This Instrument was constructed to be simple to do in only 40 hours by students in grade and high-schools as a project.
Earlier Instructables could also  be reviewed to help in constructing the simple Lyre of  13 string notes.[1.5 octave].
Ref. Aug 5,2009 Mini-Zither  and Portable mini-lyre  dated Mar.6,2011 by Mistic..

Step 1: CONSTRUCTION General

General details
Following  the construction is straight forward.You can use all dimensions as approximately =-1/16 inch tolerance.
The wood used here is white pine but you can use any you have on hand. The hand rests are 1/8 in 3-ply plywood  used here.
The resonator box is any box you can make or buy on the Craft market. The jewel-box with side clasp is  under 6 dollars. You have to use sand paper and stains you like. We use water based acrillic and finish with Poly-urethane finish.
      To make sure the box is sufficiently strong we have injected a bead of E6000 glue in side on all corners.Do this before lacquering .
Box size is to be as close  to this size as possible -7 x 7 x3 in.  but if it is wider then extend the length of the tuning 3/4 in dia. rod and hand rests but keep the location of the tuners as shown with a spacing of 1/2 inch. The 3 inch  height  can be variable also since the lid is 1 in. high and the other half is 2. as an approximation. The resonator surface must be thin though. It is usually 3ply  1/8 in . thick. We used the bottom of the box as the resonator surface as a result.That is, we reversed the box so the lid  is under the  resonator surface as shown here.A v-shaped hole ws cut in lower box section for sound out.


 Refer to the picture-
In general - use what ever you have -  We used :
1-Dremel  tool to drill, sand etc. A drill press is better for drilling the tuner holes in the 3/4 in rod.Use a .093 dia. drill.The feed thru holes  for the resonator surface can be 1/16  dia. but  the .093 is an absolute neccesity for proper torque for tuning.

Item 8- 5/8 in. steel cup hooks [brass plated]  are shown with the opennhooks closed with a plier.
item 11- Three kinds of crimps shown open eyelets ,jewelry crimps of bead and barrel or tube types.All work  fine. The T-pin is common pin for anchoring the 3/4 rod to side arms.Here a 1/16 drill  hole is used to insert pin into ends and cutting off excess.

Item 10-String  or as jewelry folks say stretch cord.  1 mm dia. in 15 foot spools. It can be stretched to 400% of its original length without breaking.  Some one may try Nylon non-stretch  or fishing cord, but we caution against it due to difficulty of tying and  tuning.
Item 6 is glue E6000. The only caution is that we recommend an open area  for  the chlorate fumes to dissipate rapidly.The small rods shown are tooth picks. Used as bridges  glued to the resonator surface.Others may use 1/8 in. wood rods.
Item 20 Hemostat or locking forceps.  amd item 4 pliers are used to crimp and close  the open end tuning screws.

1- PREPARE THE BOX_  See Fig.1 Drawing
Sand and finish as you wish>
Cut out end pieces to size on 1/4 thick wood  with a coping saw.Glue to sides as shown.Let glue set 3 hours.
Cut out V hole in end. . 2 in. wide  1 in. deep. This is approx. to let air in and out of resonating box volume.

2- Prepare the rod and tuner to side arms. See fig 2-
Drill anchor holes in resonator surface as shown.  Note 'A'  is about centered in the top of the box area as shown. Spacing  are 0.4 in.  using the 1/16 drill and Dremel tool.  Tol.  is =- 1/32 in.

Rod -3/4 dia. mark off 13  holes spaced 1/2 in apart . drill all way through the rod.
Tuners-Use pliers to insert tuners into the holes all the way to the collar of the screw..Slow operation but critical.
Place tuner filled rod into side slots. In some cases we will need to drill a small hole for the T-Pins  but can be done after the glue has set for the  3/4 rod.

The must difficult part is applying strings and tuning them. Place bridge  tooth picks 1/8 to 1/4 inch from holes  and glue in place.
Start by cutting string about  9 in.for the first Note  [B]  .Actual  length is  7.0 in. in the figure.
Crimp a small bead to the end of the string.Use the closed tuner ring. Tie one simple Knot . hold the crimp and pull till the knot is tight and the crimp prevents unwinding. Keep the tension and  wind 2 turns around the axis of the tuner  counter clock wise.
Slowly  keeping tension lightly  force the other end  into the B hole  and pull tight until the note sounds close to note B. Use the clamping tool on under side and clamp. Then add a crimp close to the clamped string. Cut off  to about 1/2 inch near crimp. Remove clamp.
Final Tuning-
Now you can tune up to  note B.But don't worry it will drift some - usually down word. about 1 note.  After 3 re-tunes it will stabilize.
Do this for all strings. Measure the length  and add 2 inches for manipulating the tie.  You are now finished.
Hand Rails- These can be added but be sure they do not interfere with the resonating strings.
Pin anchoring- drill a 1/16 hole as shown into the end  assembly and 3/4 rod. May not be needed if you use a lot of glue on the ends at the rod ends.



When done correctly  this Music box will give very good pleasing  notes.

If you need to amplify you can use several methods as I have done. See pictures.

Use Wireless  connection  -  I have found  several transmitters on the Internet. The very small one is running on a  C-cell.
Another  one found - H Montana Mike  and transmitter works quite well to my portable  FM radio 10 feet away.
Use direct mike to amplifier.
Special uses- When the lid is opened and closed slowly while stumming the note  can wow or get lower as you  open and close the lid.  See figure- I used a foam  block inside  . Also  used a leaf spring to force the lid open.

Step 4: PLAY a TUNE

Lyres are usually strummed from the top or back side. This is  not esily done but needs practice. Strumming and plucking from the top is easy to do and  you can add a scale on paper and stick it under the strings as shown for kids to learn to read music scores.

Step 5: COST

For the basic instrument.
Approx. $10.00  but may be more  in some cases where the parts are not immediately available .
Most all items are found in Hardware stores  but crimps, strings found only in Craft   jewelry dept.  stores .

you should upload a video of yourself playing the lyre! :D
thanks, I am working on it,,

About This Instructable




Bio: A retired electronics engineer -motorola. delveing into new craft ideas and contest entries.
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