Wow, not perfect but pretty darn close.
This, my friends, is my Holy Grail of Star Trek props. If anyone can provide information on how to aquire one, PLEASE drop me a line.
Put me first on your list, brother!
Do you suppose the strings made for a 12-string guitar would work?
I started a more "realistic" version a year ago for CONvergence last year.... didn't finish it.... and it's still waiting to get done.
I cut mine out of some solid pine (?) that was glued into a big honking plank I got from Home Depot. The raised part (that this guy doesn't have raised) I had to make out of 2 pieces of some thinner wood. Kind of hand carved the big nobby deal... it's got a long way to go.
My plan had been to make it sort of like the plans that are available online, but not use their electronics. I'm planning on using the ideas from MAKE's cigar box guitar projects: piezo speaker as a pickup, send the signal to the cracker box amplifier, and bingo bango bungo. I'd like to route out the back and have the electronics and speaker in the back, although that obviously will make it not as loud.
I'd also been planning on building an MP3 player into it, so that I could "play" it even if I wasn't any good.
I picked up the tuning pegs from a local musical instrument maker shop: http://www.harpkit.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc. Really neat place to visit! They also have a line of cardboard instruments - mandolin, dulcimer, guitar, ukelele that have great sound! They're cheap, and they look kinda silly, but they sound great! Some were painted up a little garishly, like a kid who built it maybe would, and some were covered in that wood grain contact paper.... which looked a lot like wood grained contact paper. But for home made cardboard guitar, they sounded great! I had been thinking of making a Vulcan harp all out of cardboard.... You'd have to make part of it from wood to take the strain of the strings, obviously, but I think it'd be a blast!
Check out MAKE's back issues, their TV show, or their website and blog for more info on the whole technology of cigar box guitars and the cracker box amplifiers. It seems the techniques could be readily adapted for making a working Vulcan harp. http://makezine.com/ If you Googe "cigar box guitar" you'll find a lot of good info, that way, too.
I think a lot of the cigar box guitars just use twine or monofilament from hardware stores, but a lot also use real guitar strings, too. Depends on what you want.
The one the fellow on Instructables made seems a lot simpler and doable than my overly complicated "accurate" version. And no electronics to fiddle with, er, harp with....
Also, for the um, whatsis, the curved strip that the strings ride on up near the tuning pegs, I picked up some acrylic spacer material from the frame shop at Joann's Fabric. It's a strip of clear acrylic that's used as a spacer when you want to frame things that are thicker than normal pictures. One side is adhesive backed, and it's a little bit flexible. I'm not certain how well the adhesive will hold for long term, but I would think with the pressure of the wire holding it down, that should help keep it in place.
I wonder what ever happened to the original? Even Gene Roddenberry only had a replica that a fan made for him. He had it hanging proudly in his Paramount office until the day he died.
Seems like one of those items that would have been sprayed silver with crap glued to it to re-use on another show.
This isn't perfect, but it may be a starting place:
The electronics are dated and newer circuits could be easier to work with. The basic zither-like, or harp construction techniques aren't that exotic. Zither or autoharp tuning pins would work with a suitable hardwood - the original looks like mahogony. The hero harp looks like it has around thirty strings!
Various luthiers have built versions - a quick google search brought up several.
If anyone's working on this, please post progress shots - I might get inspired.
Yup, those are the ones! I don't have any progress shots, er, well, lack of progress shots... but I can probably get some posted here in the next couple days. And I wasn't too certain about the electronics, either, which is why I was think of using the MAKE cigar box guitar and cracker box electronics. Seemed pretty simple and all the parts should be easily available.
[FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]Here is the harp that I built in high school around 92 or 93. It was built with old wood scrap that was left over when my Dad built our kitchen cabinets. I used the old technical manual and paused VHS tapes for reference so it is inaccurate as heck. [/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue][/COLOR][/FONT]
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[FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]-John[/COLOR][/FONT]
Dude! That looks cool! Does it "work" or is it a static piece? Cool either way. At least you made something cool in shop class!
[FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]Unfortunately I was not up to the challenge of making a musical instrument. It is now just a display piece that sits there and gathers dust, much like myself.[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=deepskyblue]One of these days I want to make a second attempt and at least achieve a more accurate shape.[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#000000][COLOR=deepskyblue]-John[/COLOR] [/COLOR][/FONT]
This is something that I want to make also...I doubt it'll play...but I think I can get it to look pretty good
There was a person selling these on eBay with sound units a few weeks back.
Ok you guys talked me into it! I started with a template today.......I have a few builds for folks to finish up then I will move forward on this!!
it should be pretty cool!! This is a project I have been wanting to do for years!........
Yup! We're all about the strong arm technique! And you know if you're not careful, the hand'll keep going up the arm and pinch the neck!
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Starting your own thread? What, this one isn't good enought for you?
If you build it, I'm sure it will be a great display piece!