Donna's Lap Harp

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Project by Donna Menke posted 07-03-2007 03:44 PM 6196 views 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi guys- long time no visit.
Here is a picture of my harp building project, and a link to the blog I have on it from the beginning to now. The details are all there, but if you have a question I’ll be happy to answer it here.
Y’all have been having a great time here and I didn’t know about it. I missed out on the latest ideas from Ms Deb- the ‘famous’ and ‘tours’ threads. And this was my most famous month- big articles in both Woodcraft Magazine, (Pinwheel Box), and Carving Magazine, (Carving a Chipmunk on a Log). Not to mention the Oops! in American Woodworker last month and various reviews of ‘The Book’. I’ll never be this famous again- sob- LOL.
On the other hand, taking a photo in my shop would be disastrous right now. I have stuff all over the place, and no place to walk with all the hunks of wood on the floor. Just cannot put a nice piece of firewood into the stove when I think it may have potential. I have a bunch of pics I took right after cleaning though, so if I need one I can always make believe that is how it looks now. LOL
Always a pleasure to see what everyone is up to. I need to get back out there and work on the harp now. I’m anxious to hear what it sounds like. Donna

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

14 comments so far

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4080 days

#1 posted 07-03-2007 08:05 PM

What beautiful work Donna. I need to get a copy of your book before I try my hand at another box. I really was pleased with this one but will want to study some before trying anything really intricate.

Someday I’d like to make a musical instrument. The harp would be interesting.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4016 days

#2 posted 07-03-2007 08:23 PM

Hi Donna:

That’s a very neat project.

Glad to see you popped up over here.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4260 days

#3 posted 07-03-2007 09:03 PM

Hi Guys-
Bob B, I went over to see your box- very nice. There are so many ways to go in making band saw boxes- if you can dream it up- you can make it.
Feeling punky today- no energy- so I cleaned the surface of my table saw, with the two cast iron wings.. At least it was a brainless task. The cat likes to sit on the corner of the saw and look outside. Needless to say my rust marks were 4-toed. I rubbed out the marks and coated the iron well with Renaissance Wax. Now have covered it up with a thick blanket. The cat will love that, but his paws won’t leave marks.
Now, if I can just figure out a good way to keep hubby from putting things on the table. . . naw.
btw- Bob or anyone else in the area- I’ll be at the West Springfield Woodcraft store on August 18th doing a show and tell, demo, and book signing. Y’all come! Donna

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4031 days

#4 posted 07-03-2007 09:40 PM

Wow! An instrument that just amazes me. Thanks for sharing your project and blogging the process.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4260 days

#5 posted 07-03-2007 10:10 PM

Yeah, Mot, it amazes me too. I’d always thought it would be a fun project. I have run into the usual number of problems, bet I’ll bet I get it done. Donna

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4305 days

#6 posted 07-03-2007 11:59 PM

You do harps, too! ;^D Great work.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4241 days

#7 posted 07-04-2007 11:56 AM

Very nice harp to be. I buy those magazines I guess I have to look closer to find your work. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4260 days

#8 posted 07-04-2007 03:37 PM

Weeeelll- I’m in the process of doing my first harp- hasn’t been an ongoing thing with me. I may do another one after this to see if I can avoid making the same mistakes and do a better job. We’ll see.
Mike- the articles are big ones, and in the current issues- can’t miss them. I don’t have any in the works now and I’m kinda busy the next couple of months, but I’ll probably do some more in the foreseeable future. Gotta figure out what everyone wants to read about. Any ideas out there? Knowing my work and seeing my site what is it that you think would make a good article- for either magazine? I’d appreciate any help- Donna

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4156 days

#9 posted 07-04-2007 06:18 PM

Good work Donna. Out of curiosity, is this your first musical instrument? Have you, or anyone else, made a Dulcimer before? I know someone that loves Dulcimers, especially hammered dulcimer. I just wonder how difficult it would be to make.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4260 days

#10 posted 07-04-2007 09:30 PM

You are in luck! The same people I bought my hardware kit and plans from also sell kits for making hammered dulcimers. I almost decided to go that way- and I may do so in the future. They are if you want to check into it.
I didn’t buy the precut kit, just the plans, soundboard and back, and hardware; and I’m laminating and cutting and assembling my own parts. I wanted to use my scroll saw to cut out the holes in the soundboard and back, but I had so much wood and ‘stuff’ around it that I couldn’t get to it. So, this day was a major cleaning out of my big hunks of wood, the scroll saw, and a big exercise gym. Even washed the floor and sprayed the molding wood with bleach. Smells a lot better now. And I can get to my saw. Cutting comes next- then I can glue these pieces in place- or at least the back- to the soundbox frame. The front has to be aligned with the neck and pillar and I haven’t joined them yet. I have to offset the joint 2 degrees- yikes- that is a small amount. I may need to dig out the disk sander and arrange the table with it instead of the belt sander where it usually sits. Hmmm- sounds like another cleaning job before I can continue. Heck, by the time I finish this project my shop will be all cleaned up. Good deal. Donna

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4260 days

#11 posted 09-11-2007 01:22 AM

Just checked back on this project and I find it to be way out of date. Check out the blog to see how it is coming along:

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4395 days

#12 posted 09-11-2007 01:35 AM

Donna great show. And wishing you luck on the speedy completion.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2730 posts in 3586 days

#13 posted 12-31-2010 06:42 PM

Hi Donna,

Great looking Harp, I love your video.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4260 days

#14 posted 01-01-2011 12:15 AM

Thanks Dennis- I hope this next harp turns out as well. Last time I followed plans and directions but this time I’m being a bit more innovative. Wish me luck.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

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