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The Reed Repair

Jew's harps' reeds break down sometimes.

Unfortunately this phenomenon occurs often. The reed of a beautiful munnharpa made by Bjorgulv Straume broke down. It was my fault. I tried to play it too loud. I didn't have free time to ask Bjorgulv for repair. That is why I decided try repairing by myself.

We need to beat out a wedge which fixes the reed in the frame.

With the use of a diamond disk we cut off the reed.

The reed is made of bow saw blade for wood in thickness 0,5 mm.

We mill it by an electric grinder and circle it heating in the fire only the bending point.

The sound type of a jew's harp depends a lot on the angle of grinding of edges of the reed. That is why it is necessary to copy them from the original reed absolutely exactly. We grind the edges by an electric grinder.

Then we need to grind down a part of the material from the root part of the reed, like on the reed made by the blacksmith.

The munnharpa is set to a certain note with the help of this operation. Also I processed by emery paper and polished all the surfaces of the frame. There are two things left to do. To gather the jew's harp and to regulate the gap.


© Vladimir Markov 2009, this article translated by Natalia Ivanitsa