Whilst sorting up stuff in preparation for switching apartments, I came across a broken egg slicer. Prior to tossing it, I decided to play it a bit with my finger nail. HMMmm.. Sounds almost like an instrument.. I wonder..
Ok so instead of getting binned, the slicer ends up on my desk for a fun insta-project :)
For the enclosure, I picked up some old car radio thingie from my box of assorted project boxes. The speaker vent made it look kinda “resonatorish”..
As most of the “strings” on the slicer sound way too low I decided to install a tension bar. This is simply a a circular metal rod (about 2-3mm in diameter) part pulled from a tape deck. To hold the tension bar in place, I filed grooves for it.
At first, I was thinking of installing the bar at an angle in order to tune the “strings” differently (most of them sound at the same pitch) but this turned out too difficult to implement. Maybe it would’ve also made the instrument too classy :).. The slicer is fastened to the case with a couple of cable ties.
Ok, basic playable instrument put together.. But if the sound needs to be tuned whilst played? Let’s throw in a Whammy bar! I fashioned this out of some laptop display hinges and cable tension relief clamps (from DSUB connectors). The whammy bar connects to the tension bar with a couple of long M3 screws:
If installed as-is, the whammy bar would’ve needed to be mounted way higher than the slicer. So, to get the screws to approach/connect to the tension bar at a lower angle, I added grooves for them as well.
After test-installing the whammy bar, it turned out that the tension bar had problems staying put (despite being slotted in the grooves) after medium tension was applied. To work around this, I installed a couple of stopper screws on the opposite side. When whammy is bent to maximum position, the tension bar simply slides up against the screws. And so..:
“Leikele?!” you say? Well as the instrument is sort of a crossbreed between a miniature kantele and a slicer (leikkuri in finnish), so.. In case you’re wondering what this instrument sounds like, I have a clip of it here.
Now hear the waves on sea shore roaring, my Leikele gently weeps!