December 1, 2010
October 26, 2010
The pulleys range in size from a 2" diameter up to a 6" diameter. I only use smooth pulleys, not pulleys with ribs, or v-belt pulleys. Each pulley has a different tone. I have several duplicate pulleys from the same type of car, and even those have slightly different pitches.
Once the pulleys were removed from the different vehicles I knocked the bearings out of them. Then I welded a large washer in the middle of each pulley to help mount them. Using old rubber bushings from shock absorbers I mounted all the pulleys on two threaded rods.
Eventually I would like to set the pulleys up more like a piano or mallet instrument would be, with the sharps/flats separated from the other notes. The pulleys can be tuned as well. One of my co-workers has a metal lathe and he has trimmed a couple of the pulleys for me. Cutting off 1/8" from the edge of a pulley changes the pitch by about half a step.
October 18, 2010
These 'cymbals' follow the same principle as a pair of normal hi-hats, except they are made from two matching flywheels. A flywheel is a metal plate that connects the crankshaft of an engine to the torque converter of an automatic transmission. It also has a ring gear that the starter motor engages with. These two flywheels were leftover after I replaced the engine in a Nissan Altima.
Here is a flywheel on the back of an engine. The transmission has been removed.
The flywheels needed to be adapted so they could be mounted on a traditional hi-hat stand.
The bottom flywheel rests on the hi-hat stand, and the upper flywheel is attached using a standard hi-hat clutch.
When played with the foot pedal they are kind of loud and clangy, but they have a good sound. They can be played with drumsticks like normal hi-hat cymbals. It also works well to 'splash' them with the foot pedal.
August 28, 2010
The mount for this drum was somewhat involved. I wanted to be able to attach it to a foot pedal adapter that I already had. It took several different size pieces of scrap metal, but I managed to make the mount and it worked out quite nicely.
Overall I am pretty happy with this drum. I like the sound and I like that it is foot operated. The mount was a little challenging, but it worked out in the end.
I have three other washer and coolant reservoirs, but I think those are going to be made into drums that are played by hand with sticks.
August 21, 2010
August 15, 2010
It did not take many modifications to use this 'drum'. I only had to weld a large washer on the top to have something to hang it from. It has a resonant sound, much like a bell or a gong. I hope to find two or three more of these to have a multi pitch set.
July 27, 2010
Here is the power steering fluid reservoir from a Volvo.
This is the vacuum tank off of a BMW intake manifold.
Here is one of the oil traps from a Saab Turbo.
Once the parts were removed from their respective cars, I cut the tops off of all the tanks. Some of the pieces had baffles inside that also needed to be removed. After all of this was done I was left with hollow plastic tanks with one open side, much like a cowbell. I made a mounting plate out of scrap metal brackets and added a 3/8" post so that it can be mounted in most percussion hardware.
Here are the completed wood blocks and the mounting bracket.
July 11, 2010
I will be posting on each individual instrument as I finish them.
Feel free to let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions.