Home > I Made a Thing! > Mariano II, Action Prototype II

Mariano II, Action Prototype II

Well, a lot of rejiggering and I have a new prototype for the action.  Still further simplified from the original Hickman blueprint–now there are only five or six moving parts, and it damps!  That’s right, the first xylophone that can be played staccato!  Some experimentation has yielded a damper that cuts the note right off effectively.  It has such a nice mellow tone with just a bit of percussive attack–I can’t wait to have enough of these to actually play stuff.




And just for kicks, while I’m posting stuff, maybe I’ll show the world my cello.  It’s nothing special, but it has given me enough enjoyment and frustration that it deserves its place alongside the rest here.  Here’s a candid shot of it reposing in its boudoir.


Categories: I Made a Thing!
  1. Frank DeMeglio
    February 19, 2014 at 8:26 am


    I teach at an arts college in Singapore. We have about 30 pianos in performing, studio and concert spaces. Many of our older pianos could really use an action replacement.

    I’ve been wanting to prototype the hickman action, for years. You’re the first person I’ve encountered who has actually built one.

    I’ve access to some 3D printers, and would love to try it out. Do you have blueprints or specs you’d be willing to share?


    • February 19, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Hi Frank, it’s very exciting to hear from you. Actual need is what this project has been missing, and may even provide the motivation to get this completed. I’d be happy to dig up my designs, and even work them up in Solidworks to create something digital and printable. I was trying to avoid 3D printing these parts as I don’t have a printer and ordering the components printed would have been cost prohibitive, but if you have a printer already I think that would be an easy way to go about it. I’ve sent you an email to discuss further!

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