3 octave Marimba

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Project by johnstoneb posted 01-29-2017 03:06 PM 2538 views 7 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a three octave marimba I made for my grandson. His elementary school has a marimba band and my daughter wanted a marimba for him. I have a hard time saying no to my daughter and DIL and their kids.
The bars are made from padauk the frame is cherry. The bars are finished with danish oil and the frame has several coats of lacquer. This definitely was an educational experience for me and got me way out of my comfort zone. I also did a blog on this. You can see that in the blog section.
I think I will try a mountain dulcimer next. (Thank You Dave Rutan)

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

27 comments so far

View Woodchuck2010's profile


745 posts in 1983 days

#1 posted 01-29-2017 03:24 PM

Amazing! Great job!!!

-- Chuck, Michigan,

View builtinbkyn's profile


3027 posts in 2065 days

#2 posted 01-29-2017 03:30 PM

Wow! That’s something very special and beautiful. It’s a good bet that your grandson has the only marimba made by grandpa with love. Excellent job!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


9660 posts in 3534 days

#3 posted 01-29-2017 03:40 PM

Wow, incredible piece of work.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View BenDupre's profile


813 posts in 1613 days

#4 posted 01-29-2017 04:04 PM

Holy Cow! There are some amazing lumberjocks on here. How do you even tune something like this? Get the right wood that will ring appropriately? OR How do you even finish something like this before a school year is gone? You are amazing!

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

426 posts in 4192 days

#5 posted 01-29-2017 04:17 PM

A stunning accomplishment … and for your Grandson!

This is a special kind of wow.

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View Dutchy's profile


4132 posts in 3293 days

#6 posted 01-29-2017 04:21 PM

Very nice and soon I hope to hear the sound. Also thanks for the blog.


View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 3137 days

#7 posted 01-29-2017 05:25 PM

Very nice work Bruce. Good blog post too.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 1665 days

#8 posted 01-29-2017 06:20 PM

That is way cool ! I hope you and your family enjoy it for years to come. I read on line that if you are not totally committed to making one of these don’t start because you will get frustrated with the process. GREAT job.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View PaulDoug's profile


2569 posts in 2828 days

#9 posted 01-29-2017 09:01 PM

AWESOME!! I just do not know how else to describe it.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30620 posts in 3463 days

#10 posted 01-30-2017 12:50 AM

Truly an incredible build.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View htl's profile


5472 posts in 2284 days

#11 posted 01-30-2017 01:00 AM

Super nice Project.
How cool would it be to hear some one playing an interment You had made!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View dannmarks's profile


1026 posts in 1706 days

#12 posted 01-30-2017 01:02 AM

Truly cool dude

View Belford's profile


77 posts in 1633 days

#13 posted 01-30-2017 02:03 AM

I saw one of these being made on TV (How it’s made show). It’s defiantly no easy feat.
You did a good job.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3656 posts in 4837 days

#14 posted 01-30-2017 03:44 AM


You must be bursting with pride! What a blessed grandson! To accomplish it so quickly is a feat in itself. Were I to undergo such a thing, it would end up for the great-grandson it would take so long, (except it could never happen because I have neither your skills nor your patience!). Maybe it will end up being played by many generations.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View bushmaster's profile


4127 posts in 3407 days

#15 posted 01-30-2017 05:36 AM

Very impressed with your build. Far far beyond what I could think of doing, my hat goes off to you.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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