Monday, January 31, 2011

Jenco 'Vibrabells' Vibraphone

 For a about twenty years I've had this old Jenco Vibraphone kicking around. It's rather beat, including a few broken items on the chassis and a missing key.  About six or so years ago I bought a piece of aluminum to make up a new key.  Since the weathers nice, I figured it would be a good time to dig into the aluminum. Though the production of the new key was mostly successful, the grade of aluminum is not quite spot on.  Eyes will be open for a block of 2024 T4.

The factory would grind the keys to rough tune, but that would be a bit more than my grinder can handle;  an having aluminum dust didn't seem too cool either.  Using the mill was time consuming but gave the same results. The point that the key attaches to the frame with cord is the same location the key pivots on when its in a vibrating state (also known as an node)   Its rather interesting to take a block of aluminum,

Making a new note was mostly successful but too much milling on the arch part of the bar made the note come up flat.  After shortening the bar the key is close, but I'll have to make another one to match properly.

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