Mechanical Wood Crafting

Mechanical Wood Crafting

Unlike many people, I love assembling furniture (IKEA, lots of fun for me). I also like mechanisms and musical instruments (I suffer from the ukulele acquisition syndrome). So you can guess my enthusiasm when I discovered this hurdy-gurdy kit! Poor Sebonaut, here is another instrument that will join my collection.

Hurdy Gurdy Building Kit
Hurdy Gurdy Building Kit

Building the Model

Unboxing

As we open the box, we see that there are really a lot of parts (total 292). There are also all the tools needed for construction. And no glue, we do not need it!

Step 0 Unpacking
Step 0 Unpacking

Hammer Tool

We first get started by building a small hammer that will be useful to assemble the other parts later on.

Step 1 Hammer Tool
Step 1 Hammer Tool
Step 2 Hammer Tool
Step 2 Hammer Tool
Step 3 Finished Hammer
Step 3 Finished Hammer

Hurdy Gurdy

Then, we move on to the real stuff: the hurdy-gurdy.

The pieces are well identified and the instructions are rather clear. There are even several duplicate spare parts in case they break during construction (I broke 4-5 when trying too hard to get them out of the board or to fit them it).

Step 4 Sorting Wood Planks
Step 4 Sorting Wood Planks

There is another small tool with a useful shape to disassemble the pieces of their board.

Step 5 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 5 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 6 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 6 Hurdy Gurdy

At times, we have to sand or wax parts to facilitate movement or assembly. There was a candle provided in the kit but as I had not seen it, so I used an ordinary candle.

Step 7 Waxing
Step 7 Waxing
Step 8 Sanding
Step 8 Sanding
Step 9 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 9 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 10 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 10 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 11 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 11 Hurdy Gurdy

Everything is done by assembling the pieces by hand or with the small hammer. I think it’s really a tour de force on the part of Ugears to have designed such a complex functional model assembled entirely without a single drop of glue.

Step 12 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 12 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 13 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 13 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 14 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 14 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 15 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 15 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 16 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 16 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 17 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 17 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 18 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 18 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 19 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 19 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 20 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 20 Hurdy Gurdy
Step 21 Keyboard
Step 21 Keyboard
Step 22 Crank
Step 22 Crank

For the crank, there was a part at the tip that was not tight enough, so I glue a spare part on it to solidify it.

Step 23 Assembly
Step 23 Assembly

The installation of the keyboard on the sound box requires the application of a force a little larger than for the rest of the model and then we hear a clack that tells us that the assembly is secured. The only downside is that if the elastic of the key comes to dry and breaks, I have no idea how to replace it without undoing this last assembly. Is it even possible to unclip this part? Let’s hope…

Finished Hurdy Gurdy
Finished Hurdy Gurdy

Stand

There is even a nice support for storing the hurdy-gurdy.

Finished Stand
Finished Stand

Final Thoughts

The construction part took me between 5 and 6 hours in total. I had a good time and the end result makes me feel like a pro. I still find it impressive that there is no glue. The instrument is still quite sturdy and holds really well.

With regards to playing it… It’s more of a mechanical engineering feat than a real instrument. The hurdy-gurdy does not sound very good. I tried to install ukulele strings (soprano strings A and C from an Aquila kit) and even put cotton on the strings at the level of the wheel, but the sound is still as melodious as a hamster being crushed.

Challenge for YOU

Build a wooden model. If musical instruments are not your thing, know that there are plenty of other models to try. Between the ballista, the robot music box, the safe (functional with combination) and the others, you will surely find a model to your liking.

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