This was a project that I started well before the Lowrider, but since I had to re-make the pillar, and now have a CNC router, I figured I’d give it a shot. Finished it up last weekend, and strung it yesterday. So now the pillar and the feet represent my first hardwood chips - black walnut. If I ever try this again, I can see lots of other places where the Lowrider would be useful.
Very nice. It’s beautiful. If it sounds as nice as it looks you made one amazing instrument!
That is beautiful
Thanks! It will take a few days/tunings before it will hold its pitch due to string stretching and the soundboard bellying out, but when I tried it a bit last night, it rang really nicely. I’m hopeful, but also well aware of the many mistakes I made along the way…
Whoa. That’s epic. Which parts did you make on the low rider? I don’t know the anatomy of a harp.
@wfredette It’s not the mistakes you made. It’s how you corrected them. And it sounds like you know what you’re doing so I can’t wait to hear you give us an update after the strings stretch and it settles in.
I cut the pillar, which is the vertical post, and the feet (which you can barely see) with the Lowrider. I can imagine ways of cutting the pillar and neck (the part where the strings attach) as an assembly if I ever try again. And, if I were to really get good with it, it might even be used to shape the soundboard, which has tapers from bottom to top and middle to sides. We’ll see…
That is an impressive project, very impressive. Super cool the LR had any part in it. It looks stunning!
Thanks, Ryan! It must be cool for you to see all the stuff posted here, knowing that your design made it all possible.
Absolutely. I come in here to find motivation to iterate, print, and test a part for the 20th time. Hoping that one day, it might get used for a project like this.
That is really neat. I would love to see some more detailed technical photos. It looks far too thick to be cut in one go. Is that laminated together? I don’t plan on making a harp, but if you can make a harp, you can make a lot of stuff. Very impressive.
Yes, it’s two pieces of 4/4 walnut laminated together (stronger than one, thick piece). Same for the neck, which also has a piece of maple in a hidden, internal lamination at the sharpest point of the curve for additional strength. I cut the first iteration of the pillar with a bandsaw, and then had to do a lot of sanding of the laminated pieces to clean up the edges. SO much more precise with the Lowrider!
So, where do you plug the MIDI-cable??
No, just kidding, this is SO cool!!
I did make a laser harp a few years ago. That one used MIDI.
Beautiful harp. It would be great if you’d post a little video so we could hear how it sounds…after it settles in.
Glad to hear there is an inner lamination in the neck. I was looking at the cross grain there and thinking I’d be worried about that breaking. Do you know how much tension the strings exert?
I notice no sharping levers, so it is just tuned to one key? Something appropriate for some celtic music perhaps? (guess, based on the lovely inlay on the soundboard)
Tension is just under 1,100 lb. . The maple insert has its grain running perpendicular to the neck, so I’m hoping that’s sufficient. As for levers, I plan to add them when everything has settled in, but, yes, this will be mostly for Irish music. Are you a harper?
Wow, I am so intrigued by this… that is a very impressive piece of woodwork, and I am sure Ryan is stoked at LR had some part in it. I know “0” about harp anatomy, but the way you describe the maple lamination at the neck, I imagine that would adequately bridge the cross grain loading to the pillar, even if it was quite thin (but glued well of course).
It’s already enough as is… but if you were to post a video of it being played after it has settled in, that would be the cherry on top. I enjoy irish music too!
Sadly not. Just a guy who occasionally listens in on a local celtic music jam, and asks annoying questions of the musicians during breaks. 8^)