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Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt

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The Fooles Troupe 31 Mar 08 - 02:43 AM
John MacKenzie 31 Mar 08 - 03:09 AM
GUEST,OLD TIMER 31 Mar 08 - 04:08 AM
The Fooles Troupe 31 Mar 08 - 08:32 AM
Dan Schatz 31 Mar 08 - 09:23 AM
The Fooles Troupe 31 Mar 08 - 09:36 AM
wysiwyg 31 Mar 08 - 09:51 AM
HiHo_Silver 31 Mar 08 - 10:29 AM
The Fooles Troupe 31 Mar 08 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 01 Apr 08 - 12:03 AM
The Fooles Troupe 01 Apr 08 - 12:19 AM
The Fooles Troupe 01 Apr 08 - 12:32 AM
Uncle Phil 01 Apr 08 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,hg 01 Apr 08 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,CEO 01 Apr 08 - 06:08 PM
Bill D 01 Apr 08 - 07:38 PM
The Fooles Troupe 01 Apr 08 - 08:02 PM
Uncle Phil 01 Apr 08 - 11:12 PM
GUEST,guest 01 Apr 08 - 11:16 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 01 Apr 08 - 11:52 PM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Apr 08 - 08:58 AM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Apr 08 - 08:08 AM
wysiwyg 08 Apr 08 - 09:02 AM
Uncle Phil 08 Apr 08 - 09:34 AM
wysiwyg 08 Apr 08 - 10:26 AM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Apr 08 - 11:55 PM
wysiwyg 09 Apr 08 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Jim 10 Apr 08 - 10:43 AM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Apr 08 - 09:00 AM
DonMeixner 11 Apr 08 - 09:10 AM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Apr 08 - 09:26 AM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Apr 08 - 09:27 AM
DonMeixner 11 Apr 08 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Jim 11 Apr 08 - 12:51 PM
CathyBeyer 15 Apr 08 - 08:23 PM
wysiwyg 15 Apr 08 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,micah 17 May 08 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Honeyboy Den 17 Aug 09 - 01:25 PM
Bill D 17 Aug 09 - 02:08 PM
Bill D 21 Aug 09 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,duh 23 Jul 11 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,American Cousin Guest 12 Sep 11 - 07:10 PM
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Subject: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 02:43 AM

I have just acquired (more or less accidentally!) a 36 string 15 bar Oscar Schmidt autoharp.

Of course one string is broken, all the strings and most of the fittings are rusted, and it seems that one bar is defective, and it needs tuning...

I cannot date it, but it sounds very good on the 'tap it with a fingernail test'...

It has a brown plastic cover over the bar section.

Where can I get strings here in Oz, and how about checking/repairng the bars/felt?


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 03:09 AM

Google Elderly Music, they do spares/strings, and fittings for autoharps.
They are in the US but I deal with them from here in the UK without any problems.
Failing that someone may know of a place nearer home where you can get it sorted.

Giok


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,OLD TIMER
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 04:08 AM

Google "Harp Doctor " in N.Carolina USA.For personal professional attention of the highest quality you find his beating

OLD TIMER


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 08:32 AM

All the bars are ok.

Only one of the lower wound strings is gone - but they look they could all do with replacement - rusty, you know...

I knew about Elderly, but not the Harp Doctor, thanks. I found the OS site now too, btw. http://www.oscarschmidt.com/


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 09:23 AM

I would imagine the expense of shipping an autoharp from Oz to the states and back for repairs would be greater than the expense of buying another 'harp, in better condition. The strings, though, would be cheap(ish) to ship.

Restringing is a royal pain, but necessary from time to time. I recommend removing the chord bars (your basic screwdriver should be the only tool you need) in order to restring. And just like a guitar or other instrument, change one string at a time. The string tension on an autoharp body is unbelievable, and you want to keep it as even as possible.

When you remove the chord bars, be careful to keep them in one piece - some of these Oscar Schmidt models with the covers have chord buttons that insert into a groove on a metal bar, and they'll fall out when the cover is removed. It would be a hassle to try to reconstruct which chord is which.

When you have the chord bars off, you can check the quality of the felt. If it's not too bad, old felt can be refreshed somewhat by laying the bar on its side and sticking a pin through the felt repeatedly. This fluffs the felt a bit so its functions better - for awhile.

Good luck!

Dan


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 09:36 AM

I'm not a total expert, but I have picked up a fair bit, haveing been around for a while.... :-)

The basic body is in excellent condition - dust excepted! :-)

The bars seems to sound ok - a few strings need tuning!

There is no possible question of sending it back and forth anyway - I have experienced too much to trust the double journey anyway!


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: wysiwyg
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 09:51 AM

Some string ox can be removed-- worth checking if a solvent or light sanding will bring them back to playability while you seek new strings. Protect the wood underneath of course if you are going to proceed.

If you restring, don't forget to back the tuning pins out instead of just clipping all the strings off and sinking the tuning pins deeper when you re-string.

If you refelt, be sure to check felt width before ordering.

Hardi just refelted for me-- used a peel & stick type but also used a bit of glue to secure them.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 10:29 AM

check here: www.janetdavismusic.com/instru.html Excellent parts and service.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 10:40 PM

WYSIWYG I aibn;t gona let no STRONG OX get anywhere near this autoharp - :-)

Still looking if anyone can identify the rough age or model from the following description

QUOTE
I can find no real identifying marks, but it is a 36 note from F to C - 3 1/2 octaves - 15 bars in 'STANDARD' layout, but it has no strap buttons, it has 3 feet, hard like bakelite, not soft rubber, a round sound-hole, and the bars are covered by a brown thin plastic cover (part cover the sound hole) - attached with 4 screws at the sides of the bar box.

I has a broken string, but I think the strings are sufficiently rusty for a complete set replacement.

The pins and other metal fittings are all rusty spotted, but I cannot other wise age it, the wood body seems in remarkable condition, with a nice clear 'thunk' from a tap. The colour is a partly blonde colour on the back, darkening around the edges.

The buttons are white with black lettering - semicircular on 'top' and 'bottom', straight on the 'sides'. The strings are each lettered in white near each tuning pin.

All it says on the body is (script) Autoharp (the Reg r in a circle) and under it 'Oscar Schmidt' - all in white.

I'm guessing it could be about 1950-60 sorta... from the plastic bars cover...
UNQUOTE


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 12:03 AM

15 Bar Harps are the best. Lots of room to play, Lots of sound.

Are the the corners rounded or squared and coming tot a point?
Are the bars wooded or aluminum? Do the buttons look like golf T's or white wedges.

Generally speaking Autoharps after the mid 60's are rounded. Some retro harps have been made recently. I would never restring a harp for any reason other than making a new Autoharp or more than five in a row are broken. It's pricey to replace them but more important you can't beat the old string sound.

Loose felts will stick back down easily with Ducco cement.

There are three schools of thought about leveling bar felt to get rid of the ridges the strings cause. Replace the felts completely. or Cover the muting surface with GE silicone II, pressing the bars down on waxed paper to smear the silicone into the ridges and wait for a few days for the rubber to cure. Then peel off the paper and trim the excess silicone with shears.   or Don't worry about them unless you can't mute the strings.

I've done all three and have no great opinion in either direction. I will say I don't understand why some run in horror at the silicone solution. It has ALWAYS WORKED FINE FOR ME.

Don


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 12:19 AM

"The buttons are white with black lettering - semicircular on 'top' and 'bottom', straight on the 'sides'." Sorta like flattened ovals. They stick thru the plastic cover, which hides all the bars, so I can't see without undoing thinbgs - reluctant to do that - I dismanted clocks as a kid - SPROING!!!!!!!!!!

:-)

"the corners rounded or squared"

The corners of the body are rounded off.

The 'keyboard picture' is not paper, but white plastic glued down with black printing.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 12:32 AM

BTW, I have visited the official OS site - no picture of current models there seems directly relevant.

The strings are held in by slots in what seems a bar of aluminium, they appear to 'ball end' types - but not sure what set "A, B, C" types are meant to be the replacement.

The missing string is the wound D in the low (incomplete) octave - the D above the C two octave below Middle C, by looking at the 'keyboard indicator'.

Not prepared to try buying just one yet, because I have to get my tuning gadget from home... who knows how many more may die?

Still missing a couple of low strings from my Roseharp set...


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 08:37 AM

Mel Bay has a book of articles from Autoharp Quarterly, most of them on maintenance and construction by autoharp builders. About $20 US, highly recommended.
- Phil

Autoharp Owner's Manual, Mary Lou Orthey (Editor), Mel Bay Publications, ISBN-13: 9780786658831


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 11:41 AM

You might be able to pinpoint the model year with Becky Blackley's book "The Autoharp Book."


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,CEO
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:08 PM

I have an Oscar Schmidt Autoharp with a brown plastic cover over the chord bars. I purchased it in 1981 or 1982 through the Sears catalogue. They only put brown covers on them for one or two years, otherwise they used black. If you need to replace the cover, you will only be able to get a black one. I have taken the chord bar cover off and there are small springs under the bars, but with a modicum of care you won't lose any springs removing the cover. I seem to have springs go SPRONG when I rearrange the bars. Springs are replaceable also. For a quick temporary fix, you can use a spring from a ballpoint pen. Cut a bit from one end of the spring, so it is the same length as the original, and place it on the peg with the cut end facing up.
Good Luck.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 07:38 PM

?? weird...the only ones I have ever seen with the plastic covers were 21 bar types. I have put on some new felt and re-cut several bars to give chords that weren't included with the original setup.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 08:02 PM

I knew that Mudcat would be the best place to ask... :-)

The brown cover thing - it's in good condition, but it may help to date it, thanks.

BTW, the OS site mentioned that there are 'natural keys' for auto harps with so many bars - Tis it teh so called 'standard set' - can anyone tell me the so called 'natural' keys.

As a Piano accordion/keyboard player, I do understand that concept, but if someone can list them, it will save me ages of thinking - who needs to think at MY age? :-)

I can see that C Maj is a doddle, and that F & G & D look OK, but with the Minors, and the 7ths, there will be some keys that work (sound) better than others - due to the ability for all those extra 'cute' chords...

Interestingly, from a Stradella Bass player (P/A) viewpoint, some keys will be more 'finger stretching' than others - any suggestions for rearranging the layout to make it 'more logical'?


I suppose I COULD buy some books... :-)


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 11:12 PM

Hey, I've read the book. Here's how the "standard" arrangement of keys evolved on a 15 bar harp.

Carl Gutter's Chord Zither was strung with a C scale – no flats or sharps - and had three buttons so you could play in C (the people's key)...
F - G7 – C

Then, to sell more harps, they added a Bb (A#) string and two buttons, and, voilas, you could also play in F...
Bb – C7 – F – G7 – C
... using the same fingering you learned for C.

Then the first abomination. A few other strings and chords were added, because three chord songs get boring, but they were just tacked on the end...
Gm – A7 – Dm - Bb – C7 – F – G7 – C

... until some genius realized they would be easier to reach if placed on a second row ...
Gm – A7 - Dm
    Bb – C7 – F – G7 – C

... which left room for more chords, also useful for playing in C or F. It also becomes possible to play in G on the east end of the row of buttons, as long as you stick to 3 chord songs.
Gm – A7 – Dm – E7 – Am - D7
Bb – C7 – F – G7 – C – G

Next they extended the bottom row so you can play in Bb, a useful key for accompanying singers, and added a D chord to the top row.
   D - Gm – A7 – Dm – E7 – Am - D7
Eb – F7 - Bb – C7 – F – G7 – C – G
This is the "standard" arrangement. You can play pretty easily in C, F, or Bb, play in G as long as you don't need an Em, and play in D if you have exceptionally large or agile hands and aren't fond of Bm. In addition to the A# string, you also need C#, D#,F# and G# strings to make all them chords.


