Thumb Piano

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Project by nonickswood posted 08-19-2013 10:23 PM 2566 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this little box a long time ago but just recently came across a piece of electrician’s fish tape to make the keys out of.
Box made from 1/4” Luan, Black Walnut, small piece of Maple for key rest.
Finish; Wipe On Poly.

As you can see/hear ~ it sounds OK, but obviously the operator needs a lot of practice!

Thanks for taking a look.

-- Nick, Virginia,

12 comments so far

View Gary's profile


9386 posts in 3669 days

#1 posted 08-19-2013 10:28 PM

It’s really cool. You did a good job.
I had plans for these things once but, can’t find them now. Would like to give it a try

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View jmartel's profile


8279 posts in 2387 days

#2 posted 08-20-2013 12:00 AM

Looks good and sounds pretty good. You should practice so you can play this on it:

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 2834 days

#3 posted 08-20-2013 12:34 AM

Nick; nice Kalimba. My uncle was in the navy and went to Africa and bought me a real Kalimba in 1962. I played it ever day. I let my brother borrow it and he lost it. I made another out of Bloodwood. They are simple and interesting instrument. I made the fingers out of the tines of a lawn rake.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View jackthelab's profile


313 posts in 2929 days

#4 posted 08-20-2013 02:04 AM

Never made one but I have heard that oil dipsticks could also be used.

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

View PASs's profile


595 posts in 3335 days

#5 posted 08-20-2013 02:11 AM

I’d have never thought of the rake.
Wonder how those plastic tines sound?

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View scoops's profile


56 posts in 2660 days

#6 posted 08-20-2013 03:07 AM

Good job, Nick….looks good, sounds good! But could you enlighten me, what exactly is electrician’s fish tape??
You gotta make allowances for us Aussies!!

-- yesterday today was tomorrow

View nonickswood's profile


554 posts in 2624 days

#7 posted 08-20-2013 10:52 AM

Thank You All, for your comments.
Don, I have seen your Kalimba very nice might have to try one with more keys like yours.
Scoops, here is ~ What Is a Fish Tape?

-- Nick, Virginia,

View drbyte's profile


816 posts in 4299 days

#8 posted 08-20-2013 01:24 PM

Nice Job!! Great sound holes too! I tried fish-tape for my last one but it never did sound right. Needs some fine tuning I guess.

-- Dennis, WV

View geezerglide's profile


10 posts in 2085 days

#9 posted 08-21-2013 06:44 PM

Good job, I made one a couple of years ago, a lot of my friends get a kick out of playing with it!

Al, Puyallup, Wa.


View mcoyfrog's profile


4558 posts in 3831 days

#10 posted 08-22-2013 07:04 PM

wow very cool..

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View mafe's profile


11771 posts in 3326 days

#11 posted 05-03-2015 10:50 AM

Amazing all that sound from that fine little box.
Play us a tune when you get there.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3103 days

#12 posted 05-03-2015 01:17 PM

That’s very creative and nicely done. I haven’t seen one of these and I bet that it’s a fun project. BTW, from the sound of the dogs in the background on the video they seemed a little annoyed with the musician. It really sounds nice and has a good tone.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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