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Welcome to my blog!

This weblog is my online journal. You'll find my opinions on a variety of topics as well as links to other things on the web that I find interesting. When the spirit moves me, I may also include longer essays.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fine tuners
I have decided not to use Oscar Schmidt fine tuners any more. I have a custom set that is all aluminum with hard anodized cams that will resist grooving by the strings. These work better, are half the weight, and are perfect parts that do not require rework effort like the OS fine tuners typically do. These custom tuners are more expensive than Oscar Schmidt, but I am not so sure the OS tuners are better than none, any better choice at a lower price. They are not for me, given any choice
My model B custom tuners are universal to model A and B mounting. My model A luthier set is for 37 strings and uses a cheaper cam, not hardened because they sit behind a bridge on a model A type design.
Since these tuners are expensive, installing them on a vintage Oscar Schmidt instrument may not be a popular idea like it once was. The tuners may be worth more than the rest of the instrument. Even OS dramatically increased the price of their fine tuner assembly a couple years ago.
I recommend fine tuners. I just suggest that one accept that good parts made in the US are going to be relatively expensive.
I do not sell the fine tuner assembly as a part for do-it-yourself. I only install them in my shop on instruments I sell or which are sent to me for upgrading. I could provide a quote, if interested.
8:49 am pst

New links page
Over the weekend I completed a long overdue cleanup and update of my Links page. Everything works, and there is some new stuff too. See the "Hot Links" object on the Home page. Hope you find it useful.
8:37 am pst

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Strap button no-nos
A customer's autoharp arrived back with a strap button punched through the chipboard case. I had placed the strap button on a US vintage model B down on the frame rail just around the slight corner in the shape. So, the button would only partially rest on the case bottom when the case was stood up. Well, apparently the box was dropped. No other damage, but the strap button went right through the case. I have cautioned before about strap button placement in this area and now would say that the button needs to be completely around that corner, so that when stood up the strap button would not quite touch a flat surface. I believe that means the hole would be drilled about in line with the pocket cut in the top to accept the slotted aluminum anchor bar. A good location is not hard to judge. One can just stand the instrument up on its broad edge and see about where the strap button will freely slide under.
4:18 pm pst

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I have established this blog site to centralize and organize all my musings about the autoharp, including playing it, building it, repairing it, enhancing it, my business, issues encountered with customer's instruments, any and all things directly relevant to autoharps from my perspective and for the consideration of others.

I am not the only one who knows anything about autoharps. I do however enjoy writing and will take the time to share my experience and what I have learned in over 30 years with the autoharp.

This blog is meant to engage other autoharp players and those with some interest in the autoharp. It is not expressly intended to promote my business. You will not find any hyperbole here or any persistent suggestions that you buy something. You may become informed of what is available. On the other hand, this site is not intended to promote competition, so you may find some editing of anything that would suggest that Autoharp Works would not be your first choice in where to buy something that is in fact offered by Autoharp Works.
5:38 am pst

2008.03.01 | 2007.01.01

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Recreational music making in groups (having fun, socializing) does not define the scope of using the autoharp. Some like to play alone, perhaps with special tunings, and some want to excel and be credible solo or band performers. Using the autoharp at whatever level just to sooth your soul is fine too, call it "fun" if you will, but advancement of the autoharp is not in having autoharps owned in greater numbers, more folks "just like me". It is in making an impressive public presentation and in providing instruments of a quality that inspires people to spend time with the autoharp and to be better players.