Build your own very inexpensive Kovac model 26 String folk harp, the Pine Harp
Please note our shipping policy for all kits:S/H Policy
This original Kovac model Pine Harp is a Paraguayan-inspired, lightweight & compact 26 string folk harp for the DIY's on a budget but, wants to get into harping inexpensively, and sooner than later.
The Pine Harp kit is where you provide the wood & we provide the instructions, strings & hardware. The kit is based on using widely available, ordinary, or higher quality pine. Be sure there are no holes or knots that might fall out later & weaken the critical structure of the harp.
This is a relatively fast and very easy project to get a harp student, beginning adult or child, up and running, playing the harp with very little upfront expense or investment into uncertain, future musicians.
The Pine Harp's strings are a bit lighter in string tension & closer spacing. The harp has 26 South American standard, color-coded strings: Blue C's/Red F's. (Please, use the "Special instructions for seller" in the shopping cart to specify if you prefer the North American standard of Red C's/Blue F's). Please note, the color of the string does not affect its tone.
The harp's scale starts at its low C and ends about 3.5 Octaves above it (G).
See John Kovac's classic Pine Harp Demo Video #1 on YouTube. Here is DemoVideo#2.
Plans with Full-Sized templates are included. And, we include a supplemental instructional DVD to assist in assembly using your own provided, choice woods. The DVD-formated disc also has a section on tuning and playing by ear. The DVD is not necessary to build your harp.
The kit is simple to put together & can be assembled in about a day or so using basic hand tools. Stringing & tuning will take several hours more. Surface finishing could take a day or two longer, depending on your chosen finish & method of application.
26 Monofilament Strings using Dupont's Tynex brand
26 String Beads (for knots)
26 Sound Board String Grommets
26 String Tuning Machines (Choose Chrome, Black, or optional Economy*)
All Necessary Hardware per plans
2 Rubber Feet with Screws
1 String Winder
Complete Kit Plans with Full-Sized Templates
Supplemental Instructional DVD
The customer to provide all wood, finishes, glues, non-standard hardware, assembly, etc.
An optional Electronic Guitar Tuner is available to assist you with your initial string tuning & keeping your harp in tune thereafter.
NOTE: Yes, it is OK to add your own sound-box to the back of the harp's soundboard, where the strings attach. The larger the box, the louder the harp will sound, it will resonate more and the bass will become deeper. Only, be sure to include somehow to take it off or other so you can get access to the strings. Email us for suggestions.
And, you can upgrade the quality of the wood (but, not suggested without using a sound-box). Recognized tonewoods are better if you plan to upgrade from pine or white wood (not hardwoods). Using more stable tonewoods than pine will give the harp a much better sound and durability for many more years. Though, many have used the default pine successfully. Properly built, the harp will last a good long while.
Or, if not now, you can take the harp apart in the future and upgrade to higher quality, more durable tonewoods later, reusing its existing strings & hardware.
As a builder, I'd recommend you consider using paint &/or a clear surface finish (like spray lacquer or a brushed Polycrylic [stronger], for example) for this type of suggested softwood (pine). This is because pine will very often NOT take stains, etc., even if using wood pre-stain preparations including no matter how well sanded, etc.
Economy tuners typically experience an expected failure rate of 15% or more, on average, during the first months (or longer) after installation & use. They are far less expensive & easier to afford but require exacting installation & careful use. Economy tuners are provided especially for beginners on budgets.
As necessary, over time, if a tuning mechanism drive gear gets damaged on your harp, you can use a spare tuner or buy a separate tuner mech and just use the parts from it like the drive gear alone. Economy tuner mechanisms are very quick and easy to change out if necessary.
We recommend using our Standard string tuning mechanisms, especially if this is your first harp project or if you are not mechanically inclined (regardless of how many years you may have worked with wood). Economy tuners can save some cost upfront but require much greater care in their installation and ongoing use.
We provide a tuner care document to help you get the best out of your economy tuner purchase. See this link.
If you make a mistake on your kit, even if not caused by us, please, notify us right away and we will see how we can help you to complete your kit anyway. You never know how we might be able to help you, which is our goal; for you to be successful in your harp building & playing! We won't abandon you in your kit-building process after the purchase, either. Let's work together!