Friday, May 4, 2018

Making a Talandon or Simantron ( percussion instrument )

Talandon or Simantron is a percussion musical instrument used in Greek Orthodox monasteries. A monk uses the instrument to call the rest of the brotherhood for prayer in the church or other monastic activities. I made it out of maple.

First of all I used my circular saw to cut my stock to size. To joint one edge I used my guide rail. With one side jointed I ripped cut the other side on the table saw.

I the used my jointer to flatten one side of the board and then finished planing on the thickness planer mode.

Using straight edges and a compass I designed the shape of the simantron. I then used my jigsaw to make all the cuts needed.

I then used my files to clean up the saw marks. First I use a rasp to remove much material fast. Then I use my files to clean up the rasp’s marks and finally I sand to clean up the file marks. In some tight corners I used a chisel. 

I wanted the whole piece to have rounded over edges. I marked the bevels with a pencil and my finger as a guide. I then used my spokeshave to create all the round overs. When using the spokeshave, it is important to pay attention to the direction of the grain to avoid splitting of the wood. 

In some cases talandon has three holes in the shape of the cross on it’s edges. I used my drill with a forstner bit to create those. 

I then sanded the piece with shading blocks.

The talandon also has a wooden mallet. To make the mallet I glued three pieces for the mallet’s head and two for it’s handle.

I cleaned up the edges on my table saw with a cross cut sled.

I marked the centers and mounted the stock on the lathe between centers. I used my roughing gouge to true up my pieces. 

For the mallet’s head I used the spindle gouge to round over the edges. I also used the parting tool to establish the size. I cut the excess wood on the bandsaw and cleaned the saw marks on the belt sander. I used a forstner bit to open up the whole for the handle. I secured it with clamps and a 90 degree angle piece.

I then made the handle on the lathe and glued it on the head.

I sprayed all the pieces with water to raise the grain of the wood. After the water dried I sanded everything with 220 grit sandpaper. I finished everything with mineral oil.

My simantron was now ready. Although it is used mostly in Christian monastic life activities I thing it is a really interesting instrument and I really enjoyed the build!

I hope you did too! 

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