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My Little Girls Xylophone

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Project by boatworkstoday posted 01-29-2012 06:11 AM 2413 views 11 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was one of the Christmas gifts that I made for my daughter (she’ll be 2 on Feb 20); it is made out of Sapele and heartwood of a huge birch tree that I had milled from our property (the same birch that I made her crib out of :-)

This project was actually 1 of 4 gift ideas that I video’d and put together as Christmas gift ideas. The Xylophone is finished in a combination of bees wax and mineral oil (Clapham’s salad bowl finish; certified child safe) and is tuned in the key of ‘A’ so that MaMa and PaPa could go through the scale with her and teach her the beginning of the ABC’s… Not sure if that’s going to work or not….

All the spacing between the keys and sound box is tight enough so that she can’t get her little fingers caught and the keys themselves are recessed to protect them in the event of the guaranteed drop on the tile floor :-O

One unexpected use for this is that it doubles as a stepping stool (didn’t see that one coming!) but it’s solid enough that it works well..

Anyone interested in building this, here’s a link to the 2 part video that’s basically a step by step ‘How-To’..

Part 1: http://boatworkstoday.com/archives/715
Part 2: http://boatworkstoday.com/archives/717

If anyone decides to build one, please send me some pics!! It’s a fun project to do!!

Unfortunately this was the only project that I didn’t include downloadable templates for as the size and shape of the keys are somewhat irrelevant.. With an understanding of the tuning, size and shape really doesn’t matter all that much….

This xylophone is really in tune!! Check out the videos to listen for yourself :-)

Thank you!

-- Andy Miller, Boatworkstoday.com; Twitter:@BoatworksToday





12 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112103 posts in 2234 days


#1 posted 01-29-2012 06:16 AM

Very cool xylophone and a cut little daughter.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View schloemoe's profile

schloemoe

691 posts in 1594 days


#2 posted 01-29-2012 06:43 AM

Nice xylophone , She looks perfectly happy with it and thas all that counts….......................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www. woodrehab.blogspot.com

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1210 posts in 1093 days


#3 posted 01-29-2012 07:15 AM

The greatest thing about making a toy is seeing the child’s smile!

Really cute kid! The xylophone is really nice too!

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View florentin's profile

florentin

65 posts in 976 days


#4 posted 01-29-2012 07:56 AM

Very nice work!
How did you figure out the length of each key, in order to get the right pitch?

-- http://www.florentintise.com/

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14125 posts in 2247 days


#5 posted 01-29-2012 09:24 AM

Nice project and that little girl is so cute!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View boatworkstoday's profile

boatworkstoday

20 posts in 967 days


#6 posted 01-29-2012 09:30 AM

The tuning was a bit of trial and error (initially more error).. Actually found that the length of the key didn’t play as big of a factor as I thought in the pitch.. It’s all about the dishing on the underside. A square box with keys of the same length can still be “tuned” the same as using keys of different lengths.. I personally just liked to have a little shape to the design…

-- Andy Miller, Boatworkstoday.com; Twitter:@BoatworksToday

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1893 days


#7 posted 01-29-2012 12:59 PM

Wow what a beautiful smile! It’s going to be a while, but I see grandchildren playing with this Xylophone in your future. When it happens it’s going to feel like it was only yesterday that you built this project. If you go to a trophy shop and get a small brass plaque engraved with both your name and your daughters as well as the date it was given to her then a beautiful gift like this will stay in the family for generations.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View MShort's profile

MShort

1726 posts in 2075 days


#8 posted 01-29-2012 04:18 PM

By the smile on your daughter’s face… I would say she like the xylophone Dad !!! Nice work.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Phil277's profile

Phil277

146 posts in 980 days


#9 posted 01-29-2012 05:19 PM

Very nice work, I’m sure your daughter will be playing beautiful music for years to come.
I couldn’t help but notice that the couch she is sitting on looks identical to the one I am sitting on right now.

Phil

View EyeOfTheJen's profile

EyeOfTheJen

205 posts in 1073 days


#10 posted 01-29-2012 06:01 PM

This is great and I love instructional videos. on my list of projects to do for Christmas this year. :)

-- Jen ~ Happiness is being covered in sawdust.

View SuburbanDon's profile

SuburbanDon

484 posts in 1650 days


#11 posted 01-30-2012 03:13 AM

Nice job. I think the best gift is the happy little girl.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15698 posts in 2875 days


#12 posted 01-30-2012 04:01 AM

I don’t know about the xylophone, but that first photo is an absolute winner for sure!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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