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Well these little instruments fascinate me. It is only now that I have awaken to realise that this instrument largely defines the character that I have associated with African music.

I have started a few prototypes following the dimension listed on one of the first posts. Used maple sides and 1/4 sawn spruce as a sound board. I suspect that a deeper (deeper than 7/8") body may help with resonance. Any comments?


For tine material I used a walmart rake(unpainted tines) the material works up well but I suspect it may be a bit thick at .042". I do have an electrical fishe that I may try based on comments read here. Any comments on the best DIY solution and construction details that will lead to a resulting sound similar to retail products. I couldn't find any in the local music shop for patterning.



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Hey Rich, like i posted before in this group i think the home depot electrician tape reel works the best for me. The roll is convenient and u put in vice and cut to lenght. Then use propane torch to heat ends and hammer to widen. Then hit them with belt sander to smooth edges. I've used lots of rake tines and i think the fish tape sounds better. Just me though. Good luck
I'm with "Roots". I use the electrician tape as often as anything else. Cheap and easy!

Can you do me a favor? I would like to know the measured value for thickness, of the electricians tape you use. The stuff I have is .022".

Dan DeBruler said:

I'm with "Roots". I use the electrician tape as often as anything else. Cheap and easy!


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