Homemade musical Instrument that works – Kalimba


Hello youtubers, I am josh (for those who’ve
asked what my name is) and this is my DIY channel Videoepo
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roll that intro! What are we making in this video? As a kid I used to plunge the blades on the
school desk and would a make a sound such as this… It really annoyed my teachers, let’s do that
again… I never imagined that the same concept could
be used to make a musical instrument that could be so much soothing and relaxing. Here is the kalimba… you like how it sounds
right… let’s make one I did make a kalimba with a coconut shell
before, and in fact it was my first attempt. I am really happy how it turned out to be. I learnt a thing or two from mistake and decided
to make a bigger one with wider range of notes. The last time I did not have a proper audio
gear to capture its sound, so now let’s give it a try with my new Zoom H1 field recorder. Now these vibrating metal strips are called
tines. They are available online but you can salvage
one from an old wiper blade. If are wondering how many of those wiper blade
did I sacrifice, actually I didn’t I went to the automobile repair and recycle
area and got these for 10 rs each. Hard part actually was to explain them what
I needed and why! This is actually a wooden electrical conduit
box available ready made for forty rupees and I thought I will be using these in making
my Kalimba.You can always use this if you are not bothered about it weight.But I felt
the walls of the box are made with thick pieces of wood. I prefer making my own version of a box which
has got thinner walls. Now the question is will this resonate? I am not an expert to tell you that, but I
am going to stick to its size anyways. Now these are wooden battens and interestingly
these are called reepers here in India. You will not find that word in the popular
dictionary but that is what they are called here and I am going to stick to my terminology
while I am making my kalimba. The required pieces were cut the pieces and
glued together. Now, here is cool Trick I learnt from izzy
swans videos, on how to glue all these pieces together. Two wooden pieces have been nailed to a scrap
board. The distance between the two pieces is just
a little over the final required size and it’s perfectly squared. Place a paper on it to catch any of the glue
squeeze to avoid the work piece sticking to the board itself. Then all the pieces were laid by gluing them
side to side. Once the last wooden reeper piece is set,
I cut two small wedges and tapped it on the gap securing all of the pieces nice and tight. This acts like a clamp. Then, added a weight on top to avoid it popping
outside which is not so likely but just in case. Then the other side pieces were cut and glued
as well. While it’s drying let’s cut the top part
from a 6 mm plywood. Now we have a box in similar size to the electrical
conduit box which weighs much lighter. Before putting on the top part, let’s prepare
the tines and, a ridge to hold all of it in place. By mounting a wood cutting wheel to my dremel
and turning the work station to 90 degrees, it can be used for cutting wood. I made sure the blade is barely touching the
wood and pushing the wood through it, makes a ridge that can support a cycle spokes in
it. The cycle spokes was cut to length and glued
on the ridge. To make the tension rod, I used a piece of
steel rod from my left over project. It was cut, filed and sanded and the result
crapy … It was cut, drilled and sanded again… the result was crapy again.. I did that for an entire day to get only poor
results. Two reasons,
First -poor drill bits. Please use cobalt metal drill bits
Second- the trigger on the drill is almost like a clutch of a vehicle. If can’t control its speed its bound to drive
everywhere ruining your work piece I needed to find a solution and I found this
aluminium tube. This aluminium tube is very thin and I assumed
it might bend when the tines apply upward tension so I filled it up with epoxy putty The tines can be cut with a simple metal saw. The sharp edges are grinded and a small curl
is made with pliers for comfortable playing. Using a hole saw a hole was drilled on the
top plywood cover. Then the top part was glued and was the bridge
piece on to its place. Instead of inserting the Bolt in the nut from
above, the bolt is added with a washer and inserted from inside the acoustic hole. The bolt is fetched through the hole using
a screw driver and a neodymium magnet. Having only two bolt on the edges of the bridge
to told the tension rod was not holding the tines in the center. The center rod curves. It is due to the upward tension exerted by
the tines. I guess it is the reason for the bridge on
the guitar being curved To counteract this problem, I simply drilled
a third hole in the center of the tension rod and everything was fine. Using a rotary tool a notch was cut in the
bottom of the bolt. Now this could be used as its face and makes
its operation possible. To give this kalimba a better finish, wood
veneer was glued to its sides. You can check on wood working videos on how
to do this but in short, you need to apply this synthetic rubber based glue on both surfaces
and let it dry for a while as per the specs, then glue the two pieces together. I did not intend to paint the top, but did
it anyways. Once the paint is dry, It was time to insert
the tines in its place. Using a guitar tuning app, it was tuned to
C major scale. Well not exactly, but I did try
Let start playing this and immerse ourselves in Kalimba music Kalimba music is so soothing and relaxing
that I personally I feel that you should have one, in your living room, office room, or
even in your bag and start playing it whenever you feel like. Music has got something in itself that heals
that makes us feel a lot better. I hope this video inspires you to make or
buy your own kalimba. Thanks for watching this complete video and
if you like this video please don’t forget to share it with your friends and please don’t
forget to subscribe. I will be back with my next video. Until then Bye!!!