How to Make a Music Box Comb

Save

Music boxes produce a tone that sounds like no other instrument. By learning how to grind your own music box comb, you can make the heart of a music box. Combs come in a variety of sizes and ranges of notes. A simple one octave diatonic comb can produce a wide range of tunes and chords.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 cm square, 1 mm thick steel plate
  • Metric ruler
  • Metal scorer
  • Angle grinder
  • 1 mm thick angle grinder blade
  • Goggles
  • Workbench clamp
  • Electronic tuner
  • Cut the first tooth on your steel plate. This tooth is the highest tone in your scale. Score a line 10 mm perpendicular from the bottom edge of the steel plate at 1 mm from the left edge. Put on your goggles. Cut along this line with the angle grinder.

  • Tune the tooth. Put the steel plate in the clamp. Make sure the tooth you have cut is not caught in the jaws of the clamp. Turn on the electronic tuner and hold it close to the clamp. Pluck the tooth and observe the note produced by the comb. You want a C. Using the angle grinder, cut the tooth a little longer. Use the tuner and repeat cutting and testing the note until the tooth produces a C.

  • Cut the next tooth. Measure and score a line 1 mm from the edge of the plate next to the first tooth. Cut along this line to a depth equal to the first tooth. Repeat Step 2 to tune the tooth to B.

  • Repeat Step 3, tuning each subsequent tooth to A, G, F, E, D and C (one octave lower than the first tooth). You should now have eight teeth on your comb.

  • Cut off any spare metal plate to the right of the final tooth.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use this technique to produce any key you like by choosing a different note at the start.
  • A chromatic comb can be made by including the sharp notes A#, G#, F#, D# and C#. This will give you a 13-note comb.
  • Cutting with an angle grinder can be dangerous. Use an appropriate spark shield and goggles at all times. Cut outside or in an appropriate workshop.

Related Searches

References

  • "Disc Musical Box Handbook"; Graham Webb; 1971
  • Photo Credit music box image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • How to Make a Music Box

    Listening to soothing melodies wafting from a treasured music box is one of life's simple pleasures. Artisans first produced music boxes in...

  • How to Make a Harmonica From a Comb

    The homemade harmonica is one of the easiest toy instruments to make. The materials that it requires are extremely simple and once...

  • How to Make a Song for a Music Box

    There are thousands of songs, which you can buy musical movements for. If you have to make (or modify) a music box...

  • How to Make a Wind Up Music Box

    Music boxes, a mechanical device that plays a sound indoors, were first coming into their own in the 1400s inside clocks. However,...

  • How to Make a Music Box Cylinder

    It can be difficult to modify, re-build or build from scratch your own music box cylinder. However, building your own cylinder will...

  • How to Make a Music Box Movement

    Music boxes have an undeniable charm. The make especially good gifts for children. There is something about the sound of a music...

Related Searches

Check It Out

DIY Wood Transfer Christmas Ornaments

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!