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This is a status report of sorts. I have undertaken a music box construction project which entails making eight boxes to accomodate the Sankyo 72 note movements. These are being made to be gifts for my granddaughters, daughter, and wife of 52 years. The plan (which I modified cosmetically for each box) and the movements were from Better Music Boxes in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The wood stock is mostly from walnut trees removed from the edges of fields from farms near the coast of Virginia's Eastern Shore. I milled most of the logs with a Wood Mizer to 5/4 size boards which I then stacked and air dried for 15 years plus. The music box project required a few of these boards which were resawed and then dressed with normal small scale woodworking machines.
I referred to articles in Fine Woodworking extensively during the project, and am currently starting the finishing phase. Again I have found several back issues of Fine Woodworking to be an excellent reference source.
The main reason for my writing, however, is to heap accolades on the folks who own and operate Better Music Boxes. They patiently answered the many questions I queried them about, but the most notable aspect about them is their capability to rework (retune I guess) the music movements. This involves minute grinding of each of the comb blades by hand (using a special jig) to perfect pitch. I simply want to take this opportunity to express how fortunate I think I am that I selected them to work with. They are honest and totally reliable and I can recommend them wholeheartedly, if anyone is interested purchasing or making music boxes.