There's also a 21 chord arrangement that is laid out quite logically so you can play in Bb, F, C, G, D or A using the same fingering. Notice that I, IV and V are arranged in a triangle, kinda like the key of G on a 15 bar harp.
Eb – Bb -   F -   C -    G -    D -   A
    F7 – C7 –   G7 – D7 – A7 – E7 – B7
       Ab – Bb7 – Cm – Gm – Dm – Am – Em
Some folks don't like the big bar holder on a 21 bar harp. It does take up a lot of real estate that could be usefully used for strumming.

There are Oscar Schmidt harps with other arrangements. The Festival harps are set up to play in either F, C and G; or in G, D and A. The Wildwood Flower is diatonic harp in D.

For some real fun buy a bunch of 15 bar harps and convert them to diatonic instruments. Re-felting the bars to make different chords is easy once you figured out what notes to tune the strings to. You get the arrangement of chords that makes sense to you, and once you learn a tune in one key you can play it in any key for which you have a harp. The book (did I mention that there's a book) has lots of suggestions for how to arrange the keys.
- Phil


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 11:16 PM

Use a magnetic screwdriver to manage the springs. They jump away easily when you take the covers off.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 11:52 PM

Hi Fooles,

Pull off the string anchor cover. Some of the harps had a model number stamped in the wood under there. Also look carefully through the sound hole at the label. Some models were ID'd there as well.

I seem to recall a time when the 15 bar harps had the same type of chord bar cover the 21 bar Harps had. This was for a short time.

The buttons you described sound more like 21 bar buttons than 15 bar buttons. And the springs are a pain.

Don


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 08:58 AM

This model looks a bit like some of the current 21 bar jobs.

Can't see inside the sound hole - the plastic cover hides that!

Will look under the string anchor cover.

Thanks Uncle Phil - sorta what I had thought...

"Notice that I, IV and V are arranged in a triangle"

Well on a P/A they are in a straight line under the three fingers... and the pattern stays the same all the way up the Stradella ketboard...


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 08:08 AM

Well, OS haven't replied, so who can tell me what is the difference between the A, B, & C, string sets?


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 09:02 AM

Loop end or ball end.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 09:34 AM

Right on for A and B strings, I don't know what a C string is. The A strings fit over the dead-pin ends on old style Oscar Schmidts and ChromAharps. You have to remove a cover to get at the dead-pins.
- Phil


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 10:26 AM

Ball ends CAN be removed (laboriously and delicately), but it's a pain in the butt process. I had a little mini-psaltery that needed new loop-end strings to turn a toy into an instrument. The fellow who did it for me decided mandolin strings would be best to use, so he nipped out the ball ends-- a thankless task!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 11:55 PM

It seems that OS make A, B, & C type autoharps, which I guess mayuse teh appropriate style strings... so that's A = loop, B = ball ???


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 01:11 PM

I believe that for some time OS've made only the harps that carry the ball-end strings. The older loop-enders are a little harder to find but sometimes you can luck into a dusty, unsold set (cheap) at a music store. They may be labeled Chromaharp, etc. (I had a set of LaBella's at one time), but will usually still fit, although pitch/string number labels also may be a tad different... those really refer more to the string length than the gauge-- often a run of strings is all one gauge until the next group at a different gauge, etc., and people use the "wrong" string all the time.... we have an old set Hardi has been plundering for years with "close enough" string gauges, and I know others do this as well. Autoharp string gauges are not really set up quite like guitar strings-- there are just too many strings to make it worthwhile for a single mfr to set up that many different gauges. Harps would be too expensive to be bought.

For awhile, sets of strings had jumped to an unbelievable cost-- I think that in the last few years they have been re-subcontracted to more affordable manufacturers and who knows, maybe the loop-enders are more easily gotten now as well.

One last potential modification to mention is that there are fine-tuners available to retrofit onto older harps; maybe they come fitted for ball-end strings for conversion.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 10:43 AM

I'm pretty sure that your 'harp is a Model #15C, made for the educational market in the late seventies. This is the only 15 chord model with the plastic cover that I've been able to find. There were some twelve chord 'harps with the plastic chord bar cover, but most of the models with the cover are 21 chord models.
In the early seventies, the string anchor cover was redesigned so that the strings could be changed without removing the aluminum cover. If this is your 'harp, then you'll want to get "B" style strings.

