One of the challenges of harp building is finding suppliers that carry the good stuff consistently and will ship promptly. Here are the vendors I use, organized by the products I buy from them:
Joan & Skip Lamere
Tel/Fax: (802) 244-8564
Markwood Heavenly Strings & Cases
Laurie and Glenn Hill
Typically the harp
builder will provide the String Makers with a string specification for the harp
they are building. Both
Savarez Fluorocarbon Strings have become quite popular in the past few years. They are much more expensive than nylon and a bit less expensive than gut.
I have used Savarez KF Synthetic Gut strings for the transition area (Thick gauge nylon and Nylon/Nylon wound strings). They can be purchased through Mikki Henry at International Music Service, http://www.lyramusic.com/strings.html
Betty R. Truitt, http://www.dragonwhispers.com/
Tuning Pins, Tuning Wrenches, Bridge Pins, Eyelets and Reamers:
I use Betty R. Truitt’s (see levers above). There is also:
Robinson's Harp Shop,
Argent Fox Music (for tuning pins) - Dan Speers
Wood for Soundboards:
I have an old time local lumberyard nearby that carries 2x6 and 4x4 stock that is suitable for redwood and cedar sound boards. In many cases you can get tightly grain, straight stuff if you scrounge around old lumberyards (not Home Depot or Lowes) here on the east coast.
Sitka Spruce can be purchased from
He charges $50 or so for enough wood for a board, plus shipping
If you can re-saw, try the $60 bargain box of shorts and cut-offs from http://www.aircraftspruce.com/main.html. Even with some run-out and flat sawn grain, I can get five or six boards out of a box. Aircraft spruce will also stock plywood for soundboards, but be prepared to pay significant freight charges for the big sheet of ply.
You can also get birch bending ply (for sound boxes) and Birch aircraft ply for soundboards from LL Johnson, www.theworkbench.com
I would encourage you to
search for local sources. Ask local wood
working clubs and cabinet makers who they buy their lumber from. I drive about two hours to
Epoxy & Fiberglass Supplies:
41 North Congress, # 8 B
Has a nice $20 kit that includes 12 oz of epoxy (just about enough to do the raven if you fit the joints well), mixing sticks, measuring cups, fiberglass cloth and a variety of fillers.
For a hand-applied finish I would suggest Behlen’s Violin Varnish which you can get from www.grizzly.com (applied with the French pad technique). Before I learned that, I used DEFT Clear Wood Finish (a brushable lacquer) which you can get form www.woodcraft.com
If you have a spray rig, you probably have your own prefrences. Larry Fisher turned me on to Target’s Oxford USL. It is a water based finish without the usual compromises. I order it through www.targetcoatings.com.