I thought I would show you my finished xylophone.
This was a gift for my son on his little sister's birth.
I could not find / was too lazy to search for silicone tubing so I decided I would use felt instead. I wanted to give an old painted/weathered paint look so I thought that felt would look period. In the end, you told me about the rubber bands trick and it sounded so much better that I substituted the bottom felt with rubber bands and kept the felt ony on the sides (so that the bars do not contact the metal eyehooks). The bars are loosely held in place by a leather sewing thread going through the nodal points.
I never learnt to play any musical instrument but who knows, maybe my children will want to someday.
My son is only 18 months old but he really likes the xylophone. Actually, he was looking at me through the window the whole time I was building and tuning the instrument. I really like to just touch the lower end bars with my fingers. It is really impressive that the bars seem to want to vibrate on themselves and merely brushing my fingers on them is enough to generate a sound.
Thanks a lot for this fun project,