This is a very easy instrument to make, only needing the most basic tools. It can be fun for the whole family to make provided there is adult supervision when working with the tools.
If you would like to purchase your own Queen Conch just contact The Discovery Seashell Museum to order one. Give us a call or contact us through our facebook page:
Step 1: Get the Tools Together As Well As the Specimen You Wish to Use
In addition to the Queen Conch, you will need a saw, that needs to be very strong in order to cut through the tough shell without being bent or broken, and either a hammer and chisel or an ax or something that can be used to split things apart. A tape measure can also be used but is not necessary. Also a phillips or small flathead screwdriver can come in handy as well as sandpaper, which will be used in the end.
Step 2: Cutting
For this step it would be good to be outside or somewhere with good ventilation because of the powder that will come from sawing the shell. Now you will want to cut about 1" to 1 1/2" off the tip of the shell, but since the shells vary it is better to start small because you can always take off more if needed. The goal is to cut off the top so there is a hole about the size of a nickel, if it is any bigger it may be hard to play.
To do this simply use the saw and cut maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of the tip off and then use your ax or chisel to split the rest off. This can be risky to do because it might take to much of the shell off, so to be safe you can try to cut all the way through the shell.
After the tip is off there will be a spiral like shaft in the middle. Use the flathead or phillips and the hammer to knock the piece out.
Step 3: Finishing Touches
After the spiral is out you can use sandpaper to smooth the edges down where your lips will go and wash the shell so all of the debris and powder is gone.
A dremel with a few different tips can be used to finely sand down the inside easier, just again be carful about debris and the powder from the shell.
Then you or your children can paint the shell if you like and then you're all set.
Step 4: Playing the Conch
Playing the conch may be tricky at first and may take some practice. You need to purse you lips and blow just like if you were playing the trumpet. So just keep at it if you don't get it at first.