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.

legend: plain text
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.

Step 1: DIY / Homemade Danmoi Inspired Metal Jew Harp - Summary (material and Method)

A summary without extensive comment (I recommend however to read the rest as useful information and experience I made are shared thereafter)

you need:

  • to be careful/preferably not alone in the room in case of injury
  • to be patient because you would have to make several attempts (Per dan moi 15 min to 60 min)
  • to have a soft steel sheet cut from a candy box
  • the following tools see the second picture:
    • a cutter
    • kevlar or similar protective gloves
    • screwdriver for electrotechnic
    • a permanent marker
    • scissors
    • piece of wood (a line is carved on one side using the scissors)

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

  • The cutter (and a ruler to keep it straight) in one direction and the other
  • and after, you did that repeat this operation with the screwdriver
  • repeat several times both

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:

  • mark the jew harp with the pen to define the shape
  • bend the sides of the "jew harp" as shown on the figure 1, along the frame (120° will be optimal), up to a few millimeter before the reed starts. alike the sixth picture
  • Cut the tail with scissors according to the marks
  • Smoothen this part with a file/sandstone
  • check that no more needles/splinters are found and smooth those if it is the case!

H) Tadaaa! you obtain something close to the first picture? OK! Enjoy it!

<p>I worked out the work flow for a better reading... I added a summary for those who want to see on one page the protocol.</p><p>I made a video, but I need to work it out. bad image quality, and very long. But by the way this is do-able below 20 min if you are used to. maybe 40 min the first time. I am waiting for your comments</p>
<p>you are right, but I want to avoid showing my face... not I am ugly :) which could be but more because I prefer keeping myself private. Playing the danmoi homemade will be difficult without having my face there. I will see What I can do for a video about the fabrication process. </p>
<p>Interesting. Maybe you could add a video...</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, I am looking for serious sponsors to enable me to make this instructables.com thing as my profession. Or anybody wanted an innovative mind ... More »
More by Dr Froggy:Tune the pitch of your homemade tin-can made Dan Moi Build your very own jaw harp - an update of Dan Moi based design Some Stainless steel curtain wires left? two different ways to use those ! 
Add instructable to: