Electric Marimba made of purple heart, Ebony, and Flamed Maple

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Project by Eddie G posted 02-27-2014 02:33 AM 1027 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my latest project. It is a Marimba I made for my step daughter’s birthday.
The box is made of flamed maple and the keys are purple heart. the two handles are ebony. I purchased a set of plans for this from . Very detailed and helpful in the process. The keys need to be a very dense wood so I chose purple heart. I used all flamed maple for the box instead of the MDF the plans called for. I figured it would give me some beauty and possibly more resonance. Beauty yes, the MDF would have given my sound chambers more ridgidity and I think I lost out on volume there… As you can see the box is separated and incrementally smaller in volume as well as smaller in width. It wasn’t very hard to assemble. The pickups are a simple piezo set with volume and tone . I soldered in a 3rd one and mounted one each in the center of each chamber. Tuning the keys was …. not easy. Attention to detail when initially cutting the stock is critical. I have 3 keys on my shop floor that refused to tune. When I remeasured… I was off my a hair both width and length. The instrument sounds fantastic and hooked into a good amp…. any effect is possible. This was fun and I intend on building a full size one … Someday…. There I said it… Someday.

-- Ed G., Hillsboro, Oregon, U.S.A.

6 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14586 posts in 1026 days

#1 posted 02-27-2014 02:45 AM

Thank you for not using the MDF. You did a really nice job on it.

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

View Ken90712's profile


15102 posts in 1877 days

#2 posted 02-27-2014 09:49 AM

What a great and interesting project! Thx for sharing…..

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View clarkey's profile


447 posts in 1744 days

#3 posted 02-27-2014 11:35 AM

Thats very cool

View TraylorPark's profile


32 posts in 286 days

#4 posted 02-28-2014 12:19 AM

Very cool. How did you get the blue color? Is that just from the flaming?

View Eddie G's profile

Eddie G

24 posts in 262 days

#5 posted 02-28-2014 01:05 AM

The blue is a color stain for musical instruments.,_tints,_and_stains/ColorTone_Liquid_Stains.html

-- Ed G., Hillsboro, Oregon, U.S.A.

View mcoyfrog's profile


3272 posts in 2282 days

#6 posted 04-03-2014 06:46 PM

This is kewl i love it, I make tounge drums and would love to try my hand at this, thanks for sharing

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

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