Æolian harp

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Project by pinkfish posted 05-10-2009 12:13 AM 2343 views 4 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was looking around on the web about how to make a door harp and ran across some pages on an Æolian harp, which is a wind harp. The strings should vibrate with harmonics when the wind is blowing, although I am not sure how to test this. It is a bit shorter than most of the ones I saw out there (they were 30” and this is 24”) I don’t think that should make a difference except it might require more wind.

The top is 1/8” birch ply for the sounding board. The bridges are made from some off cut oak with my table saw blade set at 10 degrees, the sides are also oak and the back board is 1/4” ply.

There is no finish on it currently since my wife wants to stencil some stuff on the sides.

6 comments so far

View tmblweed0429's profile


42 posts in 3486 days

#1 posted 05-10-2009 12:56 AM

I used to have one of these. It drove me nuts. We had it on a windowsill and when the window was open slightly the wind would blow across the strings. Nice job. I would like to see it after the stenciling and the finish.

-- Trent Tidmore, Grapevine, TX

View a1Jim's profile


117276 posts in 3752 days

#2 posted 05-10-2009 02:15 AM

good Job

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4180 days

#3 posted 05-10-2009 03:18 AM

I learn something new everyday as i’ve never even heard of one of these. Does it play Freebird in a gale force wind? Lol

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3496 days

#4 posted 05-10-2009 04:06 AM

I also have never heard of this. It makes sense. Does it hum as the strings vibrate or is it a definite tone? I can see how it might drive you nuts if it got on the wrong side of your nerves. However, it could be relaxing if done right.

Thanks for showing this one to us.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4163 days

#5 posted 05-10-2009 07:40 AM

I’m with Miles and Durnik, I have never heard of it before. Looks like a good project for me in the future.

Thanks for posting it.

BTW here’s a little video of one being tested:

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4474 days

#6 posted 05-10-2009 07:27 PM

I’ve heard of people making an old barn, or building sound spooky.

They’d stretch a horse hair along an open crack between 2 boards.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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