Talharpa / Jouhikko

4,549

40

22

Introduction: Talharpa / Jouhikko

This is a custom build bass talharpa or bass jouhikko

You can listen similar sounding instruments in soundtracks of bands like, Wardruna, Danheim.

The main features:

  • cello strings (C G D) 4/4 (635200, 635300, 635400)
  • hard wood cello tuning pegs
  • 1 meter height

Everything handmade except the horse hair for the bow, and the cello string, and tuning pegs.

We used pine wood for the body of the instrument. The other parts contacting with the string made from hard wood. The parts of the instrument is glued together with non flexible wood glue. (its important because the flexible glue will reduce the resonance)

This is our first try to build a stringed instrument. We looked at the topic thoroughly, but we are not sure this is the best supplies to build with. We are open to suggestions how to build better one. Probably we will build another one.

You can download the full schematic here:

https://gitlab.com/mindencsoki/talharpa

Supplies:

  • pine wood sheet for the front and the back part
  • pine wood planks for the sides
  • hard wood for the other smaller parts
  • string (we used the lower 3 cello string)
  • horse hair for the bow

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Cut the Wood Planks

You have to make sure it's well connected before gluing. We used circular saw, and after that lots of sanding.

Step 2: Cut Outs From the Upper Part

It's easier if you do it now, before you glue this together. If you clamp together the two planks, it will be symmetrical when you cut is. We suggest to sand it after the cutting, because it's easier while it's separated parts.

Step 3: Glue Together the Frame

The pine wood easily can get damaged from the clamps so use some extra wood like on the pictures.

After the glue dried, sand down the joints.

Step 4: Cut Out the Back of the Instrument and Glue It Together

We used blue tapes to fix it together while the glue dry.

Step 5: Cut Out the Upper Part

We used the woodworking CNC to cut out the sound hole. The symbol is: The Triple Horn of Odin / The Horn Triskelion

Step 6: Place the Sound Post, and Glue It Together

Placing the sound post is important. You can check our positioning on the schematic drawings. The sound post is made with hard wood to.

Don't glue the sound post!
It has to be pressured between the back and the front part. Use extra caution, if you glue the top part you can't remove it to modified the sound post placing.

While the glue dried we made the tail piece, and the bridge.

Step 7: Tail Piece and Bridge From Hardwood

Has been cut out from hard wood. And sanded to the desired form. (it took lots of time)

Step 8: Chamfer the Edges, and Install the Tuning Pegs

After this stage, we can tried out the sounding with cello bow.

Step 9: New Working Bow

The new bow made from a branch.

There is a V shaped cut on the end. On the handle part there is a hole behind the insulation tape, and the horse hair fastened with wire on both end.

Instrument Contest

Runner Up in the
Instrument Contest

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest
    • Fix It Contest

      Fix It Contest

    22 Discussions

    0
    CraftAndu
    CraftAndu

    24 days ago

    Awesome job! I am glad you did not make the horse hair for the bow yourself - that would have been really weird :D
    Anyway, keep up the good work, man!

    0
    Essort
    Essort

    Reply 23 days ago

    Thank you! :)

    0
    Jhonbaker
    Jhonbaker

    5 weeks ago

    Very cool - When you build another one I would use mahogany and spruce for the top - much better sound and more deeply resonant than pine. I am favoriting this one because I want to try it out with a few tweaks - better wood, thinner sides - But first time out this is awesome.

    0
    Essort
    Essort

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Thank you for the tip!
    Please show us when you make one, we really want to see it! :)

    0
    wclapie
    wclapie

    Question 7 weeks ago on Step 8

    How is the tail piece attached?

    0
    Essort
    Essort

    Answer 7 weeks ago

    It is attached with a screw, and washers. Currently we are testing out wire for the tension. It can damage the wood, so in the pictures currently this is the temporarily setup.

    2020-01-06 (1).jpg2020-01-06.jpg
    0
    wclapie
    wclapie

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    how about using oak pegs in the body and tail piece and a small tensioner with heavy cord?

    0
    wclapie
    wclapie

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    "tensioner", duh, turnbuckle

    0
    IstvanK1
    IstvanK1

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    We inserted the "tightening" screw because of our excitement. at the end of the tests, the metal is replaced.

    0
    IstvanK1
    IstvanK1

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Thankyou. We thought oak was the last option. Currently, this is temporary, metal is used for testing. due to high tension, the lower metal string was severed several times.

    0
    IstvanK1
    IstvanK1

    Answer 6 weeks ago

    Originally we thought oak would become a thorn. Temporarily, this is a 3.5mm metric screw that is currently undergoing tests.

    0
    giekepie
    giekepie

    7 weeks ago

    An original 4/4 cello has C-G-D-A. So my question is: isn't your E in fact a D and to what size cello can it be compared?

    0
    Essort
    Essort

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    You are correct! Thank you, i will change it in the description.
    I'm not good with cellos. This is the ones we used in the picture.

    2020-01-07.jpg
    0
    giekepie
    giekepie

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Okay, thanks for the instructable, I'm thinking of trying this out!

    0
    Alex in NZ
    Alex in NZ

    7 weeks ago

    This is amazing! A beautiful carving for the sound-hole. I'm so intrigued that I really want to try this. Thank you for sharing your work :-)
    (Also thank you for the introduction to Wardruna; I'm listening to Helvegen as I type!)

    0
    Essort
    Essort

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Thank you!

    If you require any further information about the steps, let me know.

    0
    Gadisha
    Gadisha

    7 weeks ago

    Beautiful instrument.

    0
    Essort
    Essort

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Thank you!

    0
    JohanH44
    JohanH44

    7 weeks ago

    Thank you for sharing! It's a beautiful instrument. But please check the Finnish spelling. It's called jouhikko.

    0
    Essort
    Essort

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Thank you for the correction!