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power cord material

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:11 pm
by kikodenzer
I've been searching on this topic and haven't turned up what I wanted, which is more specifics about material to use for power cord. So far, I have tried braided nylon, sisal, and leather (I'm waiting for neighbor's to butcher their sheep in order to try sheep's gut (recommended somewhere as "the" traditional material). It all works, but what I'm really hoping for is more specifics about some kind of used industrial belting material apparently used by Robin Wood.

Thanks, as always, for all the inspiration and information!

PS: This winter I've discovered the joys of "mellowed" wood. Also hoping to get some new tools forged so I can work on nested bowls... If any of you are musicians, one winter project was a writeup on the most wonderful 3-stringed instrument out of cardboard and scrapwood, designed by a guy who made them with his 4th grade students for years and years -- in Montana. It has an amazingly beautiful tone! To see and/or download it (free) goto handprintpress.com (there's a $10 paper version, too, for the old fashioned among you). Next project is to make a big spoon, cover it w/goatskin, and add strings! (I did make a little "bowljo" from one of my best bowls, topped with cedar from a used shake off a neighbor's house, but it's too small, and I screwed up the neck design, which required ugly braces on the bowl. Maybe when I get a good one, I'll post a photo...)

Re: power cord material

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:46 pm
by AlexanderTheLate
I can't say what to use for cord, I just use what is at hand and replace as needed. But I believe your skin covered spoon is what is called a Rabab, a middle eastern bowed instrument that evolved into the violin, the European version (The Rebec- Robin Fawcett made one) had a wooded soundboard. They usually had three strings. (Have peek at this, though not Green wood working- http://crab.rutgers.edu/~pbutler/rebec.html)

As for Bowljos, assuming that is bowl-banjo, isn't that how banjos were originally made? from bowls (originally of gourd bowls, I know) with coverings (originally goat skin). I have made them with coopered bodys, and an open back, open backed instruments are louder then closed.

Re: power cord material

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:08 pm
by kikodenzer
beautiful! After I posted, I realized I should have included this photo, which was my inspiration for the bowljo...I like the idea of an upside down one, too...I might have to try that one first...

spoonstrument.jpg
a large spoon for serving up music -- from Indonesia
spoonstrument.jpg (221.39 KiB) Viewed 6879 times

Re: power cord material

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:19 pm
by gavin
kikodenzer wrote:I've been searching on this topic and haven't turned up what I wanted...

Did you want bowl turning drive belt ? If so refer this thread: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=233&p=3626&hilit=definitive+answer#p3626

Re: power cord material

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:30 am
by AlexanderTheLate
That's a beautiful instrument, though how was it fingered, I don't see any frets? It appears that was block carved, not turned, though, the neck seems to be attached. Paul Butler (the fellow who owns the site I referenced) has several articles on a similar instrument, his Citoles, which were built that way (click the 'Historic Instruments" button in the corner). The Citole article also has some pointers on the peg box carving.

And to qualify this post as on topic, I'll have to say something relevant, won't I? Attach your cord to the pole via carabiner, or a dog leash clip, as no matter what you use, it will eventually give out, and the clip makes replacement much quicker.

Re: power cord material

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:04 am
by jrccaim
AlexanderTheLate wrote:That's a beautiful instrument, though how was it fingered, I don't see any frets? It appears that was block carved, not turned, though, the neck seems to be attached. Paul Butler (the fellow who owns the site I referenced) has several articles on a similar instrument, his Citoles, which were built that way (click the 'Historic Instruments" button in the corner). The Citole article also has some pointers on the peg box carving.

And to qualify this post as on topic, I'll have to say something relevant, won't I? Attach your cord to the pole via carabiner, or a dog leash clip, as no matter what you use, it will eventually give out, and the clip makes replacement much quicker.


Frets? Who needs frets? :) Violinists (and for that matter Hawaiian guitars) do without them. It allows you to get some really nice sliding effects, known as "wa-wa" in the pop trade. If you are a violinist this will be called a "glissando" (far be it from from concert violinists to employ pop language). I found, trying out my mother's violin, after about five minutes my fingers landed on the right spot. I say nothing about my tone! This too is an aside. So if you're turning bowls the size of a banjo you will need a really heavy lathe. And wide drive belts. Look at Robin Wood's drive belts. For that matter look at his lathe. He's the pro. And yes, the Carabiner/dog leash clip is a RGI (really good idea) not least because it makes it really easy to wrap the cord around the mandrel. Carabiner more appropriate for the really thick belts used in big bowl turning, I think. Ohh yes and the thinner the walls of the bowl the better the tone.

BTW Kiko's instrument is closer to a mandolin, or even a lute, than a banjo. Banjos have drumhead resonators. But I am hard put to it to think up an equally catchy name. Bowlute? Bowldolin? Lutobowl? Mandobowl? Maybe we need a new thread. "Building musical instruments for bodgers," for instance. Where should it go? Dunno. Maybe Greenwood Crafts for now.

Re: power cord material

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:31 am
by ToneWood
They say the string players in an orchestra have "the best ears" for that reason, they need to be able to hear and recognize when they have the note. When a note is sustained they can use vibrato to move around the note around the note by sliding or rocking their finger back & forth (unlike guitarists, who will usually bend the string back & forth against a fret for similar effect). I've seen a few fret-less electric bass guitars too.

At Art in Action, in Oxford, there was a chap that made turned wooden bowls with strings/wire tensioned across them (I think using piano-type tuning bars at the end) - presumably as a novelty musical instrument although their appearance was quite striking and interesting too, so they might be ornamental. Probably just one fixed note per string.