Building Nyckelharpas

Earl had initially offered a class on How to Build a Beginner Swedish Traditional Nyckelharpa in September of 2015 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, but the class was canceled due to inadequate registrations.

Earl is willing to teach this class if there is enough interest. We need 6 class participants to justify the time and effort to do the workshop. If you are interested in this, please e-mail Earl at Earl(at)EarlHarpas.com. When we have 6 interested people, Earl will coordinate with them to set a date and then announce it for open registration.

The class size is limited to 15.

Unless there is a sponsoring organization that would like to host this builders class, it will be done in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. If any organization would like to consider hosting for this, please contact Earl.

Earl is willing to consider a follow-up class for participants of the first weekend to review and discuss the instructions and other issues that have come up, as well as other items related to building nyckelharpas.

The seminar would start with a Friday evening session. There would be sessions on Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning.

Earl started building nyckelharpas with a kit from Sören Åhker. We have copies of Sören's instruction book in stock. This book is in English and includes full-size plan sheets for a standard full-size and a child- (or small adult) sized nyckelharpa. The full size has a mensur length (nut to bridge) of 400 mm while the smaller plan has a 340 mm mensur length. The plans are metric (in millimeters).

Sören also sells “kits”. Please be aware that his nyckelharpa kit consists of rectangular wooden blocks of appropriate sizes that make the various parts of the instrument. These kits are very rough by American musical instrument kit standards.

There is a DVD available that follows Sören as he builds an instrument. The DVD was made by Rita Leydon and is available through her web site.

The other source for plans is Björn Björn. He sells basic plan sheets. These contain no detailed building instructions like what Sören provides, just the scale drawings. Once you are comfortable building nyckelharpas, these plan sheets are enough to go by.

We have the following supplies in stock:
•tops
•backs
•strings
•6 in-line guitar tuners
•bridge blanks
•cello fine tuners, both full- and 3/4-size

Most of the rest of the materials should be easily obtainable in the U.S.
Contact Earl for more information and prices.

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(This page last updated 5/06/2017)