This is my RGB piano build. Unfortunately it’s been a while and I don’t remember all of the details of the build but at least I took pictures and at least I still have my CAD drawings.
This build was inspired by seeing Tom Betgeorge’s piano
We have had a piano in our display for years but it was very much a budget model. It was a PVC frame with standard mini lights zip tied to the PVC for the first year or two. The next year we upgraded it to single color LED strips on the PVC and black plastic for the black keys. Then this last year we added a white tarp background. Unfortunately it just never looked good and most people never even knew it was a piano 🙁
This new RGB piano is amazing! I can’t wait to see it in action! I still haven’t got electronics hooked up to it since I’m upgrading all my electronics this year to a WiFi based system, but plugging that all in will be a cinch.
Before you go build one for yourself I would recommend you do some things differently than I did:
- Don’t trust a tape measure! I learned this the hard way! Or if you do, base it off the 1″ mark or something and not the little metal end piece that shifts back and forth.
- If you can afford it, use nice wiring and plugs. Like these. I used these which were cheaper, but definitely not waterproof. Plus there were extra costs in heat shrink, hot glue, solder, 18/4 wire, and worst of all, time. It took forever to do the wiring the way I did it.
Here are all the drawings that I made up for my RGB Piano. It took me quite a while to get the math/CAD for this piano figured out. Not to mention optimum ways to cut all the wood pieces. So I ask if you use them and come up with improvements or ideas, please share back with the community since I am sharing with you 🙂 It took probably a week of afternoons for the CAD/drawings and then 3 weeks or so of afternoons to build it.
Rough Bill of Materials
- (4) 4′ x 8′ Sheets of 1/2″ Particleboard
- (2) 4′ x 8′ by 1/8″ thick HDPE sheets for the top. (I sampled many materials and thicknesses and this was the best by far. Unfortunately it ain’t cheap. I got mine from my local Professional Plastics for about $80 a sheet! I think I had less $ than that in my entire PVC piano! Getting this stuff shipped in from McMaster Carr or somewhere would cost you a ton in shipping)
- (6) Turnbuckles for holding the different octaves together
- (12) Eyebolts for the turnbuckles
- Extra eye bolts and eye screws to put stakes through into the ground if you are paranoid
- Bunches of 1-1/4″ screws
- Some 3-1/2″ screws
- Some 1/4″ bolts, nuts, and fender washers
- Bunches of #4-40 x 1/2″ metal screws for the metal trim
- Angle metal trim for the bottom and outside edges
- Metal trim with a shorter side to hold the HDPE sheet down. (The HDPE slides between the metal trim and the top of the wood frame)
- (6) Handles (Each octaves weighs ~100lbs)
- (6) 3-1/2″ Hinges for the legs
- Some 2×4’s for the legs
- Couples gallons of paint (1 white and 1 black)
- Bunches of plugs/wiring/zip ties (plus hot glue, heat shrink, and solder if you are crazy like me)
- Oh and don’t forget your RGB strips. I don’t remember the exact number of rolls it used since we recycled ones from other projects. But it seemed like it was about 9-10 5m rolls.
Sorry for the lack of details but it really is hard to remember everything since it was so long ago. If you have questions though please ask in the comments below and I get them answered and added to this post!!