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How to make a Kazoo




You can’t exactly lug your guitar and drum set on a campout, but sing-alongs really rock with musical instruments. A kazoo is the perfect answer.

You’ll need:

  • a piece of one-inch-thick hardwood, 4 inches long by 2 inches wide
  • two 1⁄2-by-4-inch roundhead wood screws
  • plastic garbage bag
  • sandpaper
  • drill and bits, up to 1⁄2 inch
  • crosscut and rip saws
  • screwdriver
  • scissors

kazoo1Step 1: Saw off a strip 1⁄2 inch wide.

Step 2: Measure and mark positions for three holes on top of the strip. Measure 13⁄8 inches from one end and make a centered mark.

kazoo2Step 3: From that mark, measure 3⁄4 inch in both directions. Clamp the two pieces of wood together to ensure drilled holes will line up.

kazoo3Step 4: Use a 3⁄32-inch bit to start the three pilot holes. Drill the center hole 13⁄16 inches deep and the outside holes 1⁄2 inch deep. (Wrap a piece of masking tape around the bit to mark where to stop.) Gradually increase the center hole’s diameter: 5⁄32 inch, 13⁄64 inch, 1⁄4 inch and then—by 16ths—to 1⁄2 inch. Redrill the outside holes 1⁄4 inch deep with a 7⁄32-inch bit. Drive the wood screws so the heads are beneath the surface.

Step 5: From the end of the base you began measuring from, drill a 3⁄32-inch pilot hole 15⁄8 inches deep. Gradually increase the hole to 1⁄2 inch, as before, creating an “L”-shaped airway between the base and the strip.

kazoo4Step 6: At the opposite end of the base, drill a 1⁄8-inch pilot hole at the center all the way into the blowhole. Increase its size to 3⁄16 inch.

Step 7: At the same end, drill a hole all the way through the strip for a leather thong.

Step 8: Cut a strip from a plastic garbage bag, 11⁄16 inches wide and 2 inches long. Remove the screws and lay the plastic over the holes in the base. Replace the top and redrive the screws. Smooth the entire instrument with sandpaper. (Wrap a strip around a piece of dowel to smooth the inside of the airway holes.) Apply stain or varnish.

kazoo5Bring the blowhole firmly against your lips and hum loudly into it. With your tongue against your palate, create sort of a “duh, doo, duh” sound. Practice songs from your favorite tape or CD, as well as some classic camp tunes. You’re ready to rock your troop all night long!

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