Mudcat Café message #2556171 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #85248   Message #2556171
Posted By: Bill D
03-Feb-09 - 11:03 AM
Thread Name: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
Subject: RE: $$ for Vintage Autoharp?
There is 'usually' no reason to completely restring an autoharp. This is a LOT of work and will seldom get noticable results. Unless there is real damage, it is best to change strings only as they break. IF you must change all strings, it is best to do only 1-2 at a time, keeping the overall tension the same. On the older ' warned! They did not use the same gauge of strings as the newer, heavier ones. If you put the heavier strings on, you will probably warp or break the thing! Be sure to find a source who knows the difference!

(I have a 1900 Zimmerman 'harp that still has most of its original strings.)

The same general advice for felt...but some types of felt does wear faster and develop grooves. To replace felt you first get blank felt and mark on the bar with a marker the areas to be cut away...then remove the old felt, glue on the new piece and gently cut the spaces with a razor blade or Exacto knife.

To do diatonic, you just need to replace the felt on certain bars so that some strings are doubled. (This harder to control on older instruments) On the newer 'harps, it is possible to buy replacement bars, I think. A Google search on 'diatonic autoharp' will get you lots of info.