Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to Make Joy Tubes, AKA Flop-ophone

 Another of my home-made tube percussion instruments:
Joy Tubes, AKA Flop-ophone
Similar to Joia Tubes - Save hundreds of $$$!
This set cost me $32 to make. (I bought the shoe rack for $4 at a thrift store, and I bought the bungees at a dollar store.)
       Materials:    Two lengths of two-inch PVC pipe
                         ABS flanges (adapters, 2" x 3") - 
                           one for each note
                         An old shoe rack (open style)
                         Bungee cords - one for each note
                                        (or cut up long ones) 
                         PVC glue or plastic cement
                         A pair of old flip-flops
                         A saw (if you don't have lengths
                          cut at a store)
                         A knife to trim down the flip-flops
                         Markers or stickers for labeling
                           and/or decorating pipes
                         Rubbing alcohol or Goof-off to
                           remove black ink on pipe.
(The picture below shows materials I used.)
1- Have your helpful hardware store clerk cut the PVC for you. Take a measuring tape and marker (with millimeters for accuracy) to the store with you and mark your PVC pipe to be cut in these lengths:

               G     793 mm
               A     703 mm
               B     630 mm
               C     594 mm
               D     529 mm
               E     473 mm
               F     440 mm
               F#   418 mm
               G'    396.5 mm

Notes: if you must cut the pipe on your own or trim pipes to tune notes, be sure to wear a mask to protect your lungs from the PVC dust.

The average shoe rack will hold five tubes. I change out tubes according to the key and tone set I need. With the notes G, A, C, D, E, and F, you can play in pentatonic major keys of G, C, and F. (That's all I made for this set.)

2- Label your tubes with markers or stickers, and if desired, decorate them a bit. I used vinyl-like scrapbooking borders on this set. They added a nice touch and have held up well.

3- Glue a flange onto the TOP end of each pipe.
4- Loop, tie and/or fasten bungee material around the two top braces of the shoe rack to create a holder for each pipe. You may have to experiment a bit to find the best way to use the materials you have to work with.
Here's a close-up of what I did on this particular set.   

5- Trim flip-flops as shown, creating a handle on the heel end. Glue the stub from the toe piece in place to make the floppers air-tight.

To play, simply 'flop' the top of the pipes, covering the open/flanged end with the wide part of the paddle.

Add these to your collection of tube percussion and enjoy your Joy Tubes!

(Instructions for the BOOM PIPES in the above picture are included in an earlier post.)

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