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Guest Alexius

Flat Pack Cardboard Guitar 1st Year

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Guest Alexius

hello ive just started uni and my first project is to create a stringed instrument out of cardboard so that primary children can build it from a flat pack and play it. I am in the reasearch stage and have no idea where to start. i was just wondering if any one else did this type of project in there first year. any type of advice would be great i just need soe sortof guidance.

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Guest Robomod

You need to reaserch the rigidity of cardboard. The tension of a stringed instrument ispertinents t obtain a decent sound. Have you seen Gehry's carboard chairs. They are layered cardboard, but layering would be cheating in a bad way for your instrument. How many strings does it need to have? How long, or how many octaves? I think a peizo pickup would be sweet, then you could play it. Do you play any instuments? The distance of the bridge to the octave should be the same as the distance from the nut to the octave.

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Why card board? I am sure that you can create flat patterns out of other sustainable materials that have the sound quality of good instruments. Also why does it need to be made from flat compnents?

Here is a Martin BackPacker. It might have some of the qualities that you could draw inspiration from.

 

Edit: Oh its a first year - "we are going to force you to use cardboard and force you to think creatively" kind of deal?

Well- in this case I would suggest that you dont even sketch. Go to your local music store get some strings for guitars, nylon, steel, etc for different instruments (I would suggest starting with guitar because it is cheap) Ask the clerks what kind of string they might suggest. Find out if there are message boards for luthiers and instrument makers. I am sure they might appreciate a change of pace. Find any cardboard factories within a few hours that you could ask for different thicknesses of cardboard from. They would probably be a good source on the properties of cardboard as well. Get a hot glue gun, wood glue and Super77 and start prototyping. Dont sketch too much if at all. Breadboard modelling will be the order of the day.

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Robomods suggestion of a pick-up is somewhat cheating, but could help you get around the need to design a sound-box. Look up electric guitar design to find out basic construction methods.

 

Another alternative instrument to look at might be a harpsichord. Heck now that I think about it a harp would make your life a lot easier.

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Guest superbad

For a guitar or similar instrument, I think you could make it reasonably stiff enough if you ran a couple stiffening ribs along the neck and into the body with a series of tabs and slots to hold it together. I am picturing the sillhouette of a guitar for the front and back with slots in a line down the whole thing, with a couple of ribs holding the two pieces together. You could arrange the ribs in such a way to make a soundbox as well. The body pieces could be the package too, just wrapped in plastic. Since it's just a toy, you might as well include a bow so it can be played like a cello too.

 

The tough part seems to be holding and tensioning the strings in a satisfactory way. For that I have no ideas.

 

I agree though, get some cheap strings and a bunch of cardboard and start playing around. That's a much better way to learn than asking us. ;)

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Guest Alexius

thanks guys you have really helped me get into gear i think i will start experimenting first with cardboard and string.

 

thanks again al

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Guest Alexius

im a first year and its only the fith week like im gonna do any work? lol no seriously ill keep you posted im soon to draw up my concept sketches

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Guest tom_j_owen

i remember i made a guitar type thing out of an old box a broom handle and some string when i was in lower school..

 

look on blue peter or some kiddies activities pages im sure they still do this type of thing.

 

i'm looking at my fender at the moment. you know you could make an accoustic out of 4 folded peices.

 

- top (with sound hole)

-bottom (no hole)

-sides (one strip, but scored to get the curves and tabs to glue it to top and bottom)

-neck (one peice with folded ribs along length)

 

prototype it matey see if it works .

 

if you do do it take a pic i would love to see it!

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Guest Alexius

hey gues just made a prototype and the tension of the nylon strings absolutly rips the box shape neck i made apart. god this will be hard

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Guest Alexius

ok hear are some pictures of my first concept theyarnt very to good sorry i need ideas or insperation or something. and also the model i made for a chocolate box and a loo roll.

 

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Guest Alexius

hey guys just letting u no ive handed in my tech report and presentation boards for this project aswell as the model sorry for not keeping u updated but ive been bussy with plentya night without sleep. any way here are the pictures of my model and the ratchet thing i made from cardboard to act as a machine head. and comments would be apreciated.

 

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i finnished the card off with an oil based model paint

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Guest Alexius

heres the ratchet which tighens the strings the only downfall is that they cant be unwound so i hav to just push the strings back though the hole

 

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