Thursday, December 9, 2010

PVC Instrument Tutorial, part 2

So, I got to Home Depot to pick up more bends. I got enough for 6 more notes and I also picked up black couplings for the sharps. Now they look like they do on the piano! Should make it look cool and make it easier for my youngest daughter to keep track of where the notes are.

The black couplings were exactly the same as the white ones so the change did not seem to change the sound or make the tubes out of tune. Whew!

I started on the next notes, from F down to C. As soon as I added the F, the cardboard bent and wasn't going to support any more weight so I had to move the tubes to the floor for the remainder of the project. I did wander Home Depot and a nice guy named Jim helped me out. I showed him the photos I've taken so far so he had an idea od what I was looking for in a base and we found a couple of good ideas. $75 for the base, which isn't really bad. The thing is a 4 shelving unit and I'd use two of the shelves and the other two would go in my husbands brew haus in our basement. We'll see.

Here are a few pictures of the layout on the floor. . .

On the long pipes, natural notes, the verticle pipe is exactly 3.5 inches longer than the last one. The horizontal pipe out from that is 5.75 inches and the next horizontal pipe is the one I tuned. I would take off just that small pipe and chop saw a blade width off of that and check the tuning.

The next note is a sharp and has to bend quick so it will go toward the top. This is because that pipe is in front of the others when hanging. So here is the beginning of that note:

Here you see how the vertical part is short and the bend comes quick. The horizontal section is very short, just the two bends touching each other. The piece between them is just enough to hold the two bends together.

The next horizontal section is very long. . .

Here you can see that the D# ended up being so long that it came to the same spot as the F#. The next sharp will be a C# and it's really long sideways.

Here is the layout with the C# added. It's more than 3 feet long sideways and that's as long as I want any horizontal tubing.

It's cool to see how the ends are so close. When this is hung, the tubes will open toward the audience so the sound is directed at them.

With the C natural added. It's the tallest tube I will have, also about 32 inches tall. I don't want to get any taller, as I want the base included to be about 34-35 inches tall. Any more and the instrument will be too tall to play comfortably.

I made 6 total notes today, need 5 more for two full octaves but now I have to get more creative. Where are those 5 notes going to bend? I suspect that from here I will have to 'U' bend and come beside the notes I already have. I only have one more foot to work with for the base I decided on so I have to map this out to stay within that range. it'll be a challenge!

I took the other pipes and layed them all out as they will be in the final instrument. The notes won't be quite as close as they are here, since here each one touches.

You can see the space I have to make the next notes tuck into the rest. It's only 5 notes so it should be interesting so see how it turns out.

Kind of looks like a grand piano in shape, doesn't it? I wonder if that means I'm doing something right?!? I have 25 feet of tubing left. I'll have to do the math and see if that's enough.

Tune in again in a few days. I'll see if i can get the base soon. It's Christmas and I have 4 kids to shop for! I can't spend a whole more on this until after the holiday, but I may do something temporary in order to play with it.

Email me with questions,

Thanks for tuning in!

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