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How to Make a Wind Up Music Box

Updated July 19, 2017

Music boxes, a mechanical device that plays a sound indoors, were first coming into their own in the 1400s inside clocks. However, it wasn't until 1796 that Antoine Favre, a Swiss man, began using pre-tuned metal strips instead of larger bells inside boxes, and the size of the boxes began to shrink. Music boxes didn't change much and their music is still usually made with the same technique Antoine Favre invented. Making your own music box can bring you much enjoyment.

Find a box, container or sculpture you want to use for your music box. Purchase a movement for your music box with the song of your choice.

Decide where you would like your movement. If you are using a sculpture, this will most likely be in a hollowed-out bottom; if you are using a box, place the movement to one side or the centre.

Sketch a mark for the hole for the windup key of your music box. This hole should be 1/4 inch in diameter. Mark the holes for the two screws that will hold the movement in place these; should be 1/8 inch. These measurements may vary as they depend on the kind of movement you purchase.

Drill the holes accordingly and vacuum out the music box to remove all sawdust and debris. Use the rag to dust the area thoroughly where you will be attaching the movement--the slightest bit of dirt or dust could jam the movement.

Unscrew the key from the movement and set it aside. Screw the movement onto the box or sculpture and be sure that it is tight and flush against the side of the container. Music boxes don't make much noise unless they can vibrate against something.

Screw the windup key back into the movement from the outside. Test the box by winding your movement up. You should hear your tune playing clearly; if not, try tightening the screws.

Tip

Try a music box kit for your first project so you have all the tools ready to go in one package.

Things You'll Need

  • Movement
  • Box or sculpture
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Screws
  • Vacuum
  • Rag
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Kris Gaines is a professional writer and an accomplished artist within many mediums including digital and traditional styles. Teaching people is her passion and she works with children on a regular basis instructing them on art and basic biology and gardening. Gaines contributes writing to various websites and is working on her first fantasy novel.