Soli Deo gloria

Greetings -

So the premise is - If a Billion wind chimes chimed, for a billion years, would you get a Chopin? As I pondered the possibilities one evening, one of my favorite creators had the phrase Soli Deo gloria in their video. So I looked it up. The wiki said, in part,

Soli Deo gloria is a Latin term for Glory to God alone. It has been used by artists like Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Christoph Graupner to signify that the work was produced for the sake of praising God.

Turns out Bach signed all of the religious hymns he wrote with SDG. So the phrase is sort of related to music, that gives me a starting point. Is music a gift we are given? Do other animals ‘enjoy’ music? Turns out no, we’re the only ones who create music. Some animals can move in ‘rhythm’, if there’s a reward, but that’s about it. As far as we can tell anyway.

So we are (likely) the only animals who can truly ‘feel’ something from music, and snakes can see infrared. How is our music creation and feeling a beneficial adaptation? I don’t know. But, I do know I want to build something that plays music. So time to start making…

It needs a cool, overly thought out, zero engineering, apparatus to hold it. I’m on it. As I’m thinking church motif, flying buttress design seems overly complicated and about right. Burning some cardboard to scale it.

Approximately 4 million hours later, almost all on the Glowforge interface. Torture, but motivation to keep learning Lightburn.

I’m still not sure where this is going at this point. So just make some extra layers and see how it feels.

Well, let’s slap it together with some Elmers and hot glue & see what we got.


It’s not the worst thing ever. The finger joints into the flat part need to be longer. The angles are not symmetric. Blah, blah, blah. But it’s plenty sturdy. So which direction to go? I can see from getting this far, that it’s going to cost a crap ton to do in Draftboard, plus nicer surface layers, and there will be three levels of course. So ya. And, the center section shown does need to be that thick, for the musical purpose.

So I settled on making it out of plywood. All my local places had that wasn’t Pringled was 1/4" decent quality plywood. So I got some and started in with a finger joint test.

But as soon as the first two pieces of wall section were cut, the wood was taking way too long to cut, and for 16 to 18 piece, plus some error. I decided to bail out on that material idea. So, it’s back to cardboard, and I’ll dress it up with some felt, and a bunch of Elmers while I think about the direction to go.

So then I decided to just use this project as a Lightburn exercise. I had the walls and center section done (in GF). But I redrew the center section in Lightburn, as it was just an oval, with some non-symmetrically spaced notches. :wink: Close enough and now I can practice Lightburn on the top and base levels. So here we go…

Fits close enough. And yes, there is another upright that goes in the back. I just didn’t know if I wanted it or not, but it will be going in. Top fits… And did some inlay felt on the center section.

Now to make the two piece bottom. The cardboard up rights are warped in multiple dimensions from all the Elmers, so a little trial and error was required…


I see where this is going. I made a few more ‘mistakes’ to even out the count. I definitely have a plan for this…

In the future. Stay focused… Get some sandy felt for the bottom layer and put it on a foam board and black felt base.

And let’s get the whole mess together.

In case you’re wondering, the 6 holes on each layer are for the musical use. But, they also fit tea candles perfectly. I’ll be using battery ones, for obvious reasons. :slight_smile: And if would fit miniature figurines quite well.

So this was a good exercise, mostly in just learning to use Lightburn. I think it could have worked in wood, but the design just isn’t very good for getting symmetry, let alone even, consistent angles. And of course I’m not a carpenter… But I might take a run at it some day, to bring the musical inspiration to life.



Not gonna lie, I seriously thought this was for some kind of post Gothic Tabletop RPG xD


Cool. And the more I look at it. I think it might be the most perfect Fireworks rocket launcher of all time. We do that here at New Year’s. Hmmm…


Cool design and great saga! I’m not quite getting how this can be used to make music, so I’ll look forward to your updates when that happens.


I’ll look forward to your updates when that happens.


Adding the musical components will be an ‘aspirational project’. But I did do a (successful) proof of concept of the musical apparatus, before making this aesthetic shell. So I’m sure it will come together at some point.

