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Cleaning an Autoharp

GUEST,musician wannabee 03 Nov 08 - 08:04 PM
Jack Campin 03 Nov 08 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,OLD TIMER 04 Nov 08 - 06:52 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Nov 08 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,doc.tom 04 Nov 08 - 11:12 AM
Les in Chorlton 04 Nov 08 - 11:30 AM
Bernard 04 Nov 08 - 11:47 AM
wysiwyg 04 Nov 08 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,hg 04 Nov 08 - 12:27 PM
Bill D 04 Nov 08 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,k.s 05 Aug 17 - 07:41 PM
CupOfTea 05 Aug 17 - 09:16 PM
Donuel 06 Aug 17 - 05:02 PM
Joe Offer 07 Aug 17 - 02:17 AM
GUEST,Mark Bluemel 07 Aug 17 - 06:41 AM
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Subject: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: GUEST,musician wannabee
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 08:04 PM

What's the best way to clean an autoharp? I just received my ebay purchase and while I am quite happy with the overall quality of the instrument (no warping, tight pins, etc) the wood needs a good cleaning. What is the best way to clean this instrument without having to remove bars and strings?


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 08:49 PM

You will probably need to remove the bars anyway, to get them sliding smoothly and to check the felts.

I just stuck a slightly oily cloth under the strings and worked it up and down. Didn't get the wood completely clean but it looked a lot better for it. Cleaned the strings with a rag soaked in isopropanol.


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: GUEST,OLD TIMER
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 06:52 AM

I USE A 2 INCH LIGHT& SOFT BRISTLED PAINT BRUSH AIDED BY A LITTLE SPIRIT ALCOHOL, SUCH AS METHS OR VODKA,-----ON THE BRUSH THAT IS ,& IT CLEANS THE STRINGS AS WELL AS THE WOOD


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 08:00 AM

Banjo players have been advised to use Stanley Knives, Blow Torches and paint stripper but not by other banjo players


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: GUEST,doc.tom
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 11:12 AM

"A LITTLE SPIRIT ALCOHOL, SUCH AS METHS OR VODKA" can also dissolve the varnish!


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 11:30 AM

I think the best thing is not to varnish your throat in the first place


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: Bernard
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 11:47 AM

Blow off excess dust with an air spray (you can get aerosols or buy a 'puffer brush' from most camera shops)... I'm reluctant to use any solvent or oil, because they either take away stuff they shouldn't, or leave behind or attract stuff they shouldn't...

A slightly damp cloth will get rid of any remaining dirt, but make sure the strings aren't left damp or they will rust and break.

I agree with Jack that you should remove the bars at least the once to check all is well - or get someone else to do it!


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 11:57 AM

A Q-tip around the pegs will pick more if you spray Endust on it first.

In the var department, make sure the combs holding them are straight and not broken/breakeing. If it's a 21-bar with plastic combs, pray. And order a couple of spare sets before opening the bar housing. They are the main weakness of an OS 21-bar.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 12:27 PM

never mind the cleaning...learn to tune first!


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: Bill D
Date: 04 Nov 08 - 01:05 PM

Wrap a good paper towel, perhaps treated with a bit of EndDust,around a thin wood or plastic ruler and slide it under the strings.


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: GUEST,k.s
Date: 05 Aug 17 - 07:41 PM

I love you!!!!!! and I'm embarrassed I didn't think of something so simple,
yet amazing. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: CupOfTea
Date: 05 Aug 17 - 09:16 PM

I use the furniture polish saturated towelettes (Pledge brand I think) with a thin ruler. It holds up well. Getting the dust down at the base of the strings, where you can't always manipulate the ruler, I work the towelette back and forth under the strings by nudging it from between the strings with a chopstick to rub at the gunk till I can pull it out the bass strings side.

For fluff or crud between the bars, a trick I picked up cleaning a computer keyboard is to use the sticky edge of a post-it note between and remove crud that way.

Have fun with yer autoharp!

Joanne in Cleveland (who has 4 to play and 2 for wall ornament)


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Aug 17 - 05:02 PM

I like the idea of oil to protect the old steel strings.


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Aug 17 - 02:17 AM

Oil on the strings? Sounds a bit like The Lad That Put the Butter on the Auld Man's Bow....


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Subject: RE: Cleaning an Autoharp
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel
Date: 07 Aug 17 - 06:41 AM

You could probably get some ideas from this specialist


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