Macro Music Box Update 3/16

I now have everything I need for successful completion of this project. I’ve been buying (and returning) lots of random components but now have all the parts I need. I’d found a large variety of different colored bike chain and bought many different ones to see which one fits my aesthetic best, and I’ve decided to go with the gold (see below) and send back all the brown options.



I’m actually using derailleur sprockets  to make the chain rotate, based on only their price and mount-ability. They can easily press fit onto a shaft or be bolted onto hardware, where normal sprockets have a difficult bore to mate with. I’m slightly worried about their structural characteristics, but with the tension I’m going to have it shouldn’t really be a problem.

I have my free wheel as well, again with a brass finish for the aesthetic.

I went to the lumberyard and found some really pretty 2×1 wood sticks, which I’ve started to sand down to make the keys. It isn’t an actual dark wood (it’s pine), although I bought some dark walnut stain that should give me the same effect. I went with the pine because it had a really nice visible grain that will give a great old wood aesthetic. I’ve cut the keys down, and started to sand them, although it’s a time consuming process so I haven’t finished these yet.

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5 Comments. Leave new

  • Elizabeth Whitman
    May 4, 2016 3:56 pm

    I like that this is a somewhat a continuation of the up-cycle theme of our first project. Or at least using lots of components for things other than their intended purpose. It is always fun to challenge yourself to see things in a new way. This type of project definitely pushes you to do so.

  • The gold color looks great! I’m wondering how did you clean the chains, looks so shiny

  • Chad Alvarez
    March 28, 2016 8:34 am

    I think you made a good choice going with the gold. I think it will give it a classy look yet not be too much flash in the overall aesthetic.

  • How are you getting the brass coating? Electroplating?

  • Jason Mcgrath
    March 27, 2016 8:53 pm

    I also find myself shopping for a lot of components that I think will work their way into the design of my object, only to find that what I bought is completely off track. It’s an unique aspect of the design process when trying to create a real product within a relatively short time frame. It sounds like your part search is pretty much over and fabrication can begin – which is goo progress. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.


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