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Thread: Any musical instrument plans out there?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Kalamazoo, MI

    Unhappy Any musical instrument plans out there?

    My son sprung a project on me last night that is due on March 5. He needs to build a musical instrument and write a paper on how it works, etc. using a bunch of scientific terms. In his defense, he received the assignment on 2.26.08 so this isn't a procrastination issue.

    Do any of you folks know of some type of instrument, probably percussion, that he could whip up in the shop with my guidance????

    It seems like I have seen something out there before, but I didn't have any luck searching for (simple) stuff on the net.
    Kyle in K'zoo
    Screws are kinda like knots, if you can't use the right one, use lots of 'em.
    The greatest tragedy in life is the gruesome murder of a beautiful theory by a brutal gang of facts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Yorktown, VA
    Simplest would be a digerido? PVC pipe cut to a certain length with a rubber plumbing reducer on the end as a mouthpiece. I made some for my grands in about 15 minutes. Plenty of theory on google...just a thought.

    Also think about a tongue drum..I think that's what they are called..simple rectangular box with cut outs in the top that resonate when struck with a bonker. Depends on how old your son is.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Thanks Ted, I'll check out the d-thing. I found a pvc hang drum video on you tube and the feller had a link to his web page with explicit instructions on how to make one. The hang drum sounds like the tubulums that the Blue Man Group uses.
    Kyle in K'zoo
    Screws are kinda like knots, if you can't use the right one, use lots of 'em.
    The greatest tragedy in life is the gruesome murder of a beautiful theory by a brutal gang of facts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Waterford, MI
    Dont know if he had any plans but...
    Use the fence Luke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Auburn, ME
    I remember seeing David Marks make a full size coffee table 'drum' a while back on woodworks. I'm sure you could scale it down to a small box size and get some unique sounds out of it.
    Good Luck,

  6. #6
    There is also the "tongue drum" which is pretty easy to make. Plans for a simple one here (ten bucks)
    and an even simpler one here (free)
    and a really good "tongue drum" web site at


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Escondido, CA
    Another simple and useful drum is the cajone. This is a drum box that you sit on as you play. The only keys are to make it a comfortable height for the player to sit on and to have one surface fairly thin wood (1/8" to 1/4" - plywood is fine) with a big hole in the back or bottom.

    These drums were invented in poor communities in the Americas (Haiti, Brazilian seaports) by African immigrants playing on old crates or dresser drawers.

    They play like congas or other hand drums, only you slap the front instead of the top.

    Besides, it's fun to say you are playing your cajones (or that you made your own!)
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Bellingham, WA

    musical insturment

    this is a little late but.......A glokenspiel is pretty easy for kids to make. Take a length of copper tubing and have the kids cut it into the following lengths with a pipe cutter 10 1/2", 11 1/16", 11 3/16", 12 7/8",
    13 9/16". You can use any length but these measurments will get close to actually having it tuned to actual notes.
    Then take two 1 x 2's, about 10" long and set them on edge about 4" apart at one end and 6" at the other. Fasten two cross pieces to hold the upright 1 x 2's in place. Flip the hole thing over and put nails in the top of both 1 x2's every 1 1/2", approximatey across from each other. String rubber bands between the nails and insert the pipes between the rubber bands. Now all you need is a beater which can be made from a dowel and with a rubber ball at the end or a pencil with one of those stick on erasers. The glockenspiel will actually sound pretty good.
    Good luck,

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Spring Lake, MI


    You guys a thinking too hard. How about Claves, a cuban percussion instrument consisting of two sticks of wood. One is held in one hand hand while the other strikes it in a rhythmic fashion. Do a google search for clave. It's an very easy woodturning project.

  10. #10
    Not exactly great for a quick school project, but if you'd want to built a serious musical instrument, have a look at the following websites:

    www mimf com


    Last edited by Jim Becker; 03-20-2008 at 1:48 PM. Reason: Removed direct link to another forum...prohibited by TOS

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