My Homemade Gutter Harps
(White Oak, PA)
Homemade Gutter Harp
I made three wind harps out of old gutter pieces I had in a scrap pile: one 36 inch, one 24 inch, and one 12 inch. I didn't use tuning screws, instead I just used larger bridges to make the strings longer or tighter. I used a 10-lb fishing line (for the strings) and it works well. I did all my construction from reused materials.
I set the harps up in a pattern from small to tall and close together so they would play several notes at once. I found when making these harps that the smaller harps sound better and produce more sound if you drill two 1.5-inch holes, one at the top on one side and the other at the bottom on the other side. The larger harp didn't sound as good with two holes, so I drilled one hole in the center of one side.
I noticed they do need to have a lot of wind to play, and if I slide the bridges up and down, I get really nice notes. I made a bridge for each string so I can adjust each string. I wonder if I need to adjust them more or if my methods are wrong because I had to hold them in front of a fan to get sound? We had a breeze of around 5 mph today, and it was hard to hear them but they did play.
I can't find instructions on how these things should be tuned, so I memorized a picture and just did it.
Well, I gave it a good shot. They do work and sound great as a group, so I plan to keep them, just gonna wait for wind to pick up. I built all three, plus a few that didn't work out in about 5 hours.
I'm planning a nice wooden harp now, it should be a lot better than gutter harps, because wood is my craft. I think I have found my new hobby.