Reply To: Pimp my Melodica


Here’s some photos MM. They also polish up to a shiny finish, but I think I’ll keep them like this.

I took measurements from the P37D keys, using a digital calliper, and made some 2D files to send to the last cutters. I’ve used Lasered Components (in the UK) for a previous job, and went with them again for this. I got enough done for 3 new instruments, just in case I might need some in the future. They arrived in one big sheet, with a thickness of 0.9mm:

laser cut aluminium melodica keys

Then I sorted out the keys into separate piles:

aluminium metal melodica keys

Next, I scuffed up one side of the aluminium plate, using a small needle file, so it would adhere well to the plastic melodica key. I did the same to the plastic:

scratching aluminium for gluing onto plastc

I used superglue gel to stick them together. The ends of the keys needed rounding off to fit the plastic key. I used a disc sander for this. It had to be done at an angle, as the front of the keys are slightly angled:

shaping aluminium keys with disc sander

I used sandpaper to make sure the edges of the aluminium and the keys were smooth:

sanding melodica key

The corners of the aluminium sheet were a bit rough, so I smoothed them down with a deburring scraper:

deburring scraper on melodica key

I tested 2 keys with different finishes – one I painted with silver paint (Revell Aqua Color Acrylic), and the other I used a black marker, the black marker looked best to me:

black and silver keys

And here they are, back on the instrument. I was planning to coat the black keys too, though they’re not easy to do, as they’re not flat. I like the way it looks like this though:

black plastic keys, and aluminium white keys on melodica

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