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27 June 2015

How to make an Experimental Double-shaker

Last weekend I felt the urge to build something. I'd had my interest piqued by a video of the Schlagwerk SK40 Double-shaker and in no time at all I was busy planning my way to making something in the same style...


Here's my design. I'll call out some of the more important details throughout the post, but right now I'll explain why I'm calling it an "experimental" double-shaker design. You'll see that the top is removable with the intention of changing the beads. I don't have a clue what will sound good so I've giving myself the option to open it up and change it. Genius?

20 June 2015

Xiaomi Mi Fit Madness

This past month or so has been a bit of a frustrating time with my Mi Fit Band. Fingers crossed, I'm through the worst of it. Time for a rant and to share a little bit of Xiaomi news with you.

If you want a sort of 101 on the Mi Fit band then please check out my earlier post that shows you how to set one up from scratch.


A couple of months ago my wife's Mi Fit got "stuck". It stopped counting steps and sleep patterns. The band would vibrate when you'd locate it and appeared to be happily paired with her phone, but it simply wouldn't clock up the stats.

I spent ages trying to sort it out. I charged it to max; Rebooted the phone; Unpaired and re-paired the band; Uninstalled the Mi Fit app and reinstalled... Nada. What on earth had gone wrong? I didn't have a clue. More frustratingly for me, was the fact that my wife gave up on her band; She'd lost her unbroken record of hitting her target! Oh dear! The only bright side here was that I now had a chance to catch her up! Ha ha! ;-)

Eventually I spotted a firmware update appear on my Mi Fit, so I updated my wife's to see what would happen. It fixed her band! Woohoo!

This episode ended with Mrs Uke back wearing her band and me with the longest unbroken record for hitting target. Ha ha! Life was good.

And then it happened to me... :-O

14 June 2015

How to make a Banjo Nut

I know... I've been absent for a while. I've been up to all sorts of things; some of which might make it into this blog. Today I'm going to take it slow and ease myself back into writing with a short article on making instrument nuts...


Here's a picture of my Windsor Whirle 5-string banjo. If you look really close, you'll see a problem with the nut. Yes, I've only gone and knocked the instrument over in its stand. This old bone nut has begun to crumble. You can see that the hole for the 4th string (furthest to the left in this photo) has collapsed and is now flush with the fretboard. I could have built it back up again with superglue, but in this instance I opted for a new nut. My feeling was that it would only be a matter of time before I'd be patching it up again, and anyway, making a new nut is way more fun ;-)