How to Make a PVC Pipe Organ

Introduction: How to Make a PVC Pipe Organ

Buying a whole marimba can be expensive! But why waste the money when you can make your own pipe organ from simple items in your home. Soon enough you'll be playing your very own music from a home made instrument. That's pretty cool!

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Step 1: Materials

  • 60+ feet of PVC Pipe 2 inches in diameter (The more the better because cutting them the exact length is hard.
  • Tuner or pitch pipe (some way to test whether or not the notes are correct)
  • Saw (Preferably a buzzsaw but a hand saw will work if you can cut them with enough precision)
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Four 3 X 12 pieces of wood
  • Four 1 X 3 pieces of wood
  • Flip flops or Ping Pong paddles (for the paddles used to hit the pipe

Step 2: Figure Out the Lengths of the Pipe to the Corresponding Notes

You can use as much pipe as you want for as many octaves as you want. For my pipe organ I only used two octaves in order to conserve space. Octaves 3 and 4. There is a simple equation to help you figure out what length each pipe should be. Tube length (in)= (13300/2*Frequency of note)+(tube diameter/2)

This is a good link to tell you the different note frequencies:

Step 3: Measure and Cut the PVC Pipe

Use a sharpie to mark where to cut each of the different pipe lengths for the PVC. Then use a saw to cut where the line is drawn.

Step 4: Make the Base for the Pipe Organ

Lay three pieces of wood out like this

Step 5: Making the Base Part 2

Drill the top piece of wood into the two side pieces of wood like this

Step 6: Making the Base Part 3

Repeat steps 4 and 5. At the end you should be able to put both finished pieces on top of each other evenly as shown.

Step 7: Making It Sturdy

Drill a piece of wood to the bottom of one of the bases. This will give the structure more support but it is optional.

Step 8: Put Them Together

Drill a small piece of wood on the side of both structures across the middle. This will keep them together

Step 9: Making the Holes.

Continue drilling these small pieces of wood across the middle of the two bases. Make sure that the distance between each piece of wood is enough to fit a piece of PVC pipe. It's better for the pipe to be a tight fit than a loose fit.

Step 10: Final Base

Your final base should look like this. Put the PVC pipes in the order shown in the picture above.

Step 11: Put PVC Pipe In

Drill holes in the PVC pipe and put bolts through them. Put the pipe in the holes and let them hang from the bolts.

Step 12: You're Done!

Enjoy playing your new PVC pipe instrument

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    3 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Two things - the new editor includes Pixlr, which you can use to turn your images the right way up, and we really, really need to hear (and see) this being played!