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Thread: looking for info on a whatchamacallit (musical thingie)

  1. #1
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    looking for info on a whatchamacallit (musical thingie)

    I am trying to get at least the right name to search on. Trying to locate information, actually need some of the metal chime bars or some of the metal to make into chimes, from a whatchamacallit. The kids toy was popular fifty years or so ago but I have also seen a high quality musical instrument or whatever it would properly be called.

    It is just a bunch of flat bars all loosely fixed to a board that you tap with some little sticks with balls on the end of them to make music. I thought they might be called chimes but that gets so many hits any way I try to pair it that I don't find the musical instrument or metal I am looking for. I remember that a music teacher back in elementary school had a very nice one of these and she would optimistically tap the proper bar to get us on pitch when we were six or eight years old. Wasted effort on her part of course!

    This eventually relates to wood turning I hope. I need the metal itself or an idea what it is. Probably bell metal but the flat bar stock would be far better suited for an idea I have in mind.

    If anyone knows where to find information, or even what to start looking for, it would be much appreciated!

    Hu

  2. #2
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    There are two words used to describe what you're talking about ... sadly, I can only remember one and it may not be the right one ...

    Are you thinking of a xylophone?


    Maybe the other word is vibraphone? could be ... glockenspiel?
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  3. #3
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    Jason beat me to it on the xylophone
    another possibility > Metallophone
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  4. #4
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    Or Glockenspiel
    Look up Angle Glockenspiel its what we use on the Street Organs
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Beam View Post
    ...Maybe the other word is vibraphone? could be ... glockenspiel?
    A vibraphone is similar to a xylophone, but it has something similar to butterfly valves in the resonator tubes below the tone bars. These "valves" are connected to an electric motor and rotate slowly, adding a vibrato to the tone of the instrument. There is also a damper pedal similar to that on a piano, to stop the ringing of the bars. (I used to mess around on them quite a bit when I worked in the drum store.)

    A glockenspiel is typically higher in pitch than the other metalophones. Most of us who were in marching band are a bit familiar with them.

    Here's a good example of a vibraphone:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hc8VTFeVcUE
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  6. #6
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    If you make a wooden one it becomes a marimba. Anyone out there in old fogey's land remember the Baja Marimba Band? Kind of an off-shoot of The Tijuana Brass.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Newby View Post
    If you make a wooden one it becomes a marimba. Anyone out there in old fogey's land remember the Baja Marimba Band? Kind of an off-shoot of The Tijuana Brass.
    I remember them well. Great sound !!!!!!!

    I've used these to make toys for my grandkids.

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...FUmY4AodvTkAuQ
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  8. #8
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    A somewhat related toy/instrument is a kalimba also called a thumb piano. Usually it's "plucked" with your thumbs rather than struck though.

  9. #9
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    Thanks!

    Didn't take long for you all to come through with great info! I think the old thing I was thinking about was a metallophone just because one thing I wanted to call it was the name of the thingie that swings back and forth to keep time, which I seem to remember at least starts off sorta the same.(the word for which I can't remember either!) I knew that name wasn't right but things ending in phone I think of wind instruments, I wasn't anywhere close to the name for what I was looking for.

    I'll follow all the leads provided and if I scale things up a bit then perhaps I'll chase some wood with good tone. I remember a little box about six by eight by maybe twelve inches long with some tongues cut into the top of it that sounded very nice.

    I'm playing with bell ideas. Turning one out of wood with metal for the clapper to hit against and the clapper actually being the musical metal is my thought at the moment. Also thinking about a spiral piece of metal inside the wooden bell to be the musical piece. I recall some metal(s) I worked with in heavy commercial and industrial applications having a real nice resonance but since it was purely a side thing of no particular use at the time I can't begin to remember what. I have seen the big oxygen bottles made into bells but that isn't quite what I have in mind.

    I have a bit of a thing for bells anyway and one of my life goals is to have a bell 36" plus. To make things a little tougher I prefer bell metal to cast iron. Maybe I'll turn one out of wood to go with my wooden cannon(s) I plan to turn for the front yard someday. purely ornamental, the bowling ball cannon I plan to acquire also is the one that I will use for effect. Those interested should look up bowling ball cannons. Black powder, totally legal, and they can hum a 12-16 pound bowling ball a quarter to a half mile. Even better since you use bowling balls from the alley that have gotten too beaten up to use they make a wicked whooping noise as they head downrange with the wind howling in the finger holes! Just in case y'all haven't figured it out yet my interests are many, varied, and a little on the odd side!(I hate to seem like I am implying anything but I seem to fit in well here!)

    Hu

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hu lowery View Post
    ...I think the old thing I was thinking about was a metallophone just because one thing I wanted to call it was the name of the thingie that swings back and forth to keep time, which I seem to remember at least starts off sorta the same.(the word for which I can't remember either!)...
    Metronome.

    Speaking of which, this is a cool video that came up on my radar recently. Little slow to get started, but worth the wait in the end...

    http://youtu.be/kqFc4wriBvE
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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