Inside The Shop: Making Harp Strings

Aug 19, 2014

Stringwinder noun  1. A specialized machine for manufacturing wound harp strings, or 2. The detail-oriented operator of said machine.

We make all of our own wound harp strings here at the Dusty Strings shop, and in order to get what we feel is the best tone and performance in each position on each different harp model, we use 40 different combinations of string materials, diameters, colors and lengths. Here's a peek into the shop at the making of a nylon wound harp string. Notice the large rack of different wrapping materials!


Tags: strings, videos
Category: Inside the Shop


Posted by francie mc hugh on
a lot different than hand winding for a hammer dulcimer .
Posted by John Steffen on
I believe it was Jamie Hascall that taught me to wind strings. The process was similar in the late 80s, however the machinery in this clip is far more sophisticated, well aside from the finger nail clippers which we also used. Thanks for the memories.
Posted by David McGinnis on
Good Day,
I was wondering if someone could give me some advice regarding harp strings. I'm am not an experienced harp builder however, I've assembled a floor model folk harp from a purchased kit. I became fascinated with the construction process and, designed and built a harp similar to a semi grand harp. I intend for it to have 40 strings with levers. Would it be possible for me to order a set of strings for through your company? I would be grateful for any information you could provide.

David McGinnis
Posted by admin on
Hi David,

Congratulations, that's quite an accomplishment! We actually just make the strings that we've designed for our own harps, but there are other companies that make custom string sets. Two that come to mind are Robinson's Harp Shop and Markwood Heavenly Strings. I'm sure one of them would be able to help you!
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