INTRO- Make a string instrument[ example: ukulele] into a violin sound  with a simple small motor in one day.

The device described here is a pick attached to a small battery operated motor and mounted  on a Uku made by Mistic [see- "How to make a mini-Uku,dated 1-14-10"in this Instructable.] The two types of picks  noted here are easily  used on any string instrument.The sound can be similar to a mandolin fast plucking or a violin sound.



Refer to dwg. fig.1 and 2.
Fig.1- Mounted Pick
1-Ukulele or other string instrument. Uku used here was made years ago and described in an Instructable.See Introduction.
2-pick - plastic from old credit card..1 in. long.
3-pick holder plastic vinyl tube .5 in.dia.  x approx 1.in. long.shoved onto item 4 pulley.
4-motor shaft with a plastic pulley still attached after removal from old DVD player.
5-motor. 1 in. dia. x 1 in. long. A piece of plastic is glued to side to press the tube for speed control with a finger if needed.
6-switch. on-off. found on solar nite lite .Can be any available.
7-screw mounting ass'y. 6-32 machine screw about 1 in. long and 3 nuts.The two top nuts are crammed together as a lock.
8-motor mount swivel.plastic 1x3 in. x .02 thick approx. drill .14 hole for the item 7 screw.
9-bottom mount for item 8 swivel. 1x2 in. aluminum strip  about .010 thick  bent over 1/2 inch and drilled hole for mount.
10-mount screw for  assembly wood screw 6-32  or use silicone RTV glue to side of instrument for easy removal.
11-battery  pack . can be any for 2AA or up to 4 AAcells.{see Radio Shack[ RS}.
12-Variable resistor . 100 to 500 ohms. used to vary speed.Any small potentiometer can be used . Glue to side.
13-Base for assembly- wood. 1/4 x 1/2 in  x 2 in lg. Glued to item 9.
Hand held Pick  from motorized tooth-brush.Brush is type that  vibrates using a 1.5 v.battery. Cost $1.00 .Dollar Store]
wood dowel .40 x 1.00 lg. Cut end for pick. A 6-23 nut is used as counterweight to the weight  on the axle.Glued in place.
Plastic strip- used to vary the rotation and picking operation. Cut off brush and save it for cleaning  operations.
Saw-Pliers. screw driver set. drill and drill bits  .12   and .14 dia. Xacto sharp point for cut slit in tubing.
scissors,tin snips can be used for aluminum. Solder and Iron. 40w. Solder can be 63-37 low melt point.[RS]
E6000 glue .and Silicone glue  RTV type.

Skyfinity3 years ago
I love how simple instrument ideas always can create such nice sounds. Thanks for the instructable, mistic!
rimar20003 years ago
Clever, mistic! This can be used to play guitar, too.
mistic (author)  rimar20003 years ago
hi 2000, I did try it but on the small tooth brush version. Lots of unusual notes !