My most recent drum project

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On 1/16/2011 6:25 PM, Steve wrote:

Yeah, the plane was actually quite fun to construct. I love using shoulder planes, and I have some old wooden molding planes that I was able to use as guides to constructing this one. It's not perfect, but it gets the job done, which was really all I cared about. I actually searched around quite a bit for some existing tool (most likely from a coopers arsenal) that might do the job, but I came up empty so I just decided to build my own. I'm sure I had a big stupid grin on my face when I saw how well it worked. :-)
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On 1/16/11 9:23 PM, Steve Turner wrote:
BTY, when I made my little oak shell, I glued it to the backing plate to mount on the lathe. But I put brown paper bag between the plate (mdf) and shell, so it would release easier. And if it tore, it would certainly tear the mdf and not the shell. I found that it took very little glue to hold it sufficiently. Since you have plates on both sides of the shell, I think it would take even less.
Did you consider temporary gluing, or do you think the screw technique was easier?
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On 01/17/2011 12:30 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

I think temporary gluing would probably work just fine. I didn't consider it because it didn't occur to me. :-)
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On 1/17/11 12:36 PM, Steve Turner wrote:

It only occurred to me because I had heard of it from turners..... wait. :-)
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Gorgeous work, Steve.
What bit do you use to mill the inside?
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On 1/16/2011 9:14 PM, Dave Balderstone wrote:

Thanks!
Small horizontal crown molding bit:
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/graphics/horizcrw.jpg
Actually though, I'd guess a simple 1/4" straight bit would do the job just as well.
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You are the master Steve!
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On 1/16/2011 9:19 PM, Leon wrote:

Well I don't know about that, but I appreciate hearing it from somebody whose work I greatly admire. Thanks Leon. :-)
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"Steve Turner"wrote:

<snip>
------------------------------- IMPRESSIVE, young man, IMPRESSIVE.
.
Lew
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On 1/16/2011 9:54 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

Thanks Lew. Too bad the wood I had available to do this project wasn't Honduras Mahogany instead of Black Walnut, but I'm happy with the way it turned out. Maybe one of these days I'll run across an old retired Chris Craft that wants to be reborn as a set of drums. :-)
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"Steve Turner"wrote:

------------------------------- You gotta know these people.
http://www.aitwood.com /
Good folks.
Lew
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On 1/16/11 11:14 PM, Lew Hodgett wrote:

Plywood shells are ok, but stave is the way to go, like Steve's shell.
They resonate more "as one." The cross ply of plywood shells and all that glue deadens the shell a bit. With solid shells you hear much more of the sonic characteristics of the wood, because it can resonate more.
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Nice work.
I'm curious as t o whether the choice of wood matters; i.e. are there preferred "tonewoods" for drums as there are for guitars?
-Zz
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On 1/16/2011 9:48 PM, Zz Yzx wrote:

Thanks.
I think it does matter, but only up to a point. Drums shells have to be reasonably thick to support the stress of the head under tension, and the tensioning and mounting hardware that's mounted to the shell further reduces the opportunity for it to resonate to a degree that significantly contributes to the tone quality of the drum. However, a poorly constructed shell made of soft, lifeless, and inferior wood (like Philippine "Mahogany") with no tonal qualities of its own is going to be totally "dead" when you hold it up by one finger and "thump" it. Such a shell is going to transfer its "deadness" to the heads, and the drum is going to have very poor tone and reduced volume. Conversely, any well-constructed shell built from a reasonably hard wood such that the shell has its own clear tone and "sings" when you thump it is going to be a good candidate for yielding a good drum. After you've reached that point, the choice of wood might have *some* further effect, but (in my opinion) it's going to be of minimal consequence and quite subjective. Other factors are probably of more importance, such as the "bearing edges" (the point where the head contacts the shell), and a good smooth reflective inner surface (which could be a factor of closed pored vs. open pored woods). I'm also a fan of the shell being as thin as reasonably possible (without compromising strength), not necessarily because a thin shell is more "resonant" (as in a guitar), but because it yields the largest amount of air volume in the internal cavity, which in turn increases both the tuning range (think bottles filled with varying amount of liquid) and the dynamic range (potential volume) of the drum.
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wrote:

Very cool. I prefer a 24" bass but that is just fricking killer.
What shape did you come up with for the bearing edge? On Bass drums it isn't so critical but on smaller shells with tighter skins it makes a huge difference. I heard a story that Gretch at some time in their history actually somehow lost the tooling they used to shape the bearing edge and it took a few years to get it back where they wanted.
You should take a look at the bearing edge on a Craviotto maple snare if you get a chance. I think the other people who do a good edge is DW.
Have you ever thought about doing a kit from Keller shells and what is your opinion of them if you are familiar? I would never venture to build a set, that is a very ambitious project. You are to be commended. I thought maybe some day I would do a set of keller shells with some cool veener and custom finish, maybe sand burn darkened edges, etc.
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On 01/16/2011 09:58 PM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Thanks. I've never owned a 24" kick and I haven't played them very many times, but when I did it just wasn't "working" for me. Plus, they are just so TALL, which forces the rack toms to be mounted higher than I find comfortable, especially if the toms have deep shells.

Never heard that story. I own a nice set of mid-80's Gretsch drums, and the bearing edges are pretty straightforward; an ever-so-slight round-over on the outer edge (1/16" radius maybe? 1/8" max) leading into a simple 30-degree chamfer towards the inner surface. Most other companies use a 45-degree chamfer (ever try finding a 60-degree chamfer bit to produce that 30-degree angle? Not too many of them out there). Mine are very similar, but the chamfer is even more shallow; I think I used a 25-degree raised panel bit with an oversize bearing.

I don't think I've ever seen a Craviotto around these parts.

Keller makes very nice shells and they've been doing it for decades. They made shells for Rogers back in the sixties and/or seventies, and they're now making shells for Gretsch as well. I would certainly consider using their products if I didn't want to build my own.
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On 1/16/2011 3:52 PM, Steve Turner wrote:

Killer craftsmanship! ... what impresses me most of all are the jigs. I get more fun and satisfaction coming up with, and making, jig that work than I do the actual piece and it appears you may share the same sentiment.
Stellar execution on all counts, Steve.
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On 01/17/2011 08:59 AM, Swingman wrote:

Thanks Karl! Yes, I do get a big kick out of making my own jigs and tools. I spent a couple of days at least pondering the design and construction of that "coopering" plane, and I got stuck for a while thinking I was going to have to procure an old derelict wooden rebate plane and steal its cutter when I got the epiphany to cannibalize an extra Stanley #3 cutter I had lying around. It took a good day or more to build the plane and get it tuned to perfection, then it probably took me all of five minutes make the necessary cuts on the drum. It was an exciting moment, but after that it was kind of a let-down thinking I may never have another need for that wonderful new plane! :-)
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On 1/17/2011 2:13 PM, Steve Turner wrote:

If you're like me, you don't have all the pieces you've built done through the years, but you still have all the jigs. At any given time I've got more shop space tied up storing jigs than on-going project parts.
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Steve - kinda late to the party, but I would certainly like to echo the great remarks you have received so far.
All the handmade drums I have seen have been much less elegant affairs, and rest assured I have never seen one coopered together from walnut!
Very nicely done.
I must say though.... I am just about as impressed with the plane as I am with the drum! Nicely done there, sir.
BTW, I have heard and read a mountain of information on finishes for musical instruments, but never had occasion to finish one myself. What did you use for the topcoat? Anything underneath it for grain pop?
Robert
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