Instructables
Picture of LAP PIANO

Make a small light real Piano placed on your lap.and played like a real piano.It also can function as an exerciser for people who have to exercise their arthritic fingers.It will play 2 octaves with sharps and flats.

 
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Step 1: INTRODUCTION

Picture of INTRODUCTION
   This novel piano uses strings and keys like a real piano. I does have its own sound but is
pleasing to hear and play.It can be used by patients who are bed ridden or arthritic and so the instrument can be used on the bed or lap. Hence the title.It only weighs less than 2 pounds and can be made from standard materials found in local craft stores and hardware stores .
    An earlier Instructable initiated this instrument idea. That release the Mini-Piano was released back in an Instructable November 5,2009 and did not have sharps and flat keys.These were thus added here.
    The piano was made in 40 hours of effort and not including search for the materials. Also any one who is a top craftsman may use up time on the wood and appearance if he wishes.I wish to enter this Instructable for the Health Contest.
Pineapplepug9 months ago
if i wanted to make this 4 octaves, what would the measurements be?
mistic (author)  Pineapplepug9 months ago
It would not be practical due to the limitation of the sstring lengths.
Three octaves maybe. I have not tried it beyond 2 oct.
Thank you! that's helpful.
The reason i was asking was because i have to make a musical instrument for my physics project and i'm using your design for the keys but making the body different measurements and im planning on making it 4 or five octaves.
Pineapplepug9 months ago
if i wanted to make this 4 octaves, what would the measurements be?
n0ukf3 years ago
Looking at the pictures and description, I don't get what strikes the strings when you press the keys. All I see is that you're removing a damping pad from the string when the key is pressed down. Where's the hammer to strike the string?
mistic (author)  n0ukf3 years ago
hi- the hammer does not strike the string as in a regular piano apparatus .
The adhesion at the tip of the lever grabs the string and pulls it upword as you press the arm of the key down.. .
Then- after x grams of pull the adhesive releases the string and it vibrates freely for a few seconds.It stops when you release the key- arm -going down making contact and muting the string.
hope this helps visualize the operation.
I use weights to press the adhesive onto the strings as 20 grams. I could use wire springs but have not found any that will push at a accurate grams push down of the adhesive tip onto the strings.Im open to suggestions.


n0ukf mistic3 years ago
Plucking the strings? Then it's an adhesive harpsichord, not a piano.
mistic (author)  n0ukf3 years ago
Sounds like a novel instrument we developed.. Sure sounds good too.
or can i use rubber band as a string?
mistic (author)  keithosmarferrer3 years ago
yes. but it must be of the hi-tech modern plastic material as used in jewelry stretch string found in craft stores. Neoprene and natural rubber materials appear to deteriorate after a year of use. The New material will withstand at least 10 years of use.
can i use nylon as a string?
mistic (author)  keithosmarferrer3 years ago
Yes and No. NYLON string is non-stretching and wont work in our mechanical tuning set-up. It will work if you can get [1] a robust tuning type screw as used in Uku's. and [2] if you make the Frame much more robust so it can withstand the higher stress used in Nylon strings for tuning to a desired note.
The key advantage to use of stretchable strings or cords is [a] ease of tuning and [b] very low stress used so that the tuner and frame are easy to make and of a lower material cost.
This is the main reason we used stretchable strings in our mini-instruments
We have been using stretchable strings since 2001.See instructables.
happyjo4 years ago
This is pretty awesome! i wish I was crafty enough to build myself!
mistic (author)  happyjo4 years ago
Thanks for the comment. After I made it I asked .. can any one do it themselves and the answer from various contacts was it looks easy in its steps but may be tedious to do.
Now to simplify the steps... I am working on it and will publish it in my web page --
www.misticdiycrafts.webs.com .
It would be much more worthwhile if you turned those pictures the right side up so you can actually read it without twisting your neck. Or is that intended as exercise?
8bit4 years ago
It is a wonderful piece of equipment. The writeup and photos are not always easy to follow however. Once I figure out what exactly you did here, will definitely make myself something like this.
Whales 8bit4 years ago
 I agree, It's not the wording to me, its that the text is somewhat muffled together.

Will definitely try when i have more than $5 on me. Maybe i'll experiment alittle. hopefully i can find/make a hammer system to it will play like a piano. All though no offence to this I just dont have arthritus. and think it would be cool to have something like this around, just with improvments.

Great Job.
mistic (author)  8bit4 years ago
thanks  8- I agree-this is not easy to explain on paper.sounds likie a lot of step
and it is. May i suggest you try making the stringed instrument  first minus the keying. My other Instructables go into detail on stringed instruments i have made.
     When done you will have a Lyre  to play  if you stop construction now. Adding keys is a part B and  may have to explain this more to you. The novel idea here is that the strings will be keyed using an thin adhesive double stick tape to pick up the string and release it  when pulling  the stick up forcfully. I have used this uglu adhesive  preferably over other tapes as Scotch tape. It hold its stick to it ness -
No changes  were seen for at least 3 years of playing  my older instruments.
jtobako4 years ago
So releasing the keys is what plays the strings, rather than a piano's hammers or a harpsichords plucking? 

Is there a way to let the strings ring on, or does the weight of the key just act as a fret?
mistic (author)  jtobako4 years ago
that is correct.When you release pressure on the pushed down key the weights drop the tip down onto the string stopping vibration. however holding down the key will have a ring on effect. This way it plays like a piano.
rimar20004 years ago
Very good work, mistic, as alwalys!
mistic (author)  rimar20004 years ago
I had no big problem constructing it.There were a few areas that needed patience as mounting the strings then mounting each key  and alighning it in the side mounts.
and finally cut and locating the adhesive pick ups just right. Other wise it is easy.