hear the harp of Väinämöinen...

Kantele Building

I thought it would be fun to make my own five string kantele and chronicle the experience here. This is not a "how-to"...Michael King's already written an excellent "how to" construction guide if that's what you're looking for. (Read a review.) Instead, I share my thoughts, why I made certain decisions during the building process and, most importantly, share the results! If you have any questions about my kantele making attempts, please feel free to email me!

Choosing a Design

Choosing The Wood


Making the Kantele

Listen to the Kantele

This is a recording of me playing the traditional Finnish folk tune, Tottele, on the five string kantele I made.

Kantele Kits

Musicmakers is a Minnesota company that's been making and selling musical instruments, kits, blueprints, and supplies for over 30 years. They sell a kantele kit for a 10 string kantele with a solid mahogany soundboard and a solid walnut frame. It's simple to build and includes instructions and links to assembly videos to make the building process even easier.

Other Kantele Making Sites

Kantele Construction David P. Rueckert blogs about his kantele construction project, including lots of pictures.

An Instructable Make a traditional Finnish five string kantele in 7 steps.

Olli Niemitalo offers some basic directions on how to make a modern variant of the traditional kantele.

The Kantele Project This blogger describes, in depth, how he made his coal black kantele, which he named Sysi.