Youtube's Woodworking Videos: How to make a Kantele, by Michael J King

Heres a great woodworking video by Luthier Michael King, in which he shows us how to construct a simple to build and fun to play instrument called a Kantele. A Kantele would be a great first project for an aspiring luthier.



If you like this video you should visit Michaels site, where you can find plans and instructions for this and other instruments can be purchased from his site. There are plans for 5, 10, 12 and 15 string kanteles as well as a piccolo kantele and the template for an electric kantele.

Michael also provides a short five part guide to tunning and playing the Kantele.


The kantele is the Finnish version of an instrument known throughout the world as either a zither or lap harp. The kantele is basically a triangular shaped sound box with strings running across the top of the instrument. When the strings - usually tuned to a diatonic scale - are plucked, a kantele will produce ringing bell-like tones.  The Kantele is from a class of instruments known as "Baltic psalteries." They sound similar to a harp but because of the way in which it is built and the way in which the strings are attached, a compelling and unique sound is produced as it is played.