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Hello from Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:15 pm
by Gary Shannon
I'm retired and got interested in instrument building after I made a cigar box guitar. It turns out that my fingers are too stubby for a fret board, so I looked around for a non-fretted stringed instrument I could play, and discovered that my fingers are well suited to a zither (with picks) and to the standard string spacing on a harp. Since harps are ridiculously expensive for an old retired guy with more time than money, I decided to focus on the zither for now.

Right now I'm making my first zither modeled after an old, busted up Menzenhaur guitar-zither I found for a couple bucks. It has 5 chord groups of 4 strings each, and 21 melody strings for a total of 41 strings.

I've read that you should use the best materials for all your builds, but for me, I have lots of time and little spare cash, so I'm using maple from the local lumber store for the frame and 1/4" birch plywood for the back and soundboard. It may not turn out to be the best sounding instrument, but my focus right now is on improving my limited woodworking skills. So if it turns out to be a piece of junk, at least I will have learned a lot from the effort, and my next one will be better.

I've already learned quite a few things just reading through old posts here. I look forward to learning even more.

Re: Hello from Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 4:31 pm
by Jim McConkey
Welcome to the Forum, Gary!

Re: Hello from Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 1:40 am
by David King
Hi Gary, Welcome! It seems like every 4th person here is in Oregon. Whereabouts are you? I'd love to see a picture or two of your efforts.

Re: Hello from Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 5:03 pm
by Gary Shannon
David King wrote:Hi Gary, Welcome! It seems like every 4th person here is in Oregon. Whereabouts are you? I'd love to see a picture or two of your efforts.


I'm in Eugene. I've just glued the soundboard on, so after some sanding and finishing I'll be ready to take some pix.

Re: Hello from Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 2:40 pm
by Gary Shannon
David King wrote:Hi Gary, Welcome! It seems like every 4th person here is in Oregon. Whereabouts are you? I'd love to see a picture or two of your efforts.


I posted a couple pictures in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4422&p=43089#p43089