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How to Build a Strum-Stick Musical Instrument

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Step 3: Make Cut either using Tablesaw or on the Bandsaw

Picture of Make Cut either using Tablesaw or on the Bandsaw
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Here you'll see I've built a special jig which rests up against the guide on the table saw. It angles the stick just slightly, so that it saws off the wedge that you marked earlier. It is much safer to use a jig, and I couldn't stress how much easier it was to take the time and build a jig.

Additionally, I had to build another piece for safety. The problem was that the wedges were so narrow, that when I sliced them off, they would stick in the little hole in between the blade and the cover. The remedy is to build a new cover, and fit it to the tablesaw hole. With the blade all the way down, put in the new piece for the cover, and rotate the handle until the blade is JUST the right height, thereby eliminating any space between the blade and the cover.


If you don't want to go to the trouble using a table-saw and jig, I recommend simply using the bandsaw. When making the cut, be sure to slow down when the blade reaches the end of the wedge, so that the stick doesn't slip forward when it slices through. Be safe, observe the 5 inch rule keeping fingers and thumbs 5 inches away from the blade. Since it is a straight cut, line up the angled line with any parallel line markings on the bandsaw platform, before starting to cut. Don't try to compensate for an improper angle by bending the wood, it could snap the blade! I recommend doing a few practice cuts on a piece of scrap before doing the real thing.

Lastly, just be sure to not go past 4.5 inches.
 
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