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Five Octave P524 Marimba with Mods
(Ross Bailie)

Ross has done a truly fantastic job with his P524 marimba, building the full 5 octave version. You can see he has previously made a P2 marimba (in the background) so he had a good understanding already on which to base his modifications. I'll let his words describe them.

Making a 5 Octave Marimba
"Hi Jim, I finished the five octave marimba on Friday this week - big day. I have attached a few photos for you. The bars are made of African padouk and the frame of silver ash. Bars finished with Tung oil and frame with estapol.

Re the resonator tubes, I checked again with Reece plumbing and they confirmed that they do not have storm water pipe of 75 or 60 mm - suggested I try NZ. Local Bunning's in Brisbane also does not stock storm water pipe of 60 or 75mm. The 80mm and 65mm sewer pipe that I used instead was fine - just fits.

You will see that I chose to have the large resonators turned up between the big end diagonal struts. To get the bank of bass resonators into the frame I slid them in from underneath, before fitting the aluminium support between the struts. Works fine. You will also see that I chose not to make dummy resonators.

bass marimba resonators marimba resonator detail
The diagonal struts are recessed into the legs. You will also see from some of the photos that I used two connector bolts to hold the height adjustment mechanism for the resonators at the big end. Also note that I used plugs made of silver ash to cover screw heads - neater than the glue and sawdust option I think.

resonator height adjustment
resonator height adjustment detail
You will see in one or two photos that I had previously built a two octave marimba from your plans, using left over eucalypt battens from a home building job. Now that we have the new marimba with the padouk bars the old one sounds awful and I plan to replace the bars with padouk - as I have a bit left over.

DIY concert marimba making
The photos show my son James playing the new instrument - he plays marimba in the percussion band at school, and seems chuffed with this new instrument.

Best wishes.
Ross "


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