I’m gathering my materials, the sides of this piece will be 1/4″ zebrawood, and the front and back panels will be 1/8″ Wenge. I’ll be using 1/2″ and 3/4″ brass wood screws, Sugru moldable waterproof glue, boiled linseed oil, a 61/2 trombone mouthpiece, two 1/4″ rubber grommets (one for the mouthpiece aperture and one to align the spit valve), two mushroom head guitar strap pegs, and a 3 lead piezoelectric pickup.
I’ll have to wait a bit for the wood to come in via UPS, so in the meantime I will cut patterns out of cheap luan plywood from Home Depot. I’ll post the cheaper mockup pictures once they’re made.
I have found that a long leather camera strap can keep the melodica around your neck ready to play, if using guitar strap pegs.
I have discovered a unique new spit valve solution for this particular model setup, based upon the ideas given to me above in this thread. Essentially, I have created a crude molded plastic casing to go around the entire valve mechanism, which has a funnel bottom and can be securely affixed, via silicone joint tape, to a length of clear surgical tubing which runs to the bottom of the instrument, where it can drain out from a hole lined with a grommet into which the silicone tube is affixed via adhesive. In this way, I can use the existing button to drain it. In the final iteration of wenge and zebrawood, I will sand down the domed plastic valve button to a flat surface and epoxy a small semiprecious cabochon to it to serve as the new button top.