For my final project I set out to make a woodwind instrument modeled after an alto saxophone. I started this idea with my up cycle project at the beginning of the semester and I was very pleased with how it came out. I made it out of PVC pipe and was able to make it playable and actually calibrate the pitches up and down an octave. With this being a success I decided to do take on a much more complicated iteration of this with my final project. I knew that I wanted to make my project primarily out of wood, because of the way that it looks. Also wood is used in a lot of instruments and I thought that it would offer a good smooth sound unlike the pipe I had used previously.
I decided to try and model this accurately to an alto sax. I took calipers and other measuring tools to my saxophone, to be as precise as possible when building my model. This was far more time consuming than I thought and actually required me taking parts of my saxophone apart to get accurate measurements. I then made a cad model in solid works to with all of the dimensions that I gathered.
I decided to make the faces flat. I did this because I new that trying to make the buttons airtight with a round face would be far to difficult for the time, budget and resources that I had available for this project. Since I wanted to keep the dimensions as close as possible to a real saxophone, I had imported my cad drawings into Corel draw and laser cut every thing.
In assembly I used used wood glue to and brackets to combine the pieces of ply wood that I used for the sides However after seeing the plywood was so warped, i knew that I had almost no chance of getting the body to be airtight. From then on out I stuck with my aesthetic goals over functionality goals. I stained the wood to give it a nice darker finish.
I ended up using the holes that I cut out as the button covers. I wrapped them in metal wire so that they would not fall down into the body of the instrument through the wholes.
Assembling the buttons to that they worked like an actual saxophone was the most difficult,t part of the project by far. I used spring and metal wire to make this possible and ended up being successful.