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

Alan Castillo

Master 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


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


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.



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


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.


Here they are ready.


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


Cut it out



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.


Drew the outlines


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


Cut out the pieces


More Sangria to weigh down the side panel.


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.





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


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


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


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


Placed the nails in the previously drilled sliver of wood


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


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


And that was that. Here’s the end result






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



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.

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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.
Considering the inspiration for the project, you certainly turned lemmons into lemmonade! Outstanding work on the larpa, Alan! (y)thumbsup:thumbsup
This is gorgeous Alan! I can even forgive you that it is from the most painful episode of Trek ever filmed!! I kid, who doesn't love the hippies?
Thanks :) !!

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


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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