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Music Box Redux


Chet
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I finished this back in September but due to some things going on, I am just posting this now.

My brother and sister in law had purchased a music box several decades back while on their honeymoon in San Fransisco.  Over time, while the movement remains in great shape and sound, the veneer on the box started to crack and chip off.  So recently they asked me to make a new box for them.

It turned out to be a pretty interesting project in that there was a lot of detail to the building of the box to generate a good sound quality from the movement.  I am glad I researched this because I probably would have screwed the pooch on some of these details.

You don't use tone woods, you want something on the hard side to create a crisp, clear sound.

The sound board that the movement is mounted to should be between 3/16 & 1/4 inch thick.

The bottom of the sound board needs to be at least 11/16 above the surface that the box will sit on and the box needs some sort of leg design that allows air flow other wise you will muffle the sound.

The glass that protects the movement from dust and inquisitive fingers also produces the bass tones so it need to be between 1/4 & 1/2 inch above the movement.  Also single strength glass around 3/32 thick.  Thicker glass or glass with something like a mylar sandwich can effect the tone.

Because of all this and more, I decided to build a prototype from poplar.  This all when fairly smoothly with the exception of the sounding board which took three tries to get all the holes for mounting and the winding key in the right spots and also allowing the movement to line up with the on and off mechanism that mounts in a dado on the inside of the front of the box.

Some of the prototype parts.

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The final box.

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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