harps are built of solid hardwoods.
A number of factors
go into my harpmaking to produce instruments that are beautiful,
durable, and resonate with a big clear voice. The first step
is the choice of woods-
- Cherry is my choice for the
upper parts of most of my lever harps- the neck and the pillar.
These parts carry the full tension of the strings, so to keep
the tuning stable they must be very strong. Yet at the same time,
they are part of the whole vibrating system, so they must flex.
In addition to these structural properties, the natural wood
has a beautiful warm color that deepens with the passage of time.
- Oak, especially Red Oak,
works really well for electric harps. The harder surface resists
dents, and it has a resonance that works really well in this
- Black Walnut is my trim wood. Its
chocolate brown color complements the cherry, and is very durable
in places such as the edging on the soundboard.
soundboard is the heart of my instruments. When
I sign the back of the soundboard and install it in a soundbox,
it becomes a harp. Cedar or spruce is used, carefully thicknessed
before being veneered with a skin of hardwood veneer. The veneering
process adds a very desirable stiffness to the board without
increasing mass significantly.
necks and pillars are laminated in my shop
to guarantee that the quality goes all the way through. The hardwood
boards are resawn to specific thicknesses, then fitted together
in a vacuum press to bond the entire structure into a solid stable
unit. In this manner I obtain the acoustic properties of a solid
wood neck and pillar, and also the reliability of a laminated
levers are installed on every string.
I install the Loveland brand levers as my standard lever. They
have been the industry standard for many years, with good reason.
They are accurate, reliable, and lighter weight than many others.
They have also proven to be durable and can be repaired easily
if damaged. Camac levers can be installed at extra cost.
strings are standard
on all my new harps, with copper wrapped steel core strings in
the bass octave.