An artistic fusion of music and craftsmanship. 

How We Make Harps

Hi Rick,
My new harp is everything I hoped it would be
and more. I just love it. I love to look at it, and
I LOVE to play it!! It sounds soooo beautiful.
I am busy playing songs I haven't played in
months and am inspired to work on new songs.
Thanks so much for blessing people with your
gift of harp making. 
- Vicky

Rick at the band saw

Creating a harp:

We use local maple, walnut and cherry woods. The walnut comes from our twenty seven acres of timber. When the wood is ready to use, the parts of the harp are cut out of roughly, three quarter
inch thick boards on the bandsaw. Plywood templates are used to outline the harp parts for this step.  Next the three quarter inch neck and pillar halves are thickness planed for evenness and glued together with epoxy. They have been cut about an eighth of an inch from the cut line and need to be shaped and sanded. This is done on a shaper using the plywood templates again. If we are in good form only a finish sanding will be required.

Now it's time for the sides, base and top of the sound box. If we are building a square we will either resaw the side pieces which have been cut out using the same process as the neck and pillar or plane them to about a 1/2" thick.  The base is angled, front and back, to accommodate the soundboard and harp back. If we are building a round back, several laminations of high figured veneer are glued up on the mold.

The soundboard is extremely important to us as even a slight variation in thickness or material can make the harp sing or not. We use a soundboard backing of 1/8" finish Birch aircraft laminate
(virtually unbreakable) tapering it from 1/8th" to 1/16th" from bottom to top. Next, a perfect piece
of AAA Sitka Spruce is laminated vertically to the birch with Hide glue. We use hide glue for it's
naturally brittle consistency which doesn't compromise or dull the vibrations of the soundboard.
We have found after years of experimentation that this combination of materials when tapered,
planed and sanded in just the right places creates an ideal, sound quality. Bright ringing highs and midrange and deep resonant basses. The whole harp sings with sympathetic overtones. 
This is due in part to the fact that we can build a much thinner, more responsive soundboard than 
is possible using nothing but Sitka Spruce in horizontal sections. We make cedar and red wood soundboards as well.