Introduction: My Kalimba

Picture of My Kalimba

ok this is my version of bobsdoghouse's kalimba or what he calls the thumb piano(he is wrong)

1. I used an electricians "Fish" tape refill(REFILL) do not take apart a fish tape because
A. It can uncoil really fast and injure you
B. its a useful tool

2. I glued and nailed the framing that i GLUED the oak plywood too
A.Dont nail plywood onto the frame, the nails will catch stuff if not grinded down
A.b. they will effect sound, i had done it on my first try and it cut its sound out
B. use more clamps than he has because you want the tightest fit as possible

3. i used pure wooden bridges, do not add the nail, it cuts down on vibrations to the vibrating box
A. Staining it does not noticeably effect the sound
B. the 3rd(top) bridge is perferably to be of metal cuz then 98% of vibrations will go through the bottom ones, if its wood, around 30% of the vibrations will go to the wooden top bridge, when you want less than 5% to go to it (its a common mistake)
C. drilling the whole should be done before you put it on the body or the inner layer of oak will splinter away on the inside making it look bad

4. Do not use T nuts
A. if you look good enough at the bridge youll notice some torn up wood, i used T nuts and they ripped out because there is a great amount of stress on the tines.
B. IF YOU DO use T nuts put them on the bottom and drill all the way through and make sure your bolts stick atleast 1.5 to 2 inches out of the top side so you have enough room for the top bridge to sit on the tines

5. Plywood
A. make sure there is a small amount sticking off edges and sand that down with a belt sander or a stationary belt sander, no oscillating sanders or circular grinders



TinyBotics (author)2014-01-16

1) If I were to make an alto kalimba, do you know the relative sizes for the box and the tines?
2) Do you think it would be okay to use an old metal rake for the tines?

3) Do you think it can be tuned for the C3-C4 range?

cheesesilk (author)2010-06-28

Nice tips! I have a question, what did you use for the top bridge? I used a steel rod and it bends up in the middle. I used eye screw hooks to attach the top bridge, and screwed them into a flat piece of metal across the bottom. The sound is quite nice and loud (used a cigar box), but with the middle bending it's unstable. I suppose I could use a thicker rod for the top bridge, just curious what you used since yours sounds nice. Thanks for posting mike

SaulGoodes (author)2010-04-12

 So you used the Fish Tape for the tines?  I'm trying to piece together your suggestions and BOBSDOGHOUSE's instructable to make my own kalimba :)

ClemensY290 (author)2009-04-24

i made an instructable so i could add a sound file of it

DIYDragon (author)2009-04-24

I wondered what these were called! They have them in all the shops in Busch Gardens in Tampa. They're pretty cool little instruments. : )

About This Instructable




Bio: Im Clemens Yoeckel
More by ClemensY290:Runescape guide[rune-scape]My KalimbaKnex French mat 49
Add instructable to: