A wonderful weekend. On Friday morning we completed C2 and C#2, the massive bass notes for Paul’s marimba. I feel like we may be 1/2 way done at this point, but it is hard to tell… we have never built a marimba :-) Paul has been tracking our progress, and we have put in about 75 hours so far. If you look at our Progress-O-Meter you will see that we have finished two important steps: cutting the blank bars (in red) and rough-shaping the bars to about 1 whole note away from final pitch (in green). The next step will be to lay out all the bars and mark the “nodes” (see the salt test from a previous post). We will then average them all and draw two straight lines across each row, indicating where the holes will be drilled for the supporting string. We will final sand the top and sides of each key with 220, 400, and 600 grit paper and apply several layers of rubbed oil for the finish. The last step for the keys will be final tuning, sanding the arch until the fundamental and harmonics are in (near perfect) pitch. Wow. We continue to sketch out ideas for the frame… but that can wait. Our prime objective is to finish 61 keys (pun intended).
If you look carefully at the picture above you can see a couple keys that we will probably have to re-do. A couple are too short (because of tuning difficulties), and some may not have the right harmonics. We have a few pieces of wood remaining, and it should not be difficult to fix any mistakes.