I've been working in the shop with Christopher this week making the blanks for the Soundplane surfaces. Here's Chris hard at work gluing a sheet of thick latex to a fiber underlayment. (thanx Ableton for the sweatband, it's coming in very handy)
Cutting the latex sheets with the utility knife was fine for making a single prototype, but for 30 surfaces was way too slow. A gigantic shears might be the best cutting tool for this project, but getting one would be overkill for now. Meanwhile we figured out how to use the scroll saw by making a jig to hold the latex in place. It's a good thing neither of us is allergic --- latex dust goes everywhere.
After the fiber and rubber are glued together, a somewhat messy process, we get to select the area of veneer that will form the playing surface. Of course, each one can be quite different in appearance. I try to select a fairly symmetrical pattern that still has some excitement in it. Here's the first one that rolled off the assembly line.
These blanks will go to Gurian Instruments for laser-cutting and inlay, and then come back to our Ballard shop for sanding and finishing.
I'm also at work on the Soundplane client software and the Aalto update. Since there is so much to do right now, it's good that I have the software work on the one hand and the wood shop work on the other, because I can usually convince myself that the wood shop is a nice break from writing software. I'll spare you the pictures of software development but it sounds like TAKATAKATAKATAKATAK.