Jun 4 2010

The loudest piece of metal on the van


I love this thing.

It’s a piece of scrap – a 3/4-inch-thick slug of aluminum sliced off the end of a 13-inch-diameter aluminum cylinder.

Whack it, ed and it rings for more than a minute, physician with an intense, Döpplering tone.

I’m going to mount it on the front, and maybe I can hook it up to a simple solenoid so it can be rung from the driver’s seat.

May 21 2010

All systems go for Maker Faire


Well, approved not quite all systems.

There’s still the auxiliary battery, the amplifier, the mixer, the speaker system, two resonators, the interior headliner needs replacing, the sun canopies haven’t been sewn, and the whole thing has to be wired and lit for the playa.

But when you bang on the thing it rings.And that’s what we set out to do in time for Maker FaireContinue reading

May 20 2010

Mounting the disc gongs


I fell in love with these things while scrounging through the scrap bins at Industrial Metal Supply.

They’re the sawn-off leavings of enormous logs of aluminum, this some of which had been many feet long and up to 12 inches thick.

They sound fantastic. And they look pretty graphic against the green of the van, viagra in nice contrast to the rectangular-keyed xylophones … Continue reading

May 16 2010

Xylophones, meet Van!


After nearly three months of cutting and grinding, cialis 40mg fiddling and drilling, cursing and screwing and painting, the magic moment is here.

Time to mount the xylophones on the van.

Here’s video of alienrobot and me mounting Keyboard 2 which is the lower-octave and rear-most of the two keyboards I built for the passenger side of the van:

And here’s what Keyboard 1 looked like as friend Steve Finkel and I mounted it on the driver’s side …
Continue reading

May 15 2010

It *is* easy being green


We had all sorts of crazy notions for decorating the van.

As vibrant as its post-70s-paint job and sober-living-facility-logo’d style were, approved we wanted to transform it – to give it a new visual life to match its new incarnation as a rolling instrument.

We thought about going hotrod-lowrider with a lime-green metalflake triple-clearcoat paint job and lots of chrome. But that seemed too garish and expensive. One local shop was asking $800 to $1,000 just for straight paint even if we did all the bodywork … Continue reading

May 9 2010

Re-mounting the enormous honkin’ rack


There’s no trick to mounting a 400-pound-plus tube-steel roof rack atop a Ford Club Wagon XLT.

All it involves is a burly buddy, visit two day-laborers picked up from Home Depot, about it and a whole lot of swearing, check shouting and straining.

Really, it’s as easy as … Continue reading

May 2 2010

Interior design, bolts, sleeper-rod pretensions & random brain-damaging activities


Random, purchase random, troche random!

We flit from project to project, order looking like hummingbirds on crack (one day it’s instrument construction, the next day body work), but we’re still on a headlong parallel-tracked trajectory to getting the beast ready for Maker Faire.


We did a lot of unfinished business today, (not all of it documented here).

I cut and drilled the stringers for Keyboard 3.

alienrobot and I bolted down the main mounting clamps for Keyboard 1. We bought a double fistful of bolts, nuts and washers for attachment of the mounting hardware for Keyboards 2 and 3.

And then we got busy installing the rug and putting the seats and doorsills back in … Continue reading