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.
Building the Model
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!
We first get started by building a small hammer that will be useful to assemble the other parts later on.
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).
There is another small tool with a useful shape to disassemble the pieces of their board.
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.
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.
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.
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…
There is even a nice support for storing the hurdy-gurdy.
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.