For a breakdown on materials & cost of this piece -
12ea 12x18 ‘premium’ felt at $3ea. $36
1 yard of premium black Felt $15.
17 sheets of cardboard $20
1ea 22" x 28" Foam Board base $8
Elmer, hot glue & spray adhesive $5

Total about $85. But Joanns has the ‘premium’ 12 x 18 felt on sale all the time for 1/2 price, and that’s when I stock up. So minus $18. I use the Elmers tri-fold display boards for my cardboard source. They are $6 and you get 5 x 12x20 pieces out of one. Since I was doing a lot of layers, and the color / thickness didn’t matter, I used some recycled (amazon box) cardboard as a substitute for some of the Elmers, so less another $10.

So for about $60 this thing would be a cool backdrop for a D & D game or to display miniatures. And I’d make the center section thinner for a more balanced aesthetic.

Now that I have the size and scale of the full piece, for the musical function there are two metal components I’ll need that I want to cast out of silver. Since the weather is back up to a balmy 0f degrees, I’ll set up the bench top kiln today - as soon as it gets light outside. Sunrise is not until 11am, dreaded winter solstice…

Two of my Christmas presents to myself were a set of tiny crucibles, and a nice bench vice for my garage workstation. I’ve been wanting to do some metal stamping on the anvil platform of it and this is the perfect opportunity to break it in.

So I’ll be casting the two musical components out of silver and custom stamping them today. They’ll be nice to look at, by themselves, and if / when the musical device comes together, I’ll have those components ready. I absolutely love silver, and enjoy melting / working with it. It’s such an organic exercise, which is a nice reprieve from the technology intensive task of design and fabrication.



Feels good to fire that up again. Now that I have actual crucibles, it’s pretty easy. Just takes awhile. This kiln was a Craigslist score. It’s made for enameling, so not (that) hot. But it’ll do Silver no problem and that’s all I’m interested in working with. Just after 12 noon. That’s about all the sun we get to see this time of year…

Anyway, weather check, nice, no coat required to go in and out and working outside for 10 or 15 minutes.

Here’s my supplies, from the last time I melted stuff. That was the first time I ever used the kiln and I was just experimenting with gauging volume vs mass of the round molds I had and how long the melting process would take at different temperature settings.

This time, I have a little better kit, a fraction more knowledge, and far greater confidence that I’m not going to burn down the house.

I didn’t take any pictures of melting and running the oven, I was just making sure I wasn’t burning down the house… Oh, and this time I also get to try my new stamping set. And yes, it fits in one those containers. Barely…

So I made the two top rounds, and the bottom one was from the first time. I figured, the face was so bad on it that I’m going to remelt it anyway. So might as well practice using the Stamps on it. After the first one, Bling, good enough.

And in case you’re wondering. I only had one mold in the diameter I wanted to use. So the other size is… Bam!

I’m very happy with them. Although, the larger one probably weighs too much for its intended purpose. But assuming I get that far on the build, if it is too heavy, I’ll just remelt it and try to thin it out on the pour. In the mean time, not too shabby for not knowing anything about what I’m doing.

Yup, these’ll do…

My house
Is out of the ordinary
That’s right
Don’t wannna hurt nobody
Some things sure can sweep me off my feet


Edward N. Lorenz showed why you would not, and not even know if you did, though allowing for enough error you might, but then allowing for enough error the very first time you would have it :slightly_smiling_face:

Greetings -

I don’t know if I’d call this an update, it’s more of a sidetrack. Thought I’d flesh out the D & D idea a little since I have this thing. There was one pack left of battery tea lights at Michaels, so let’s do this…

Screen Shot 2022-12-27 at 9.13.40 AM

There were several that were DOA out of the box, but it came with 24 and I only need 18, so no problem. And yes, I wrapped all of them in electrical tape to hide the ugly white sides.

Not bad. The top layer cupped badly, would have been better it it cupped UP, but it’s just a mock up. Here’ the lit shot and thought I’d try some kind of glowing base for the candles out of acrylic. So did a fluorescent pink and peeled the electrical tape on that one.

The LED inside the tea light is too bright, so I made a little multi-layer felt cap to diffuse and hide it a little, and cover the ugly white top of the candle.

Also did a fluorescent green, and a blue version, cause why not…

Simple pattern that snugly fits over the bulb of the flame. Yes, I actually had fluorescent green felt on hand…

And it helps them look good when the tea light is not on as well.

For reference, doing all six tea lights on a level with one color acrylic would need one full sheet. I’m not going to go there on this exercise. And they are too big anyway. You could easily do just one, in the center of the 6 circles on each level. And it would be scaled about right.

Anyway, fun sidetrack.