All dressed up and nowhere to go. I had undertaken to have the instrument ready for this Friday (the client's birthday) and despite a slow patch back there, everything seemed to be coming together on time and on budget.
The tip from Rick to get beautiful sharping levers from Betty Truitt allowed me to 'meet' another passionate and energetic advocate for her craft. Betty markets harp gear in general, but her patent levers not only seem to be of exceptional design, they look great too. Her bundle of hardware, including bridge pins, eyelets, reamers, tuning pegs and levers arrived within four days of her order being sent from the good old US of A. All beautifully packed and labelled. Great service and wonderful attention to detail.
I felt it prudent to find a good supplier of strings within Australia, because the harp will need replacements from time to time, but my enquiry, order and payment from early last week has not born fruit yet. So the harp sits waiting. I should have ordered earlier, of course, but everything else just seemed to happen as if by magic, and I was so focussed on finishing each little detail I didn't get my head around the niceties of which string at what thickness over what length, wrapped in whatever wrapping, by whichever manufacturer.
The problem is that the levers can't go on until the strings have settled in and the instrument has relaxed into a new, musical shape.
Finishing the woodwork before fitting the hardware necessitated careful handling during the drilling process. Here the bench has been made into an extension table for the little drill press by clamping the press in the end vise, checking for square carefully. It worked a treat and was a comfortable process, if a little tedious!
Fitting the pegs was more challenging than I had anticipated because unlike violin pegs, these are steel and cannot be adjusted like the hole can, so neat lengths were not easy.
The string holes along the soundboard are reinforced with brass eyelets.