3 octave Marimba

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Project by johnstoneb posted 01-29-2017 03:06 PM 1634 views 6 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a three octave marimba I made for my grandson. His elementary school has a marimba band and my daughter wanted a marimba for him. I have a hard time saying no to my daughter and DIL and their kids.
The bars are made from padauk the frame is cherry. The bars are finished with danish oil and the frame has several coats of lacquer. This definitely was an educational experience for me and got me way out of my comfort zone. I also did a blog on this. You can see that in the blog section.
I think I will try a mountain dulcimer next. (Thank You Dave Rutan)

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

27 comments so far

View Woodchuck2010's profile


706 posts in 790 days

#1 posted 01-29-2017 03:24 PM

Amazing! Great job!!!

-- Chuck, Michigan,

View builtinbkyn's profile (online now)


2041 posts in 872 days

#2 posted 01-29-2017 03:30 PM

Wow! That’s something very special and beautiful. It’s a good bet that your grandson has the only marimba made by grandpa with love. Excellent job!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4110 posts in 2340 days

#3 posted 01-29-2017 03:40 PM

Wow, incredible piece of work.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View BenDupre's profile


586 posts in 419 days

#4 posted 01-29-2017 04:04 PM

Holy Cow! There are some amazing lumberjocks on here. How do you even tune something like this? Get the right wood that will ring appropriately? OR How do you even finish something like this before a school year is gone? You are amazing!

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

420 posts in 2999 days

#5 posted 01-29-2017 04:17 PM

A stunning accomplishment … and for your Grandson!

This is a special kind of wow.

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View Dutchy's profile


2793 posts in 2100 days

#6 posted 01-29-2017 04:21 PM

Very nice and soon I hope to hear the sound. Also thanks for the blog.


View woodcox's profile


2014 posts in 1943 days

#7 posted 01-29-2017 05:25 PM

Very nice work Bruce. Good blog post too.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Kelster58's profile (online now)


521 posts in 471 days

#8 posted 01-29-2017 06:20 PM

That is way cool ! I hope you and your family enjoy it for years to come. I read on line that if you are not totally committed to making one of these don’t start because you will get frustrated with the process. GREAT job.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View PaulDoug's profile


1486 posts in 1635 days

#9 posted 01-29-2017 09:01 PM

AWESOME!! I just do not know how else to describe it.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28576 posts in 2269 days

#10 posted 01-30-2017 12:50 AM

Truly an incredible build.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View htl's profile


3690 posts in 1091 days

#11 posted 01-30-2017 01:00 AM

Super nice Project.
How cool would it be to hear some one playing an interment You had made!

-- Learn More About Making Wooden Models. An Index Of My Model making Blogs.

View dannmarks's profile


467 posts in 513 days

#12 posted 01-30-2017 01:02 AM

Truly cool dude

View Belford's profile


76 posts in 439 days

#13 posted 01-30-2017 02:03 AM

I saw one of these being made on TV (How it’s made show). It’s defiantly no easy feat.
You did a good job.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3227 posts in 3644 days

#14 posted 01-30-2017 03:44 AM


You must be bursting with pride! What a blessed grandson! To accomplish it so quickly is a feat in itself. Were I to undergo such a thing, it would end up for the great-grandson it would take so long, (except it could never happen because I have neither your skills nor your patience!). Maybe it will end up being played by many generations.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View bushmaster's profile


2808 posts in 2214 days

#15 posted 01-30-2017 05:36 AM

Very impressed with your build. Far far beyond what I could think of doing, my hat goes off to you.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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