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Tech: autoharp repair

24 Dec 18 - 12:25 AM (#3968088)
Subject: Tech: autoharp repair
From: EBarnacle

Lady Hillary has recently gotten around to putting her Oscar Schmidt autoharp into playable condition. She has run up against two issues.

The strings have what appears to be a metal grommet on the loop end of the strings. She is having problems locating these. What have people used if she cannot locate the original style?

Just above the attachment point is a squared off piece of wood which is before what corresponds to the crosspiece "nut" on a guitar or mandolin. This instrument appears to have had a good bit of use and there are fairly deep grooves in this crosspiece. Can someone recommend a repair for this problem? If so, what kind of wood or other material?


24 Dec 18 - 05:47 PM (#3968223)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: Stanron

Is it like this?

string end

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/_xWjoeLNcmQo/TMBynP8FjiI/AAAAAAAAFgQ/IvZV14cdTRM/s320/guitar+string+ball+end.jpg

If so this is a standard steel string guitar string. If not can you supply an image? The simplest guitar nut repair is to fill with bone dust and super glue. If the surface is wood you might want to try wood dust and glue to raise the surface or glue in a small piece of wood, the harder the better. Again a picture would help.

The blue clicky isn't working but the URL is OK


24 Dec 18 - 07:41 PM (#3968236)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: GUEST,lady Hillary

try this again-
My OS autoharp has pins at the anchor end. the old existing strings have what look like small washers with a concave grove around the perimiter. The string ends are placed in the grooved washers, and then the washers are placed over the ends of the pins. So-If I use strings without the stress-reliving washers will the strings cut thru the pins? If I get the strings with the Balls the inside diameter is less then the diameter of the pins. Which do I use?


24 Dec 18 - 07:48 PM (#3968237)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: GUEST,Lady Hillary

if I get the strings with out the Balls- are the grooved washers available?
Shoe lace holes? Scientific machine part?


24 Dec 18 - 08:00 PM (#3968238)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: Stanron

Mandolins and banjos use what are called loop end strings. These strings end in loops and the loops fit over pins. So you should be OK, if you can get loop end strings, to fit them onto the pins.

What I call ball ends are approximately 3.5 mm diameter and 3 mm deep, and yes they have a groove around the perimeter. If the measurements match, my ball ends and your fat washers may well be the same thing.


26 Dec 18 - 01:53 AM (#3968342)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: EBarnacle

We discussed the string end issue with a shop teacher friend today and he came up with a simple solution. Small pop rivet sleeves are just the right size to become the "ball" ends. Being aluminum, the skinny end can be slightly flared so that both ends of the ball are wider than the center.


26 Dec 18 - 09:47 AM (#3968373)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel

This link may help


27 Dec 18 - 12:28 AM (#3968428)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: Pamela R

sounds like you have a solution but if anything else comes up, I have found the folks at AutoharpStore.Com to be wonderfully helpful answering questions, and I have been able to buy from them any parts I needed to repair my authoharps. They also have extremely useful instructional youtube videos if memory serves. (My diatonic conversion is still not done, but that is entirely my own fault!).


29 Mar 19 - 09:33 PM (#3985098)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: Joe Offer

I got this request by email:

Hey Joe,

I was wanting to post a thread asking if anyone knew how to repair the loose string anchor. I have 2 autoharps and the 1st anchor

Came completely off, so got another harp. Now after 26 years or so, that anchor is coming loose.

Thanks so much!

Debi D


01 Apr 19 - 10:25 AM (#3985350)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: GUEST,Don Meixner

This is important to know. Is this/Are they "A" model or "B" model harps? Are they 12 bar, 15 bar, or 21 bar harps?   Are they Oscar Schmidt Auto Harps, Chromoharps, or any of the specialty shop harps out and about?

Don Meixner


07 Apr 19 - 09:14 PM (#3986392)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: Bill D

I just chatted with EBarnacle & Lady Hillary at the memorial for Dick Greenhaus about her autoharp.
I have 3 older ones which I assume are similar, and I see nothing quite like she describes. To attach the loop end of the strings, I have only pins to take the loops. Could those grommets/washers... whatever... be someone's invention to address a problem?
She intends to send me a picture to show me the issue and we'll scheme...

More later, just for public interest...


30 Apr 19 - 08:17 PM (#3990175)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: GUEST

They are OS45C Models. The anchor was glued down, but has pulled up and won't stay in tune. Is there anyone who knows how to repair an unglued autoharp string anchor?


30 Apr 19 - 08:23 PM (#3990179)
Subject: RE: Tech: autoharp repair
From: GUEST

RE: OS45C - Also they have 21 bars/36 strings.

Thank you for any input! I really want to get them up and working again. I even contacted Oscar Schmidt but no response whatsoever. :/

Have a great day!
Debi D.