The Jew Harps I built are based on a dan moi design. Those homemade versions are not as good as the dan moi ones, the “sound” is not long lasting, and the harp is not as stiff as a brass one (replacing the tongue in its optimal position can take a bit of your time). However, I wanted to find a way to make metal dan moi inspired by the “french” credit card dan moi.
Just a mention on the contents of this instructable-->attribution non commercial sharealike. You can re-use my texts and my pictures, modify or whatever, if you do so please cite the author, my work or even better put a link to this instructable. I would appreciate your cooperation :) In addition if you have any comment or improvement that you would like to share with me please do it. Last but not least, Share with me the metal homemade danmoi you made. I will probably add a gallery for your danmoi later on.
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important notice/ safety issue
This music instrument is called a lamellate jew harp as explained by Robert Vandre www(dot)rvandre(dot)de/ (as opposition to the bow shaped jew harp).
Figure 1: The lamellate jew harp is structured in several subcomponents:
the tail or pluck where the energy input is given (by hitting/plucking it), the intermediary frame part, which acts as a spring,
the tongue or reed responsible of the sound formation by entering the wished vibration motion,
the frame which is rigid (and must act as the energy storage but this is a guess only),
and the frame´s end or hold location.
The player must place his/her lips on the frame - rigid part so that the end of the tongue can vibrate freely “in” the mouth of the player. See the appendix playing modus operandi in the last part of this tutorial.
A summary without extensive comment (I recommend however to read the rest as useful information and experience I made are shared thereafter)
A) cut a wedge form out of the soft metal sheet 1 cm one side to 2.5 cm the other side (scissors)- see the third figure
B) mark a wedge reed on the backside (not the coloured side), put the metal sheet on the piece of wood (straight side) and start attacking the metal sheet following the wedge mark as shown in the fourth picture
with the aid of
C) On the coated side you see clearly the wedge shape boucing out of the metal sheet.
Repeat B) but this time put the metal sheet on the piece of wood (carved side). Try to make the carved line below the cut lines.
D) you finally obtain to cut through the metal at some points? Yes? Good! then Complete the cut along the wedge mark
E) the reed is apparent and complete? Good! it is time to smooth the edges of the metal sheets and of the reed part with a file/ sand stone. Keep the reed straight with the help of the straigh claw. (a small space must be obtained)
F) The reed is OK and look like the fifth picture? Edges and sharp needles are not anymore a danger? Then go for the final step.
G) final step:
H) Tadaaa! you obtain something close to the first picture? OK! Enjoy it!