Making a Marimba

This is the third Marimba I have built, all with plans from the book 'Make your own Marimbas' by Jon Madin. This build was for a customer and they requested a smaller sized box resonated Marimba (2 octave) the plans in the book are for a 3 1/2 octave. I had to modify the plans to suit. The local school where my Daughter attends and plays in the Marimba band, have Marimbas this size built by the music teacher - they sound amazing, so there is no problem with the modifications. The frame and legs could be made out of any wood but I have built all mine with plywood as I like the look. The box has to be made with a specific thickness plywood but you will need to get the book for more details.
Tuning the bars is the most time consuming part of the project. I’ve tried different approaches of removing the wood - I’ve used the bandsaw but that is too easy to take too much off and ruin the bar so I think the best approach is with a chisel. I used my iPhone with a tuning app which I’ve tested next to a tuner on my first Marimba and there was no difference.

The sound in the video does not do the Marimba any justice as I’m recording with the camera’s built in mic and that is very poor indeed.

It’s a fun project and the kids love to play the Marimba (we have a lot of kids visit our home and they all ask to play it) so I highly recommend building one.

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