In my line of work you really don’t know what’s it gonna be next. This time I was asked to make a musicality device for dance classes, a brainchild of a well known Balboa dance master Gašper Hrovat.
Usually the look of the device is explained without any kind of visualization, but this time I actually got this sketch, and it was all I needed to visualize the complete thing.
As with most of the projects, everything starts with designing the blueprints after the brainstorming session.
The next step is always gathering raw materials for the start of the build.
Some laser-cutting and lathe work later we have raw parts.
Everything ready for test fitting.
While laser-cutting, I tend to make 0.2mm smaller holes and drill them afterwords if I intend to cut a thread inside.
Thread cutting of the handle lever. I’ve also made a shorter one just in case this one is too long.
Some welding to make a swivel point for the paper brake.
Countersinking holes to make everything nice and pretty.
As it usually goes, none of the levers were good, and since I didn’t want to lose any more time, I decided to make my own. As usual.
Some more welding action – for the smaller stuff I used 0.8 welding wire and ferroline gas.
Some machine and hand sanding to make the welds smooth.
All ready for zinc plating.
I brushed the aluminum before anodizing to get a little more organic texture.
All anodized and ready for the final assembly.
Anti-slip mat that is usually used for bottoms of the drawers was perfect for the underside of the machine.
The anti slip mat was glued with the upholstery glue.
Few more details before the next step – cutting around the holes.
In my opinion, details make the products stand out and raise overall product quality to a higher level.
As you can see, all aluminum parts were anodized in natural color, and all the steel ones where zinc plated in white (they are silver in reality but they call it white).
A bunch of thumb nuts was mounted for tool-less operation.
Zinc plated handle was mounted in place with a drop of thread locker.
With the machine assembled, I started to think about its transportation.
Request was to make it light as possible because of air travel, and for that purpose I used a 3mm plywood to construct the box.
I used 10 x 10 square sticks for reinforcement around the edges.
Glue curing in action.
Edge reinforcement detail.
Straight cut needles and syringes were used to put glue exactly where it needs to be.
After the box was glued and cured, some sanding and smoothing out the edges was needed before the painting process.
Two coats of clear mat lacquer were applied for a nice finish.
Thick 10 mm dark gray foam was cut for protection, first to fill the spaces between the 10×10 sticks, than the one piece overlay.
Those clips are really handy to have in workshop for bunch of stuff and especially gluing.
Also, I managed to install small legs on the bottom of the box.
A finished box. I actually went for this “vintage precision tool instrument” look, just because the machine looks like something from cold war era.
There it is in all its glory, The Musicalidy 4.0. It’s not a typo, ask Gašper what it means 😀
You can see the paper brake is tensioned with the elastic band, and if needed, the force can be regulated just with adding more bands.
To reduce the ware of aluminum, the spindle hole was reinforced with steel.
The box handle was actually repurposed from a new, but broken toolbox.
Detail of custom plate. Why was the plate needed? Because details.
I added those two black dots so the user knows which side goes where for the smoother operation.
The box and the machine.
The rotating grip is an industrial machinery grip. Actually a lot of thought was put when choosing a handle to get this vintage overall look, since it is one of the more dominant things when you look at the machine.
Machine is inserted sideways so the user can also utilize the empty space inside the box. The handle is removed prior to packaging.
On a side note: there are handles that can bent out of the way when not in use, but in this situation they looked too bulky.
Detail of the underside and the thumb-nuts.
All the extra holes are for experimenting with the tension-er on the other side, and also for mounting future accessory if needed.
When I was fabricating the lever for the spindle I was afraid that it will ruin the industrial feel but I really like how it turned out.
Extra paper rolls have also been custom made for this specific machine, and they are tucked in the box next to the machine. This is it. Can’t wait to hear the impressions from the classes
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