This section is from the book "Amateur Work Magazine Vol6". Also available from Amazon: Amateur Work.
Before fastening in the glasses, simply lay them on the strings and try them, changing them about until their proper places are found. To sharpen a note, cut the glass a trifle shorter.
For glass 1 in. wide and 1/16 in. thick the following will be about the correct lengths:-B, 5 1/2 in.; C, 5 1/4 in.; D, 5 in.; E, 4 7/8 in.; F, 4 5/8 in.; G, 4 1/2 in.; A, 4 3/8 in.; B, 4 1/4 in.; C, 4 1/8 in.; D, 3 3/4 in.; E, 3 5/8 in.; F, 3 1/2 in.; G, 3 3/8 in.; A, 3 1/4 in.; B, 3 1/8 in.; C, 3 1/16 in.; D, 3 in.; E, 2 3/4 in. When the glasses are turned and fastened to the strings, procure two pieces of 3/16-in. deal or pine. 23 1/2 in. long by 2 in. wide at one end and 1 1/4 at the other. Glue these on so as to hide the ends of the glass strips and form a top to the box.
For the beaters procure a piece of thin cane or whalebone about 8 in. long, and glue on one end a round knob of cork. The instrument is played by tapping the notes with the beaters, holding one in each hand, and grasping them about 1 in. from the end to let them have plenty of spring.
In arranging a set of musical glasses (see Fig. 10), one of the most important things to aim at is simplicity of construction, so that the notes may be brought well under the hand and can be reached without trouble. Fig. 10 shows a simple arrangement of the glasses, as it brings the semitone of each note next to the note itself. If of the plain dulcimer shape, the sides and ends of the case may be made to fold down and under, or the apparatus may be made as
The wood harp is shown by Fig. 12. In making this instrument, the wood must be carefully selected, because shakes or knots seriously impair the tone. Also the parts must be carefully fitted. For the foundation take a piece of well-seasoned deal. 6 ft. long and 6 in. wide, and about 4 in. in thickness. Plane this up to the size and shape down by FFig. 13. The rods are 1/2 in. in diameter when rounded up. The longest will need to be about 6 ft.;; all must be evenly planed and glasspapered. At 3 1/2 in. from one end of the foundation, bore a hole 1 in. deep with a centre-bit. This hole should be slightly less in diameter than the rods. Bore similar holes right shown by the dotted lines. Note that the water glass for moistening the fingers is placed in the center: the water glass usually contains water that has been acidulated with lemon juice. The best kind of glass to use is the plain flint; and it is obvious that the glasses cannot be all of one size, as the necessary difference in pitch will not admit of it, but it will be well to get them all of the sumo height if possible. As they cannot be raised in pitch, any tuning necessary must be obtained by flattening. This is done by putting water into each glass till the desired note is attained. Do not flatten any glass any more than a whole tone, as it spoils the quality. The glasses are fastened to the baseboard b means of clips -three to each, as shown in Fig. 11.
along the centre of the foundation at distance of 3 1/2 in. apart. Slightly taper one end of the rods, and. after dipping them in good hot glue, drive them well home with a mallet. After putting in all the rods, leave them to dry for 24 hours. Proceed meanwhile to make the stand, which will require a board 6 ft. by 10 in. by 1 1/4 in. Plane this up to the section shown by Fig. 14. This is for the - foundation to fit in at A. This stand is fastened to the foundation with 2-in. screws from the bottom. Fig. 15 shows the end in section, B being the rod, C the foundation, and D the stand. When thoroughly dry, rub down with glasspaper;; then take an old glove of wash-leather and dust it well with powdered resin. Take hold of the longest rod with a light but firm grip, and draw the hand down. Try this until the best effect is obtained; then proceed to tune all the other rods from this one by cutting them down bit by bit until the desired notes are produced. Keep the. wood harp very clean; do not stain, varnish or paint it. When the resin has worked into the rods a little, they will sound at the slightest touch. With a little practise a great many airs can be played. Never touch the rods except with the resined gloves.
The tubephone, shown in plan by Fig. 16, is related to the harmonica. The following instructions apply to the making of a two-octave tubephone (fifteen notes) in the key of G. For the baseboard A, get a piece of 1/2-in. pine, free from knots and shakes, 23 in. long and 4 1/2 in. wide at the base end, tapering to 13 3/4 in. at the upper end. For the two sides B or bridges to carry the tubes, two pieces of pine, 23 in. long by 3/8 in. thick, will be required. The width of these depends upon the way they are joined to the base, whether fastened to the sides or tops. In either case they must stand 1 5/8 in. above the baseboard and 41/2 in., tapering to 13/4 in., apart, inside measurement. These bridges are bored with 7/8-in. holes on centres 1 1/2 in. apart, as shown in an enlarged portion of side (Fig. 17) for the tubes to be suspended in. The tops of these holes should be cut to a line gauged 3/16 in, from the top of the bridge. A stout saw kerf or narrow groove must be taken the whole length of the bridge along the top, to allow a soft cotton cord to lay in to support the tubes. This groove must be cut to a depth of 3/8 in., and will then support the tubes about the centre of 7/8-in. holes. The tubes T are made of thin brass 3/8-in. bore and 7/16-in. outside diameter, sound and free from cracks.
The lengths of tubes given below are approximately correct, but the slightest difference in thickness or weight of metal will cause venations in pitch. As a tube cannot be flattened in pitch, cut them long enough in the first instance:-G,9 3/4 in.; A, 91/4 in.; B, 8 3/4 in.; C, 8 1/2 in.; D, 8 in.; E, 7 1/2 in.; FS, 7 1/8 i n.; G, 6 7/8 in.; A, 6 1/2 in.; B, 6 1/8 in.; C, 5 7/8 in.; D, 5 5/8 in.; E, 5 1/4 in.; FS, 4 15/16 in.; G, 4 3/4 in.
To fasten the tubes in position, secure one end of the cotton cord to the base end of the bridge below the groove with a staple, screw, or nail at S, and lay it in the groove right along to the upper end; the cord will then show as a line cutting the 7/8-in. holes about 3/16 in. down. Draw the cord down in the hole, pass one part behind the other to make a bight, and insert the tube. When all the tubes are in, tighten the cord and fasten the end as before. The tubes can now be regulated to lie fairly in the centre of the holes without touching the sides. Finally, glue a thin strip of wood into the groove in the top of the bridge, and stain and varnish, or polish as desired. The beaters are made of wooden balls about 1 in. in diameter, on thin flexible cane sticks 8 in. long. A good plan is to have the baseboard about 1 in. wider than the length of the tubes, and to make a wooden box or cover to fit over all; this will keep out dust and dirt and prevent damage to the tubes.- "Work," London.