Wrench Xylophone





Introduction: Wrench Xylophone

Want to make a real Garage Band? Then you'll need an instrument. Get out your wrench set, start wacking 'em, and make a xylophone.

Step 1: Parts Layout

Get out a set of wrenches. Bigger wrenches tended to be easier to work with and louder. The wood and wood screws are for making a box. The nails and string are used to suspend the wrenches inside the box.

Step 2: Assemble Box, Lay Out Wrenches

cut 2 pairs of identical lengths of 2X4's, or whatever wood you have lying around. It is helpful to have wood with at least one cross-section dimension of >3". In this picture, the wood lengths are 27" and 18". Eyeball it to how many wrenches you want to attach.

assemble the box using wood screws trough the ends of overlapping wood. If the large lengths of wood are too unwieldy, you can use small pieces of plywood on the corners to attach the larger piees of to each other.

Step 3: Nail Into Box, Suspend Wrenches

After laying out the wrenches, hammer nails into the wood, leaving some space between the wood and the head of the nail. The nails will be used to wrap and tighten string to suspend the wrenches.

Between each pair of nails is a wrench, suspended by a length of string on each side. Experiment with string tension to get the sound you want out of each wrench

Step 4: Hang Wrenches Anywhere So You Don't Have to Make a Box

you don't have to build a box to make the wrench xylophone. The box enables portability and can be spruced up for presentability, but sometimes you just want to whack wrenches. String them up and hang them from anywhere! Or even just hold onto one and you've got a "wrench triangle."



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    Years ago, I worked the swing shift at the electronics section of the Naval Torpedo Station in Keyport, Washington. As I came into work, I heard beautiful xylophone music. Of course, I had to track it down. What I found was, a fellow worker had laid his entire set of wrenches of a large strip of egg carton foam packing for the big computers and was playing the result.

    Neat-O Saul! Now I am thinking....who has some old wrenches they would like to part with? Hello Freecycle community?....


    If you are a science teacher this is an excellent way to demonstrate fundamental frequencies. Every object has its own fairly unique combination of frequencies at which it will tend to vibrate if struck. Fundamental Frequencies like those demonstrated in this device are how we know what fell in the next room (whether it was a vase, a bowling ball, or a person) just by the sound it made when it struck the floor.

    1 reply

    Hey Grog, I sure wish I had been your student. You sound like a fun and clever teacher!

    You could form a garage orchestra! (=

    I was just thinking about a wrench Xylophone, and was planning to look for some cheap wrenches today. Then I happened across this. My idea is a little different, but thanks for stealing my thunder.

    1 reply

    If you use cheap wrenches you may be disappointed in the tone, if that's important. You've maybe noticed the ringing sound when you drop a silver or silver alloy coin on the table, compared to washers or slugs ? I suspect the harder, "stiffer" alloys of the Snap-on or Mac tools will sound brighter, and probably louder, than the cheap Chinese crud in the dollar tool bin. Might be really interesting to do both, and compare the results.

    After wading through some of the junk and advertising posted lately, I just have to say this really made me smile. Simple, elegant, fun. A+