Most of this info came from Becky Blackley's book, considered the "BIBLE" when it comes to Autoharp history. My copy is from 1983. I don't know if she's updated it.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 09:00 AM

Thanks Jim.

The string 'holder' area looks like it would take ball ended strings that could be replaced without removing any covers.

Since everything is rusty - TOO bad - I was thinking about replacing the hardware, but if that end bit is unreplaceable, than I can't 'easily' by just buying parts, but will have to get someof them 'refinished', which means total dismantlement...

I suspected that it looked like a a 70s model, and it looked like a 'special run' thing, compared with the others on the OS site.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: DonMeixner
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 09:10 AM

Jim

If by the end bit you mean the string anchor that should be aluminum. Can't rust. The metal cover plate is chrome plated, a rub down with OOOO steel wool and you are shiney. If you mean the tuners they are less than a buck a piece. Same for the bridge pins. Rusty strings are only an issue if they break.

If the bars are a concern you can replace the whole lot with a 15 bar conversion kit.

These are kind of unusual harps as described. It would be nice to keep it origina.

Don


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 09:26 AM

There is an aluminium bar - over which the strings pass as the 'bottom pitch defining end stop', and thru slits in which the strings are 'locked' by what appears to be the ball ends. Partly under this, and extending past this (with a gap so that the ball ends can be inserted) is the corroded apprently once nickel plated steel plate, which supports the said aluminium bar. I suspect that this steel plate is unobtainable as a replacement.

I assume the 'bridge pins are the small studs which press on the side of the strings at the top to give the 'top pitch defining end stop' - they appear to be ok, no obvious rust. The tuner pins are quite rusty.

I would like to keep as much as possible original, but if replacing a few minor components with modern similar or identical parts makes the instrument look 'nicer' I don't see a real problem.


As one string is defunct to the extent of total absence, I need to replace one at least - I would prefer to replace the whole set though.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 09:27 AM

Sorry, I meant to ask - would it be possible to replace the 15 bars with a 21 set? Such gear is available as an 'upgrade' from OS.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: DonMeixner
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 11:18 AM

Yup you can do that. But play both types, 15 and 21. I personally can't plat 21's. Bar buttons don't fit my fat fingers and there is no room at the top for strumming. I find it better in all cases to have two or more harps than it is to have one that does a poor job of playability. Just my opinion, I know we have many who love their 21's.

Don


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 12:51 PM

I agree with DonMeixner about the 21 chord 'harps. The higher strings are unplyable if you play the flat against the chest method. I have two "semi-diatonic" A model Appalachian 'harps that I've modified to 10 bar harps with the chord bar hoders moved close to the string anchor end of the 'harp, giving me lots of room to play the short strings. One is D/G. The other is an A with a G string so I can play the A7 chord. I have other 'harps, but these two satisfy my needs. If I need a key or chord that's not available I'll play guitar, banjo or mandolin.
Bryan Bowers uses diatonic 'harps and will often come on stage with a stack of 5 or 6 'harps.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: CathyBeyer
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:23 PM

You can get any and all replacement parts from Autoharp luthiers. I have several recommendations:

http://www.autoharpworks.com
Bob Lewis's Autoharp Works, where you can order single strings, just the ones you need, instead of a whole set. You can browse through specific strings, and his FAQ section is great.

http://www.daigleharp.com
Pete d'Aigle's A Different Drummer, where you can order any and all supplies you'll every want. You can order single strings if he has them on hand. Go to the publications section and order The Autoharp Owner's Manual, a must-have if you're going to keep your instrument in top playing condition.

http://www.autoharprx.com
Chuck Daniels's site where you can order what you need, but you have to have an idea of what you want. Prices aren't generally quoted on the site, but send him an email and he will get back to you. Be sure to look at his Workshop How-To's. Chuck is very helpful.

