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My first custom

Back to the Maintenance, Repair and Customization Room

Robb L
Feb 13, 2009 4:35 AM GMT
I give big thanks, to all you good folks, who have taken your time to put up very helpful videos, give input and answer questions. I have had a great time with this D harp and learned a lot about how much more I need to learn. I'm still tweekin' with the reeds but I'm really happy with what some tuning and a little embossing has done for the sound of this harp. The sealed comb, the rounded corners and the extra weight from the added brass bolts makes this guy feel great in my hand, also very comfortable on the tounge and lips.
I've started on a C Marine Band now and hoping for even better results. So I will be a bother to many of you again soon.
Once again thanks to all!









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Comments (7)

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Feb 13, 2009 5:24 AM GMT
Kingley Replied:

Well done Robb. Nice job!


Feb 13, 2009 4:54 PM GMT
Hammik Replied:

Looks great man. I cant wait to do something like this myself.


Feb 15, 2009 9:16 PM GMT
Brad F Replied:

Hey Robb,
how did you round off the corners? did you use a belt sander or grinder? Did you leave the covers on when you did it?
MAN! it looks cool
bf


Feb 16, 2009 10:37 AM GMT
Robb L Replied:

Hi, Brad. Thanks for asking. There is a bench grinder where I work. I did the comb first, there was some hand sanding also, then used the buffing wheel.I put the reed plates in place on the comb,one at a time, thenscratched the plate with a fairly sharp pointy little tool, tracing around the rounded edge of the comb. The scratch does not need to be deep, just enough to leave a visible line. Then used the grinder to round the reed plates. Finaly I used the now rounded reed plate to mark and grind the covers. If you just take your time it's not that difficult. Oh yeh, I did some of the plate rounding with a cheep roto tool thats been laying around at home, worked prety well, just slower.

Kingley, Hammik and Bradthanks for the nice comments. :)


Feb 17, 2009 3:47 PM GMT
Elk River Replied:

One thing, Brad, on the grinder, it'd be a good idea to take his advice about working slow. If you put too much pressure on the grinder, the wood can catch fire from the friction heat. It's not like it explodes into flames or anything, but it can smoke and smolder. Same thing with a worn sanding belt.


Feb 18, 2009 7:06 AM GMT
Zooza Z Replied:

Yes and this can leave a burn mark on the wood, I really like the look of the rounded harp comb I bet it feels great to hold...similar to a golden melody? Support rails at the back to prevent cover squashing? nice


Feb 18, 2009 10:19 AM GMT
Robb L Replied:

Thanks ZZ

I did the best I could with what I couldfind at "Balweg's" hardware store... a half block from where I do my day gig.

Being patient was the biggest issue for me... while this is my first custom harp... it is not my first atempt. :(

Lookup all the customizers you can find... Elk River, Joe Spiers, Mark LaVoie and lots others you'll find here on Harmonica Space. Adam Gussow has a great approach to basic set up video on youtube.

I am naught butthe shadow, of a copy of great artistry

Having played for a lot of years, I had a lot of "bad harps" in thedrawer with myclean socks. Thankfully I haven't thrown them all away. With plenty of parts to try stuff out on, itwas money that was spent years ago. So it's kinda risk free. and the ones I've been able to get back in playing shape are a welcome addition to my "gig-able" arsenal.

If you don't have much laying around I suggest grabing something low dollar to start working on. Hohner "Blues Band" and Johnson "Blues King" harps should only cost about 5.00 dollars each and you can make them sound pertygood for what they are. They both have plastic combs but the tuning, arching and other magical things you can do with the reeds and platesare less daunting to work out,when you've only got a couple of bucks on the line.

Thanks for watching over us Dave :)



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