Instructables
'Thisinstrument uses readily available materials found in the home,craft stores and hardware stores. The zither can also play chords , sharps and flats .
REF- INSTRUCTABLE: Make a mini-harp from a plastic throwing disc.[mistic] 6-28-09 .
This Referenced Instructable gives valuable information on construction and stability.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Step 1-MATERIALS-Preliminary Preparations

1-Body-Tray selected for its resonating quality of the wooden bottom.This is found in many arts and crafts stores such as Micheals.Bottom is usually 3 ply 1/16 in. thick wood sheet. This box or tray was sanded, stained and a coat of polyurethane applied before any work starts.Apply glue {goop} in every inside corner and sides of the resonator sheet to eliminate poor response. Finished unit has a 1/8 thick plywood bottom to amplify the notes.
Anyone who is a wood worker can easily make this type box with dimensions shown.{See diagram}
2-Tuners, strings, crimps,-The Ref. Inst. shown here-in gives great details on the tuner material, strings, etc.Basically the tuners are 5/8 size nickle plated steel with the collar molded in.
Crimps are low cost jewelry crimps that can be tubes, beads or U-crimps.
Strings- are high polymer space age plastic elastic type of 1mm.Dia found in all art and crafts stores or Walmart Some times called cord for jewelry crafts and beads making. Nylon will not work since it is very difficult to stretch to a note or pitch and needs a high tension value.Thus this is the beauty of elastic string. No high tensions are needed.
3-Chord keys- I am introducing a novel concept as to make chords.This zither can be made deleting these chord keys Then desired chords are struck using 3 keys of a chord with the in-between notes muted with the left hand.Chord keys here use plastic coffee stirring sticks selected because of their springiness.These sticks are 1/4 in. wide and lengths to 4 inches.
Other springy materials could also be used as plastic sheeting or aluminum 1/32 in sheets.

4 Sharp Keys- Are added as a convenience . Actually sharp notes can be generated with a finger tip placed 1/4 inch down from the tuner.Strumming the string will generated a 1/2 note higher note.
I used black plastic cable ties [11 in. sizes].Cut off about all the excess, bend and glue in place per the drawing shown.All keys can be separately positioned on a wood strip and glues in place before assembly as shown with steel rod materials or large paper clip wire.
Felt finger pads were added later for aid in down pressure of fingers.

5-Tuner Mount Rod. Use a 3/4 in. Diam. good quality rod.Pre-drill 17 holes for 17 notes spaced 1/2 in . apart with a .093 drill bit. Start the closed end cup hooks into each hole . Silicone grease can be used at the tip before starting. Screw all the way to the collar and then 2 more times.
6. Chord Keys-The key material is held down with a clamping holder as shown in the diagram.
First cut stain and stack the sticks on the bottom wood strip then apply top strip and tighten with the 6/32 screw / nut .Ends of sticks at string side must have a muting material attached such as felt.
jenns3 years ago
I'm confused... What are the dimensions of the plywood? It looks like a great project, though. I hope to do it.
mistic (author)  jenns3 years ago
Hi J- The resonator box was purchased at Jo-Ann in Arlington Heights Il. It is made of non ply wood about 1/4 in . thick. The resonator surface was about 1/8 thick ply.
Cost $4.50
The sides wood are poplar I believe .
jenns mistic3 years ago
Thanks! We've got a Jo-Ann's nearby, I'll see what I can find.
zourza5 years ago
 this is wonderful, very good quality! im a musician and am always on the look out for portable instruments, and this one is just fantastic! do you have a website you post these on?
mistic (author)  zourza4 years ago

I have dis continued the web site temorarly due to a hacking problem.. I do have e-mail address tho for questions, aid,etc...gumistic@yahoo.com

mistic (author)  zourza5 years ago
misticmodels81.com
seandogue5 years ago
Dead link on the .mov file
mistic (author)  seandogue5 years ago
I rechecked the file again-- seems to click in.. ????
Hmm...All I get is a black window with a film icon that says "Video is loading". I'm running Firefox and have extensions installed to run an embedded .mov....idk...maybe I'll try dwnling to desktop and run from there. thanks
BTW, sure is a pretty lil thing. I'll repost when I hear it play :)
Worked fine once I downloaded to desktop and opened with quicktime
And it sounds nice...cool project. add a condesner mike and you could start a brass rock band (soft metal ;)
mistic (author)  seandogue5 years ago
With some minor modification to the resonator it can be a Lyre.. sweet sound too.... Amlification -I used a Hannah Montana wireless mike -- very nice output..
mistic (author)  seandogue5 years ago
ok- my real player works fine. I dont know much about all there is to know about down loading AV stuff.
rimar20005 years ago
Still I not finished reading it (I speak Spanish) but this thing seems to be dramatically good.
mistic (author)  rimar20005 years ago
Hi- its a good week-end project too. I use my imagination to make this zither . also lyres. that why its fun to make and Play... good luck . mistic