Star Trek TOS - Spock's Vulcan Harp / Lyre - Build, and finished.

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Alan Castillo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is a WIP (and finished) thread, dedicated to what is considered by many (myself included) the Holy Grail of Star Trek Props – The Vulcan Lyre aka Harp.

As far as I am aware, there are 3 sources to get one of these – an inaccurate, way undersized and low quality one from eBay, give $2000 to Roddenberry … or make one yourself.

Option 1 failed, option 2 is no way Jose, so a few days ago I decided that option 3 is the obvious winner :lol.

I wanted to go for a Harp as faithful as possible to the original prop in TOS (with one or two personal bits of my own), and I wanted to make it with items I had at hand. The only thing I spent on this was 1.20 Euro on 4 drawer knobs.

My main intentions were to make the harp with the raised design on the left side, like this


harpsg1-600x468.jpg



… and to have the strings loop over in pairs like in the original, as so.


harpsg2-600x431.jpg



I counted the number of strings from various screen caps, and there are 30. So 15 pairs.

I wanted it to play the part and hang it on a wall, not strum a concert in the mess hall :lol.

So long as it screamed “Vulcan Harp !!” at me, I’d be happy.

By the time I would be done, I hoped to end up with something like this.

Ah, and it had to be full size.

harpsg3-600x450.jpg


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Sooooooooo, we’re off. Enter boxes of Sangria in the living room.

harp1-736x507.jpg


No, not to get me started. I just don’t have that many clamps :lol. Underneath are 3 left-over boards from some shelving I did a few years back.

Glued them together for thickness.

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Here they are ready.


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Drew the outline based on a plan I found in a thread here somewhere, by Franz Joseph IIRC.


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Cut it out


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And the rest of the materials. A thinner board from the garage, a left-over piece of aluminium door frame, nails, knobs, glue, fishing line, an old drawer knob for the 'tuning knob' on the top side, and a piece of left over balsa wood I used to make the Voodoo Doll head.


harp7-857x578.jpg



Drew the outlines


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Glued 2 thin pieces of wood for thickness for the string rest


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Cut out the pieces


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More Sangria to weigh down the side panel.


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The original large ‘tuning knob’ was the lid of a wooden bowl. Since I don’t have one, I carved one out. Nothing that a hobby knife and some sandpaper won’t provide.


harp12-814x548.jpg



Ready


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Drilled out the holes in the aluminium plate for the smaller ‘tuning knobs’


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Added a slip of wood with slices in it on top of the string holder, and painted it silver.


harp17-600x399.jpg



Starting to take shape. Drilled holes for the continuation of the knobs, and painted the sides.


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Painted the front panel, and the rest of the thingy-bobs.


harp19-742x498.jpg



Placed the nails in the previously drilled sliver of wood


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Calculated the angle of the string holder with a cut out done from a screen grab, pencilled in on my computer screen.


harp21-733x491.jpg



This was the biggest pain in the neck ! Stringing 30 strands in loops of 2 without them ‘boinging’ out of place :lol


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And that was that. Here’s the end result



harpr1-986x428.jpg


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It screams "Vulcan Harp !!" at me, so its good enough for me :)


harpsg3-600x450.jpg


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And since the youngest just got back from School, here’s him holding the harp to show the size. So you get an idea, Michael is as tall as I am .... although I am twice as wide :lol

It is 37.25” (95 cms) high.


harpr6-627x671.jpg
 
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neilo1

Well-Known Member
WOW what an amazing job! I bet that's pretty much hoe the original gt made. The Vulcan harp always reminded me of those string-art designs of the 60s and 70s.
 

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Funky

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Considering the inspiration for the project, you certainly turned lemmons into lemmonade! Outstanding work on the larpa, Alan! (y)thumbsup:thumbsup
 

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Angelus Lupus

Sr Member

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Alan Castillo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks :) !!

It was in fact used in several episodes spanning various Series. (Taken from the Trek Wiki)

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The Vulcan lute (sometimes referred to as Vulcan harp, Vulcan lyre, or Vulcan Lyrette) was a twelve-stringed instrument, played on the planet Vulcan, that was tuned on a diatonic scale and noted to be very soothing. (VOY: "Innocence")
Spock was proficient at playing the Vulcan lute and was known to play it often during his off-duty hours. (TOS: "Charlie X", "The Conscience of the King", "Amok Time", "The Way to Eden"; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Tuvok was also a proficient Vulcan lute player. He would often play his lute while reciting Falor's Journey to his youngest son. (VOY: "Persistence of Vision", "Innocence", "Riddles")

Melian, an Aldean musician also owned a Vulcan lute. (TNG: "When The Bough Breaks").

One of Intendant Kira Nerys' Vulcan eunuchs played a Vulcan harp for her while a second eunuch gave her a massage. (DS9: "Through the Looking Glass")

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