Heating grates sound great. I used to sit by them as a kid and strum metallic chords while basking in their warmth. It’s like campfire music.
At Home Depot, I found a heating grate. I played with it using my fingers, rubber, wood and metal drumsticks. They all sounded cool. I bought the heating grate.
Next I needed a box that could help shape the sound of the instrument. I bought a 1x48x5.5 plank of resonant oak wood, measured some sides, and cut with the chopsaw.
I used the amazing pocket screw kit so that no screws would be visible from the outside—it’s awesome!
I made a contact mic and liked the sound, but wanted to add strings…
So I came across this 8bit violin laser cut template on Thingiverse. I’d actually seen one in action before and it sounded/looked fantastic. All I really wanted was a way to have one string, so I just laser cut the bridge, tailpiece, neck and pegs. I used 1/4″ oak and the specified laser cut settings just weren’t cutting it, so I slowed down the speed, but then the oak got all burnt. It looked ok this way, and smelled sweet, but I will need to figure out a better way if I do this again or choose less dense wood.
Next I drilled a sound hole, and hastily went about affixing the violin pieces to the box. I used wood glue, and broke the bridge, but I would like to come back to this project and do a cleaner job. I would cut out slots for each piece, perhaps using the router…