms Debbie- I was just kidding- actually making a harp is a very rewarding project. Plucking the strings for the first time is quite a thrill. I’m already contemplating making a harp that would fit in a suitcase- like to take on an airplane. Traveling with a harp is difficult and people have struggled for years to come up with a good travel harp. We’ll see.
Ron- that is a good idea- and it would be fun to see what a 1/4-sized harp sounded like, but it would take a lot of time and I’d rather work on the real thing. Working with foam, paper, and cardboard were helpful steps in this process.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2786 days


#7 posted 1308 days ago

I assumed that since this is not your first harp that you must enjoy making them! :)

hmm a traveling harp. Yes, that would be a well-sought-after item. Interesting concept!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View ratchet's profile

ratchet

1285 posts in 2412 days


#8 posted 1308 days ago

Amazing built Donna, thanks for sharing the journey with us. Might all the angles be easier if you designed in Sketchup first?

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

568 posts in 2892 days


#9 posted 1308 days ago

I’m sure you are right- if I knew how to draft using a program like that. I spent a lot of time trying to learn how to use AutoCad- back about 1987- yoicks, thats 24 years ago! It was difficult then but I’m sure there are more user-friendly programs now. I’m an old draftsman though and I like the feel of pencil and paper.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View Diane's profile

Diane

546 posts in 2748 days


#10 posted 1307 days ago

A traveling harp now making that would make you an inventor too, hope it happens. I so much would like to invent something, my dream, and would so like to see you do it. Can’t wait to see you finished project on this one. Maybe someone lives near you that could help you learn Sketchup, whatever that is I really have no clue.

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

568 posts in 2892 days


#11 posted 1303 days ago

I was thinking of a couple of different ways to make a harp that would fit into a suitcase- and then I found a couple of people who had done just that. I may still make my own attempt someday. Right now I am enjoying the heck out of just making this harp.
What would you like to invent Diane?

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

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