Reconfigurable Piano Keyboard

After seeing Michael Sobolak's piano keyboard build at Erin Riley's class at Teacher's College I decided to remix his design and create a piano keyboard whose keys could be arranged in different orders, thereby rearranging the musical scale.

I started with a piece of 1x4 that I had in my garage. I built a jig for my mitre saw and cut nine 1 1/4" pieces of wood to act as the keys.

Next, I took the wood to Maker Club and used the drill press, again with a jig, ot drill holes to insert rare earth magnets to hold the keys together.

The magnets press-fit into the holes.


I used Paintbrush to create the key designs. The key incorporates both the "key" as well as the ground into the design. The copper tape was cut using a Silhouette Cameo.

I drilled small holes at the top of each key that went through the conductive copper tape. I fed wires through each hole and soldered it to the copper tape.

Next, I cut pieces of nylon paracord about twelve inches long and removed the core. I fed the wires through the paracord and sealed the ends around the wires with shrink wrap.

I applied Mod Podge to the top and bottom edges of the copper tape to keep it from peeling up.

Since I needed to remap a few keys on the Makey Makey in order to have enough for all the piano keys I hit this Makey with a little spraypaint so I knew which one was modified. 


Finally, I breadboarded all the wires, tested each key, then moved each wire to a perma proto board with a 3D printed slide "bumper."

I am using an Architronics "WASDFG" board that gives me access the rear header without needing to use jumper cables. I remapped three of the mouse movement headers to be keys 1, 2, and 3.
Here I am playing "chopsticks" on the piano.

Here is a demonstration of how the keys can be reconfigured.