Yes I am rather proud of my Kalimba Kover (ha ha!). You're welcome to put it in your newsletter, appropriately credited of course. This is a free design for everyone to share. If people are going to make them to sell I'd like them to ask me first and negotiate a license fee. Otherwise I hope the Kalimba Kommunity finds it useful. Here's some instructions to include with the pictures.
Part of the attraction of the Kalimba is its portability, but throw it in a bag and those tines catch on everything and get knocked out of tune. So you lug it around in a big box, right?
The answer is the KALIMBA KOVER. Mine's pretty basic, as you can see - I didn't even get round to laquering the inside - but it's served me well for thirty-odd years and has been around the world.
You can pretty well see from the photos how to make one, but here are a few helpful hints. It's made of 3-ply, glued together. There are no nails or metal parts. Make it as accurately as possible to fit over the Kalimba. It won't work well if it's loose. The extra strip of wood inside rests on the top of the Kalimba past the keys and stops the Kover dropping onto the them.
The real secret is in the off-centre turn-buckle. It's all that holds the Kover on. Make two disks that just fit into the sound hole, and are each the thickness of the Kalimba's sound board. After making the Kover itself, glue a disk to its underside - in the right place of course. This is probably the trickiest bit, not dropping the disk inside the Kalimba while lining it up. The way to do it is to use liquid PVA craft glue to stick the disk to the lid in pretty well the right place. While it's still wet, jiggle the Kalimba upside down, into the lid, until the disk moves into the hole, sliding on the wet glue. Carefully lift off the Kalimba without moving the disk, and wait for the glue to dry. The lid should now fit on flush all round, with the disk inside the hole.
With the Kover off again and upside down, place the second disk exactly on top of the first and drill through both disks and the lid. The hole has to be drilled off-centre, away from the tines. Use a bit the size of the dowel you intend to use as the spindle. Glue the free disk to the end of the dowel that goes through the hole and glue a knob to the top.
Turn the knob to line up the disks (it helps if you glued the knob on straight when the disks were lined up), put the Kover on the Kalimba and turn the knob half a turn. The Kover will lock on. The more closely your Kover fits your Kalimba, the better it will hold on.
Now you can just throw your Kalimba in your bag and head off to make music for the world.
It's midnight. Time to grab the Kalimba and walk the dogs on the beach.
- Andrew Ellis