Musical Instruments #5: Marimba Resonators Time to build

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Blog entry by johnstoneb posted 12-24-2016 06:17 PM 1110 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Marimba Tune Time Part 5 of Musical Instruments series Part 6: Marimba Getting ready for final tune »

Time to start on the resonators. These are the pipes that hang below the keys and give the instrument its signature sound. The keys when struck sound like a musical note but they sound more like a piano than a marimba.
I went with as thin wall PVC pipe as I could get locally. I believe for the 2” it was about 140psi and the 1 1/2” about 160psi. The plans give the length to cut as I cut them i wrote the note inside the tube to keep them straight. Once they were all cut glued the cap on one end then time to tune.
The tubes when cut to length are on the flat side of the note and you sand or cut them shorter to sharpen them and bring them into tune. As I did with the wooden keys I rough tuned to within about 20 cents of the note and set them aside.

Here they are all rough tuned.

The tuning was done on the oscillating belt sander just grinding some off the open end then going to the tuner and hitting the closed end of the tube and repeat until where I want being very careful not to go past. Unlike the keys there is no way to bring the tune back if you go past it. I did get everything in tune with out having to make new resonators.

This is one that ended up on the final tune to be .8 Cent sharp almost perfect.

Nos I need to get all the PVC dust out of the shop. That stuff is worse than padauk dust. The static cling is everywhere.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

2 comments so far

View Dutchy's profile


3508 posts in 2773 days

#1 posted 12-24-2016 06:46 PM

View abie's profile


904 posts in 4375 days

#2 posted 12-25-2016 04:27 PM

I personally “wood” like to see the finished product
Pun Intended!!!

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

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