Kanteles have a metal bar called a varras that the strings are attached to at one end of the instrument. After looking at several kantele plans and instrument examples, I determined I would use a 5/16” width metal rod for the varras of my instrument. A 36 inch long steel rod was purchased at Home Depot. This was a lot more than needed for my short 5” varras, but was the best option we could find. I have enough left over for about six more kanteles of this size.
The varras was cut to correct length with a hacksaw. Burrs were removed and the edges smoothed and beveled with a grinding wheel. The entire varras was cleaned and shined up with silicone carbide sandpaper.