Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wooden Ribbon Controller Project Part 1

Today I decided to pick up an old idea that i had for a long time.
Whenever i play the Ribbon Controller, i tend to hold it like a guitar, not like most do on a tabletop surface.

I have always loved the combination of wooden elements and synthesizers.
This combination was/is still very popular since the early 1970's.
Look at all those (Mini)Moogs and many other synths with wooden side-panels for example...
That is why i also decided to make my Ribbon Controller out of wood.
It looks like a found a nice solution to an earlier project too.

So today i bought myself a nice piece of wood in the local woodshop.
On forehand i had the idea that the handle of an axe might be the kind of thing that i needed.
They had a few different sizes, but i found a hardwood unpainted axe hande that was 90 centimeters (3ft.) long and perfectly shaped and curved.
I might make it a bit shorter later, but for now this will do just fine.

I dismantled my old Ribbon Controler (i do own another one, the newer version) and drawn out the shape of it on the axe handle. I used 3 screws to fixate the fingerboard while doing that.
Next up is the carving... i want to sink the fingerboard into the handle, but that means i need to carve at least half a centimeter deep.

I already carved the first bit like the last picture shows, but i still have a long way to carve.
But i need to get myself a new chisel now so you will have to wait how this project will continue.
I will keep you updated... but don't expect this to be finished before 2012.


  1. Very cool project! Would be cool though if you'd manage to include another controller on there (perhaps a Doepfer joystick or their modulation wheels). That would've really increase the performance abilities.

    Marc JX8P

  2. Small steps Marc... small steps.
    More pictures on the Facebook page.