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Homemade Marimba Mallets

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Picture of Homemade Marimba Mallets
If you know anything about playing percussion (apart from just hitting stuff), you'd know that playing the all-time-best instruments come at a cost. Sticks and mallets are so darn expensive for a ball and a stick. So welcome to my guide on making your own mallets which do sound rather fabulous. I hope you enjoy.

(Quick shoutout)
http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-Your-Own-Marimba/
RocketScientist, inspiring and impressive. I look up to you, good sir.





Steps 2-5: Preparing the Shaft
Steps 6-7: Preparing the Core
Step 8: Assembly
Steps 9-12: Wrapping
Step 13: Repeat steps 2-12 three more times
Step 14: Evaluation
 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
Materials
-Wooden dowel, ideally, birch or rattan but it can be hard to come by. I used 9.5mm Tas Oak. I believe most commercial mallets are 8mm. You'll need enought, obviously, for however many mallets you are making. Generally, 40cm mallets are good, so a 0.8m or 1.6m length would be ideal for 2 and 4 mallets respectively.

-Chair tips, the things you put on the ends of legs of chairs to stop them skidding. I think I used 19mm size, leftovers from the cajon project. Anything much over 19mm will result in a mallet way to large. I used rubber, plastic ones would give a different tone.

-Larger wooden dowel, to fit in the chair tips.

-Yarn, Wool or Cord, there are no real definitions here, I used thin 4ply wool

-Glue, I just used PVA, you could use epoxy or whatever you feel is strongest.


Tools
-Small saw
(or large, it doesn't really matter I guess)
-Scissors
-Large needle
-Pencil
-Sandpaper, fine and coarse
-Drill/Drill press (not pictured)
        -> Drill bit the diameter of the shaft (not pictured)
-Tape Measure/Ruler (not pictured)

-Safety gear - glasses, ear protection, etc. (not pictured)

cjs12989 months ago
My Front Ensemble instructor may like me making these!
Exscaly (author)  cjs12989 months ago
Ooh, that should be fun! If you do, show us the results! :D Good luck!
Paladin600410 months ago
Looks great! Only question is if it sounds just as great
Exscaly (author)  Paladin600410 months ago
Thanks :) I'll be uploading a sound comparison as soon as I can get back to the instrument (24th June). Sorry for the wait, I hope you've enjoyed it!
Exscaly (author)  Exscaly10 months ago
Apologies, the sound quality of the recording I did today was absolutely trash, so I'll try it again soon. Sorry for the long wait.
TheMrCOOLguy210 months ago
Perfect instructable
Flawless
3366carlos10 months ago
how about a video of you playing marimba?
Exscaly (author)  3366carlos10 months ago
Yep! As I mentioned in the instructable, I'll be posting that in a week. I currently can't access the marimba, but when I can, I'll be sure to post one :)
skidrum10 months ago
You'll get a fuller sound if you use something like a rubber bouncy ball for the core. I've also seen hard plastic ball cores covered in latex tubing. Great Instructable!
Exscaly (author)  skidrum10 months ago
I actually tried using a bouncy ball at one stage, but I only tested it on the lowest range of a xylophone, where it barely made a noise. Maybe they'd make good low-mid range mallets. Thanks for the tip!
Paladin600410 months ago
As a regular mallet thatcis
Pro

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