Making Instruments

Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
54
Current Location
A.T. NOBO
Anyone have any experience making cheap, nice sounding instruments?
Recently (within the past year) I started experimenting with Native American Flutes. While it sounds like some hippy dippy shit, they're actually pretty fun and rewarding to make, and if built right, not that hard to play.
I've also been messing around with cigar box guitars, but no luck so far with a finished product.
I found this awesome link for a ukulele: The Plastic Jumping Flea but have yet to make it. That site also has some other cool designs for cheap homemade instruments.
Anyone else interested in this kind of shit?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person

Beegod Santana

Vagabond
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
658
Current Location
everywhere
I love being a drummer because I just find me a new 5-gallon bucket in every town I get to. I prep the buckets by cutting off half of the lower plastic rim and cutting off the little circle in the center left by the mold. Now you have and good resonating drum that can easily be played with sticks or your hands and it sure beats the hell outta lugging an instrument from town to town... although I do miss my guitar some days.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dirty andy

Geoff

Newbie
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
107
Age
29
Current Location
Edinburg Texas
i heard of a way to make a didgeridoo out of a platic pvc pipe. you can even get two (one slightly larger in diameter) and put one inside the other to create a sort of sliding didgeridoo trobone type instrument. you can change the sound with your mouth and the tone with the length of the instrument. just thought i'd throw that out there, it seems kind of hard to play though.
 

steelcitybrew

Newbie
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
186
Current Location
Vancouver BC
yeah its really easy to make, but mastering it is hard, all i ever get is an amplified fart sound. if you can get it though you can do some pretty cool shit
 

Linda/Ziggy

Pilgrim
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
223
Current Location
Near Ukiah California.
Cool thread !

I am making a bass/violin, 'thingy' out of a small
round chocolate tin, a walking stick and bike gear cable !

I've seen some awesome junk instruments on youtube.

A good book to get is called:
"The fine art of the tin can".

Linda/Ziggy
 
OP
Beyond The Sun
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
54
Current Location
A.T. NOBO
There are some really cool ideas on here so far. Linda/Ziggy, let me know how that bass/violin thingy comes out I'm really interested in making something like that.
 

Rise 609

Newbie
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
84
Current Location
New Jersey
Im actually trying to make a neck right now for a cookie tin banjo. I'll keep you posted as to how it comes out.
 
OP
Beyond The Sun
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
54
Current Location
A.T. NOBO
Yeah definitely do. I tried to make a neck for a cigar box guitar, but it ended up bending when I strung it up because there wasn't enough strength. Then the headstock snapped off and it was all over. Needs some sort of truss rod or something to give it the needed support.
 

Rise 609

Newbie
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
84
Current Location
New Jersey
Well im actually using the neck from a bass. I'm plaining/shaving it down to the size of a banjo neck, pulling the frets out of the fingerboard sanding it smooth and leaving it fretless.
 
OP
Beyond The Sun
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
54
Current Location
A.T. NOBO
Cool. Well share how you attach it to the cookie tin, cause some guy gave me an old guitar neck that I'm still trying to figure out how to attach to a cigar box. I found some scrap wood that I might use to try and bolt the neck to, but I dunno how that will ultimately hold up.
Any ideas/suggestions are welcome.
 

Rise 609

Newbie
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
84
Current Location
New Jersey
The reason for using a bass neck is that you need to make the neck continue all of the way through the body(either the cookie tin or the cigar box that way you can screw them right together and your instrument will last you alot longer. Go to google and look up cookie tin banjo.
 

