Hi Frances, I would suggest counting down your "black key rail pins plus one. Now count inward toward the center on that same side tuning pins. when you reach the plus one it should be the longest strings tuning pin. mark it with a marking pen, counting now up the white key rail side and tuning pins to make sure, if that counts right put on your longest lowest note string on the appropriate pins and count again to make sure you got that right before continuing on to string the white key side, then the black key side looking over the white key string to make sure black key rail is adjusted properly, don't forget to adjust up the tuning pins all even for stringing, they will turn in at least three turns, ready with their holes aimed in the same direction.
Thanks for the reply but I don't understand "black key rail & white key rail." Not sure I can follow this at all.
By "rail" I mean The side of the Bowed Psaltery where the zither pins are that you bow up against "black key" refers to the sharps and flat side, "white key" are the even space pins, and at the other end the tuning pins in the pin block which are actually turned to tune. You want to start by locating your longest lowest string to its rail pin,a cloth string might help you, and then bring it too the counted out tuning pin you think it goes to. after locating that is done count out the zither pins on both sides on the bowing pins and the tuning pins to make sure they count out right or you might end up with too many pins strung wrong so the is important.
I suggest that you go here. http://www.harpkit.com/category/bowedpsaltery.html
and look at their stringing chart. I totally love making these instruments and find that the ball end going in the pins that are on the top of the psaltery and then taking the strings and tightening them on the tuning end is the easiest way to go. period. there are some psaltery makers that use the same wire for two pins. very hard to teach to tune it and all. Go to this site, call them and they'll walk you through stringing your psaltery. They are wonderful in helping folks if they have or have not a kit of theirs.
Thanks, I'll check them out.