These three gentleman plus the Autoharp Owner's Manual helped me learn to dismantle, refurbish, and customize Autoharps. I also order from Elderly, but I spread my business around. I've ordered lots of supplies to refurbish and customize Autoharps for developmentally disabled children and adults. You can see one of my Autoharps at http://www.xable.com/blogs/autoharp. Another is posted at http://www.alanhorvath.com/moody_blues_harp.php.

For fingerpicks, books and Autoharp CD's, Visit Autoharpquarterly.com and go to the marketplace.

Last but not least, go th http://www.autoharp.org and join the CyberPluckers. While you're there, look into the Autoharp festivals and see if there is one in your area. We're going to the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering (mlag.org)in June for a week of workshops and concerts. Very affordable!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Cathy in MA
cathybeyer@verizon.net


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Apr 08 - 08:56 PM

Be cautious about new chord bar sets-- they are not always exactly the same measure. Not a reason not to do it-- just be aware that there may need to be some minor adjustments as my older harp needed.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,micah
Date: 17 May 08 - 07:07 PM

hey all i just got a auto harp by oscar schmidt it is brown with the brown plastic cover it is a 36 string and has 12 cord buttons on it it is missing only one string and has the paper laminate keybored at the bottom it takes the ball strings and has a crome peace at the bottom also about what year do you think it is? i was told by wifes grandma that she got it in the 50's but grandma is a little crazy lol it is in great shap but is real dusty it was found in a closet in grandmas house any idea about the year or its value?


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,Honeyboy Den
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 01:25 PM

I am looking for replacement buttons for a very old autoharp. The buttons are round with a concave center


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 02:08 PM

Black harp? I might have some...will go look.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 07:22 PM

I have 3 buttons like that..(white plastic-like) I may have others somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,duh
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 10:12 AM

I have removed the chord bars on my OS harp. How to i reinstall them and get all the springs back in? It has a bar holder on each end. Cannot install one bar/spring at a time?

Please help!!! I am about to toss it and go back to a guitar.

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,American Cousin Guest
Date: 12 Sep 11 - 07:10 PM

I just purchased a Oscar Schmidt No. 2 3/4 C.1940 Autoharp, (according to picture on Fretlessithers / com). It has 5 chord bars, does that mean it is for strumming only? it has about 6 missing strings. all of the bar labels appear to be cardbord, yellowed by age (?) @3 stringsone chord bar spring missing... I paid $9.50 does it have enough potential to have it refurbished.

Also, under the string there are about a doezen 1/8 inch indentations
pressed into the soundboard surface. Was there some sort of device for the instrument that could have caused those marks, or was it just a madman with an ice pick.

Excuse my rambling on, any help or advice will be apptreciated.

email coldflamingo@wildblue.net


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,Ned
Date: 16 Mar 16 - 04:05 PM

Refurbishing a pre 1967 Oscar Schmidt--rebuilt case, cleaned, new strings, etc. Now I am trying to reinstall the 12 chord bars. With 12 bars, 24 springs, 2 end caps and 4 screws this seems almost impossible with less than a dozen or so helpers. Any suggestions??


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 16 Mar 16 - 05:47 PM

Gravity, Ned, gravity will supply most of the needed hands.

We've done this dozens of times. Lay the harp on a flat and level surface and insert the springs. They should be held in place by gravity. Then, GENTLY place the chord bars on top of the springs. They will stick up pretty far above the slots that hold them but they will stay put long enough for you to install the end caps. Hold one of the end caps in place and install the screws just far enough so they don't come out. If you press it down too hard the bars will lift up at the other end and go wherever they please. Then do the other end cap the same way. Everything is now secure and all you have to do is gradually tighten the screws moving from one to another as you go.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Refurbishment: Oscar Schmidt
From: GUEST,Pamela, Australia
Date: 06 May 17 - 07:27 PM

I have acquired a 50s or 60s german 6 chord autoharp in very good condition.    Original strings.   Am a complete beginner and novice, and wonder whether the strings should be replaced.   They seem ok, but some guitar players tell me they are too old.


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