Rise 609

Newbie
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
84
Current Location
New Jersey
I've searched dumpsters for a while with no luck. I actually got mine by going into a music store and asking if they had and really fucked up basses I could buy for cheap. I paid $10 for the one I got. Doing that I got a good neck, the tuners and a bridge.
 

oldmanLee

Rambler
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
296
Current Location
Richmond,Va.
Now this may offend,but there is a way to get a set of ivory plates for the neck if you want the smoothest fingerboard after sanding ever.Keep an eye out for dumpstered pianos.Folks regularly put them out in this area,and if you get to them before the rain,look at the ends of the keyboard cover.See the giant screws?Take em out,and the whole leyboard is exposed.The ivory faces on the keys can be taken off with a small saw(I use one of the little 6" plumbers tubing saws,with the fine tooth metalworking blade).Scrape the backs and the face of the neck,apply contact cement to both faces,wait 20 min,and clamp in position.After about 4 hours,take your saw and trim the edges,and lightly sand the top.You can also make gages out of the keys(soak overnight in dilute phosporic acid,Cocacola works well,bend,clamp,wash in cold clean water and let dry),carve the ebony keys if they are real,and sell the leftover ivory to craftsfolks for doing scrimshaw or minature paintings on ivory.If you have a set of boltcutters,the wire strings are a thin steel strand wraped in bronze wire on most,and bring a good price at the scrapyard(usually about 40 POUNDS of scrap,but be careful,they pop when you cut them!).
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
228
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA So I just finished my 3 string guitar and its way pimpin.. Didnt take that long really to make it either.. If my new camera wasnt broke I would post pics.. Maybe soon.
 

theefixeated

Newbie
Joined
Dec 3, 2009
Messages
9
had a friend that built a stand up bass with an old bass neck and a small car gas tank had an amazingly deep sound, first he used weed-eater strings of different gages for strings, tuning them with a electric tuner, then eventualy scored actual strings, so he could use a bow
 
OP
Beyond The Sun
Joined
Sep 13, 2006
Messages
54
Current Location
A.T. NOBO
Pirtymic, I'd love to see pics if you can get yer hands on a camera. I'm hoping to get my ass in gear soon to make a travel friendly (durable/lightweight/waterproof) uke. I'll post pics if I ever do get around to it.
But yeah, love to see pics of what you did.
 

ferretwakeup

Lurker
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
20
Current Location
michigan
keep this pumping out

taking guitar strings and putting the over a snare drum head, tying them to the sides of the drum tight, then with wood or something underneath the strings, pushing them up real tight makes some good sounds

horrible description of what im trying to communicate, sorry
 

Similar threads


About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$100.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $50.00 of $50.00 - reached!
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $75.00 of $75.00 - reached!
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $100.00 of $100.00 - reached!
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $100.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Latest Status Updates

ALmost to Vegas, and I started getting dizzy

I am not made for the ruggedness of traveling all the time

Adieu
My eyes are A okay!!! I guess floaters squiggly lines heat waves flashing lights cloudy and blurred vision are normal...I guess. It's new to me, and realy hard tk.get use to. I have had better than perfact vision my entire life. I still do too, I just have shit in my field of vision somtimes nowadays I guess
Just did my first single handed sailing trip. Video to come if I can figure out how to edit video clips
Guy I met in jail offered a trailer to rent in the nation's #1 city for violent crime per capita.
Nothing sketchy about this.
I'm so excited!!! My first ever down sleeping bag is in the mail, it will be here Friday night!!! Getting rid of this huge bulky 0° synthetic crap will reduce the size f my pack 50%!!! Not to mention pounds... Now if I could only gtfo!!!
Looking to travel soon in about a month any suggestions??
Texas is full of things that can kill me and I don't think that's great.
NOT SO FAST on heading to Chicago. I can tell it's a rough place to start over. I applied for another job in Mpls, and see how that goes in 2 weeks. If they take their time, like I don't have my own, bye. But, I'm going to give them a chance.

Members online

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $50.00 of $50.00 - reached!
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $75.00 of $75.00 - reached!
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $100.00 of $100.00 - reached!
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $100.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Forum Statistics

Threads
23,971
Messages
218,833
Members
8,736
Threads in last 24 hours
5
Messages in last 24 hours
42
Members in last 30 days
969
Latest member
junebug