Weekend project


It’s funny how weekend projects always seem to take longer than you expect. This one started in October, when I saw a xylophone kit at Lee Valley and decided that it would make a good gift for my nephew’s upcoming seventh birthday. One weekend stretched into three partial weekends and a couple of early mornings and late nights, but these things always do.

I’m not normally the kind of woodworker who plans in advance: I usually have an idea in my head and just dive madly into the project, making up the details as I go. But for things that I’m giving away or that have deadlines, I try to be a little more careful. I even did sketches and a full-scale model for this one. The sketches helped me come up with what I think is a much better design than the one I initially had, and the model allowed me to identify a weak point in my initial plan and improve the final piece accordingly.

Check out the gallery after the jump to see the whole project.

Although this particular design is original, I’m obviously not the first to think that fish and xylophones are natural partners.

2 Replies to “Weekend project”

  1. Caul? The caul of the wild? Caul waiting? Caul me a cab? Caul y flower? You sent me running to the dictionary (and, no, it didn’t contain the word “college”in its title). Learn something new every dang day.

    Great looking job. Wee done! Make music for years to come? C’mon, any self-respecting 7 year old will have that sucker ripped to pieces within six months. Unless his parents intervene, lecture him about the importance of thexylophone in orchestral history and engender in him a life-long resentment of music. Abd his uncle.

    Welcome back, by the way. Too long bewtween posts, slacker, although the xylichthys might constitute an adeqate excuse.

  2. Very nice job! I love this design, and my daughter and I are in the process of doing something very similar.

    How are the foam strips holding up? I saw a suggestion somewhere that it might be better to forget about them and use a felt-topped strip of wood instead.

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