Since fixing the sound of the chimes, I’ve been finishing the software for the glockenspiel. Now all the buttons work: on/off, play/pause, skip back, skip forward, and shuffle. Woohoo!
Today I made the lid, attached the molding on the edges of the lid, attached the piano hinge and attached the side hinges. It’s not fine furniture, but I’m learning a lot about how to make The Real Thing. For example, don’t sand the wood with the sandpaper you used to remove rust from your new scrollsaw (ouch!).
All the hardware (except the front latch and the feet, which should install easity) is now installed. So now I’ve taken all the hardware off so I can easily do the labels and spray the finish.
After a pile of routing I’m now nailing and gluing the Robotic Glockenspiel box together. Since this is a first prototype (the flat chime harp is too large to be practical), I’ve made the box sides from 3/4″ x 6″ “white wood” (fir or pine) instead of hardwoods, and made no attempt to conceal the nails.
The base and top of the box are 1/2″ plywood with a nice veneer; the sides are fir/pine. The base is held in place by 1/2″ wide and 3/8″ deep dado joints in each side; the ends are connected via rabbet joints (which you can see in the photo). I’ve routed holes in the front for the 5 buttons that will control the glockenspiel, and scroll-sawn holes in the back to plug in power and usb cables. I also used a flush trim router bit to make all the sides the same height (for some reason one of the boards I bought was about 1/16″ wider than the other).
I’d hoped to plug/unplug the SD card from the back, but found the thickness of the box walls would require a huge hole to get to the SD card. So instead I cut a small hole, then decided to plug/unplug the SD card from the inside.
I plan to connect the lid via a 30″ cabinet hinge from Lowes. I’ve routed out an indentation in the back of the box so the hinge will be flush with the top of the box.
Since this weekend is the end of my end-of-year vacation, progress on the glockenspiel will likely be a lot slower from now on.
The next step is to drill all the mounting holes, put a clear finish on the box, then mount the chimes and circuit inside the box. I plan to figure out the lid later.
In my previous post, the robotic glockenspiel played its first tune. This post is an update on transcribing more tunes.
I’ve been busily transcribing public domain Christmas carols from “The Oxford Book of Carols” and other sources of public domain carols, so the glockenspiel has more material to play. All the carols are checked into the SD folder of the Robotic Glockenspiel Git repository, and are part of that open source project.
In other news, I bought this edge guide for my router, so now I can cut the grooves that will hold the base of the glockenspiel. Next I need to learn how to make rabbet joints, so I can put the glockenspiel box together.
My next post is about crafting the cabinet for the glockenspiel.
In my previous post I pointed to my Open Source code for the project. In this post, I describe the mounting of the solenoids to the frame.
The conundrum of the project has been how to mount the solenoids to the glockenspiel. If I were a metalworker, I’d probably tap the solenoid holes and fasten them with 2mm screws into a metal strip. My 2017 future self says to design a 3D printable holder. Not knowing how to tap such tiny holes and not (yet) knowing how to design 3d printed parts, I’ve been thinking and thinking about how to mount the solenoids to wood.
One day I was wondering out loud how to fasten the solenoids, and Linda said “Why don’t you just buy a router? They’re perfect for that sort of thing.” So I did.
My first attempt with a router was pretty sad. I had imagined that since I knew the basics I’d be fine. A few unintentionally-diagonal cuts later, I realized that making the solenoid channel cuts freehand wouldn’t work: I’d need a jig to let the router cut exactly the width channel I needed.
So using the router and a makeshift fence, I made a little height-adjustable jig. The first attempt at the jig turned out badly, but I’m happy with the second try:
If I were to make jig revision 3, I’d change a few things:
use wider wood to give the router more base to glide on
make the gap large enough so I can clamp the wood to be worked to the jig.
use a plunge router so that the ends of the jig are solid rather than open. Doing that will make the end less likely to warp and bend apart over time.
At any rate, I made a test slot using this jig, and it turned out great!
Now I’ve marked the real solenoid bar, and am ready to route the 19 solenoid slots.
In my next post, I describe the last steps to a functional robotic glockenspiel.
Et proiectus est talpa – "and the mole was cast out"