A previously noted in an August 18th post, standard 3/16 inch zither pins are used to hold and tune the strings on the kantele. The holes for the pins must be drilled 1 ¼ inch deep and as close to vertical as possible. A drill press was used to ensure that the holes were the right depth and perfectly vertical in the instrument. I thank Charlie Engle for his assistance and the use of his drill press to complete this step.
The standard zither pins must be inserted until 7/8 inch is left above the surface of the instrument before the strings are attached. The pins can be tapped in a bit with a hammer and then turned with the tuner to the right height, or they can be be more quickly hammered in all the way to the correct height. I implemented the second method and used a 7/8-inch thick piece of wood with a hole drilled in it to stop the hammer at the right distance. As the last few pins were installed I began to feel a sense of excitement and anticipation – all I had remaining to do was install the strings and the instrument would be complete!