David Colpitts posted an update 4 weeks ago
Hello, Kevin, et.al.
The construction for my two (so far) “Jankolpitts” conversions is like this: In the first case (the Yamaha Pianica 25) I did real surgery. I took each key off (lost a spring or two while at it) and cut each key down. The blacks I cut down to make the tops flush with the white keys, and then the white keys I cut widthwise to make them only as wide as the blacks; in other words, the whites never “blocked” the blacks from left to right. Then, I added new auxiliary keys of wood, all the same width (and could have been all the same length, but I miscut) so I had evenly spaced, same height keys to stick the buttons to. I used gummy rubber tack putty stuff, whatever it is called where you are, and sewing buttons. The result plays fine, but looks, well, “hacked” and a bit crude. Version 2 uses a 17 US Dollar “Cahaya” 32 key melodica, which is surprisingly good value. I had to do some extra fitting, but the result is much superior cosmetically, and didn’t require hacking the plastic. It’s my “go to” for upcoming version 3, which will probably use the same method. Future development will probably require laser or CNC cut auxiliary keys, but the time to refine
CAD files for them is considerable, and I haven’t gotten to it yet. If there really is demand, I will make a small “cottage industry” of it. So far, both versions take lots of hand and light machine work, so I am trying to figure what I might charge, and how “slick” the product must be to be attractive to potential converts. For my purposes, either one works so well I am thrillled, and spend time each day to master the fingering. I sure wish I’d had a piano setup this way as a child!
I don’t think I know how to send pictures; is there a PM function so I could send email attachments?
Anyway, I appreciate the group and any feedback.