Let me start by explaining where and from whom I got help. I used this website
to get some basic information on how wide and long to cut the marimba bars. In fabrication I got help from one family member who helped rough cut some of the bars. The rest is all my work.
I am a mallet percussionist who loves the marimba. About four years ago I had a problem. Though I loved percussion, I had no way of practicing at home. There were cheap options. I could have bought a bell kit. But I hate the sounds they make. I wanted a very large five octave marimba but didn't have the money to simply purchase one (7000+ dollars). So I decided against all common sense I would build one.
The goal: build a five octave marimba, without spending a fortune. Use whatever supplies are available to keep the cost low. (The keys are made from an oak tree which was struck by lightning several years ago!)
I hope this instructable will inspire others but I want to give a word of warning. This is an extremely ambitious project and will likely takes a year or two for the average individual (like me) to complete.
Some notes about the included audio recording:
The marimba was playing using the same mallet across the entire five octave range. for this reason, the mallet I chose was a little too hard for the lowest note, and a little too soft for the highest note.