|Project by Tim_CPWD||posted 04-06-2015 04:37 PM||1698 views||8 times favorited||15 comments|
Here is another project I made for my wife’s music class. She had more students than instruments so she asked if I would make her a xylophone. She has a number of these in her class purchased from Suzuki and they cost about $300 each. Her classroom budget did not support buying another so she asked me if I could build one. She brought me a xylophone from her classroom to look at. Using this along with information found on the internet I built the one you see in the picture. I made everything from scrap wood left over from other projects. The body of the instrument is made from Oak and the bars are made from Purple Heart. I finished everything with several coats of clear lacquer. We used small bungee cord purchased by the foot at a local fabric store under the bars. We also ordered a set of replacement screws with rubber grommets to hold the bars in place from Suzuki. We tuned the bars to the correct pitch using a music tuner application loaded on an IPhone. To lower the pitch if the sound was sharp you sand material away from the arch cut under the bar and to raise the pitch if the sound is flat you trim the ends of the bar at an angle making it shorter. It took awhile but we got all of the bars in tune. The three spare bars you see in the trays on the front are chromatic bars. By swapping these out (no tools required as the bars lift off over rubber grommets) with other bars on the instrument it allows you to play in a total of 3 major and 3 minor keys adding to the versatility of the instrument. Total cost outside of the scrap wood was less than $20. My wife and the students appreciated the instrument and I enjoyed watching their concert, both seeing and hearing it in action.
-- Tim Haenisch, San Diego Ca. http://www.facebook.com/commandperformancewooddesigns