Monday, May 3, 2010

#146 Create a Backyard Xylophone

So, here is the finished product. My daughter loves it and hopefully it will be her hours of entertainment. I need to work on some sandpaper blocks & some maracas so that she can have some other outdoor instruments and can have a backyard concert playdate with some friends.

So, here is the Instructables instructions that were the inspiration, but I have to admit that other than glancing at the picture, my husband decided to come up with his own plans.

First, his plans included making it not so wide (their smallest was 22") and made the smallest cut at 12". Then he made the cuts 2 inches larger for each one and made 9 cuts in all. By starting smaller, he was able to use only two 2"x4"x8' boards.

Next came sanding away the sharp edges left from cutting.

Then he stapled rope (he wanted to make sure it was secure so he put 3 staples on each rope segment). He used the leftover rod piece (which was about an inch in diameter) to place between the 2x4's to make sure the space was the same for each. The leftover rod piece was from making the mallet, which I will tell you about soon.

He decided to attach one piece of string to the boards, going up one side, then across & down the other side so that the xylophone was one piece. Then he attached 2 hooks at the top of the top board and 2 at the bottom of the bottom board. He then ran rope through each one so that they could be tightened or loosened independently.

The next step is to step up the anchors use to suspend the xylophone. He screwed a heavy duty hook in the tree at the height we thought would be appropriate for our daughter. And in the ground we inserted an anchor for a dog tie-out. Then he took the rope from the top & bottom attached it to the hook & anchor and tightened the rope to create the tension desired.

You can see a picture of the matter in the top pictures. The mallet is simply a flag pole that we cut down, then drilled a hole through towards the end and inserted some rope so that it could be hung from the hook in the tree when not in use.

Everything we used here were things we had laying around, so we didn't need to spend any money and made her this fun outdoor toy, which will help encourage even more outdoor play & music exploration. Although, the instruction says it would cost about $10 if you made it with their supplies.

Stay tuned for our homemade maracas & sandpaper blocks using stuff we will upcycle and have laying around our home.


Tru said...

Nice tutorial. I'll bet Andy was thrilled to be your model!

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