Download Plans to Make or build a marimba, vibraphone, quality
If any of these apply to you, then read more…..
Have you ever looked at Marimbas or Xylophones in the music stores and wondered…
“……How on earth can these instruments cost so much?”
because after all… they are just planks of wood siting on a frame, with resonating tubes to amplify the sound.
even schools prefer to spend it elsewhere…
That’s why I’ve created this solution for You…
Firstly, let me introduce myself.
My name is Jim McCarthy, and I’ve been a percussionist for over 20 years.
I’ve always had a passion for building things, and over the years I’ve had a LOT to do with building and designng marimbas especially for other people to build. I’d never consider myself a professional at woodworking or trades though – I’ve always been a musician first.
and this means that if I can build these projects… You can easily do it as well. You don’t need to do any of the design, thinking, hard work and making mistakes – I’ve already done all that for you!
When I studied for my masters degree I got really into Acoustics and learned all about how Marimbas were built – I even made some massive, world record bass marimbas to indulge my hobby…
But these days my goals are much more practical… I design instruments especially for people like you. It started years ago when I built a few instruments to assist my wife in her school music program. You may have seen the Project 1 Box resonated Xylophone, or the Project 2 mini-marimba which people all around the world are already building to save money for their schools, as well as being interesting to play and enjoy for children.
I’ve also built many other instruments in my time, from small xylophones to ultra large Bass Marimbas. What I’ve done is refined my building processes into step by step building guides for five instruments, The Simple Glockenspiel, The Box Xylophone, the Two Octave Mini Marimba, Three Octave Concert Marimba, the Three Octave Concert Vibraphone and more recently, the Pro Five Octave Concert Marimba
The great thing about these projects is that they will work for you, no matter what wood you have available – or in the case of the vibraphone and glockenspiel they will work really well with standard metal stock which is inexpensive and easy to get hold of in most parts of the world.
Concert quality marimbas are usually made from Honduras Rosewood or African padauk, and obviously the better wood you have access to the better instrument you’ll be able to make. However you can make these instruments from just about any hardwood (eg, Durian or Meranti).
This depends on which instruments you are building, and also on where you live. All of these instruments though are designed to use nothing but inexpensive materials which are commonly available in your average hardware store.
but here is a rough guide to materials cost for the various instruments.
And if you wish to make a better quality instrument you can of course invest in a better quality wood, such as Rosewood. This will cost you a few hundred dollars, but will still be way less than purchasing a real concert instrument.
YES! All the plans include both imperial (feet and inches) and metric (millimetres) measurements.
Absolutely not! I’m not a carpenter – I’m a musician. Most of the skills required are fairly basic woodwork – measuring, cutting and sanding.
Even if you’ve hardly ever picked up a hammer or a saw in your life I’m confident that you’ll be able to achieve a workable instrument using these plans. Of course I’ve picked up a few clues over my time designing and building…
Check out some other products