Don’t you love the feeling of creating something? A digital model, a sculpture, starting the engine on that project car, drawing on the wall with your child… ahhh. Crafting objects with our bare hands rewards us with the satisfaction that we’ve contributed something unique to the world.

But for those with less than the creative capabilities of Picasso left ear lobe, there are pre-made models. All you have to do is follow the instructions on the ol’ box!

To add to its ever-increasing number of wooden models, UGEARS is Kickstarting new additions to its Mechanical Town series. New models feature a tram line, rail manipulator, and a robot factory, a couple of smaller miniature models for adults called U-Fidgets-Tribiks, child-friendly UGEARS coloring 3D models,  a Date Navigator, and, the campaign feature, an actual working Hurdy-Gurdy.

While most of the models are cool in their own right, it’s that Hurdy-Gurdy in particular that really catches your eye.

So what is a Hurdy-Gurdy?

It is a stringed instrument that produces that beautiful noise people call “music” when its keys are pressed and its hand crank is turned. With its pre-Renaissance origins, the Hurdy-Gurdy plays much like a violin if the bow was replaced with a more mechanical component. You can also slap it to produce a nice beat, as seen in the video above.

By assembling the smaller components to make the larger body, hand crank, and tuning pegs, you add more of your personality into this Hurdy-Gurdy than any guitar you could buy at a store. Without the use of glue or any adhesive, UGEARS has managed to incorporate its laser cut plywood joints into a modern design of an instrument older than your grandfather’s musical tastes.

This modern design doesn’t deter the musical quality of the instrument one bit. Though it might take more time to make than your average jigsaw puzzle (it does say that the assembly is supposed to provide “hours of pleasure and fun”), UGEARS’ Hurdy-Gurdy plays just like your everyday medieval festival instrument.

The tuning pegs and crank feature a gear reduction mechanism that allows for finer sound tuning, while the six keys are outfitted with rubber bands and smaller cranks in the keybox for more responsive and comfortable play. Even the strings can be adjusted on the bridge, just like a normal stringed instrument!

As for sound production, this particular Hurdy-Gurdy comes with six keys corresponding to six notes, with a seventh note being produced when none of the keys are pressed. But even if you have the musical chops of a deaf man (which isn’t an excuse, since, you know, BEETHOVEN), a handy note tablature comes with the model to teach you the basics of the Hurdy-Gurdy.

So if you have the money, time, and patience to both craft and play your own musical instrument, then head on over to Kickstarter where you can find out more about the Hurdy-Gurdy as well as the other upcoming products by UGEARS. Among all the other models available, you can snag a Hurdy-Gurdy for $59 and options abound for multiple models with delivery on all expected for October 2017.


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.