Aeolian Harp

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Project by Woodknack posted 05-13-2012 09:47 AM 6461 views 4 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Built from various scraps to test the principle, I can always build a fancy one later. Sides from birch ply, top and bottom from luaun salvaged from an old interior door that fell apart, the bridges are walnut scrap. Finished with four coats of wipe on varnish. The strings are 80# fishing line, anchored on one end with hex screws and zither pins on the other. I roughly tuned it and once the strings relax I’ll retune and hope for some wind.

Aeolian harps are played by the wind rather than plucking. The strings are all tuned the same and it produces a somewhat haunting, eerie sound.

-- Rick M,

4 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4137 days

#1 posted 05-13-2012 10:01 AM

These are great fun

Is this one designed for a window?


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Woodknack's profile


13585 posts in 3661 days

#2 posted 05-13-2012 10:06 AM

It’s way too big for my windows, 48×12x6 inches, 10 strings total.

-- Rick M,

View will delaney's profile

will delaney

332 posts in 3916 days

#3 posted 05-13-2012 05:00 PM

Wow!!I never heard of a Aeolian harp. I just looked it up on wikipedia and am now going to have to make one.Thanks for posting.

View Woodknack's profile


13585 posts in 3661 days

#4 posted 05-13-2012 07:31 PM

Things I would do differently:

I would change the bracing under the top and bottom. The bottom has no bracing, the top has 4 braces: one on either side of the sound holes and one on either end under the bridges. Since starting this, I have studied some about guitar making and they are well braced with a criss-cross lattice of lighter wood, if I make another that will be how I brace it.

Make the top and bottom 1/4” stock instead of 1/8”.

If I make a smaller one, I’m going to try using spruce for the top and back, maple for the sides and bridges.

Find something better than hex screws to anchor the strings.

-- Rick M,

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