(Also posted to rec.music.makers.percussion)
I recently finished up another drum I've been working on. This one is a
20"x15" bass drum constructed from Black Walnut:
Here are some pictures of the various jigs I used to build it:
Now I just need to build the rest of the drums so I'll have a full set to play!
"Even if your wife is happy but you're unhappy, you're still happier
than you'd be if you were happy and your wife was unhappy." - Red Green
Very, very nice. I saw some of your other drum work, months ago, and
liked them as well. I sent the links (then and now) to my brother,
who plays and appreciates nice drums... but he ain't worth a poop for
Smart jigs, too. ^5
Thanks! Yeah, the jigs get the job done, but I've been pondering how to
construct my "second generation" jigs, complete with offsetting guide rollers
to keep the shells firmly in position, and with motors to spin the shells
(slowly) during milling so that I don't have to spin them by hand. :-)
"Our beer goes through thousands of quality Czechs every day."
(From a Shiner Bock billboard I saw in Austin some years ago)
No, the vast majority of modern drums are built using multiple plies of thin
veneer, laminated with heat and pressure in large cylindrical presses that are
far beyond the means and capabilities of the average woodworker. The level of
quality achieved by most modern manufacturers is actually quite impressive;
probably an order of magnitude better than the best quality baltic birch
plywood that you and I are used to seeing at our local hardwood supplier.
Shells built in this fashion can be ridiculously thin (less than 1/4") yet
still very strong and durable. Many manufacturers are also doing amazing
things with fancy finishes and exotic wood veneers, and I only wish I had the
facilities to build drums in this fashion. Still, there is also the air of
mass-produced "sameness" about such drums, and there is definitely still a
market for drums constructed from solid pieces of wood, and the "stave" method
I used is but one of a few. Other methods include:
Steam bending a solid piece of wood, typically using a scarf joint to bring the
two ends together into a cylinder. This method is one of the oldest, but is
typically only used to construct snare drums, which are relatively small in
diameter (13" or 14") and shallow (averaging about 6" deep).
A method probably familiar to most wood turners would be segmented shells,
which are probably best described by a picture:
Some builders are even having success building shells from large logs,
hollowing out the center and carefully milling the inside and outside surfaces
until the shell reaches the desired thickness. The goal is to have a shell
that's a natural as possible, with no joints and no glue, supposedly yielding
the "holy grail" of sound quality. Personally, I think it's a lot of work with
very little (if any) payoff. After all, at the end of the day it's still just
a drum. :-)
See Nad. See Nad go. Go Nad!
To reply, eat the taco.
I know exactly zero about drums, so take this with a shaker of salt
(preferably with a few lemons and a bottle of tequila), and I have no
idea about drum sizing, so this may be totally off the wall, but could
you use a section of plastic sewer pipe, wrap veneer around it and
vacuum bag the sucker?
Drums are sized 1/8" under nominal size, ie: 14" drum is 13-7/8".
Most shells are 1/4"-3/8" So if you could find pipe the right size, sure.
It would probably be easier to build up a form with the same technique
as building a shell.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
Wouldn't work, I believe.
In using vacuum bagging, the pressure pushes layers together or into a
shaped form. In this case, the pressing together tighter would also need to
coil the veneer tighter, rotating around the jig. Unless you had a way to
rotate the veneers as you bagged it, it would not allow the veneer to be
compressed against the other layers.
It might work if each layer was separate from the other layers, so there was
only a short overlap, or no overlap.
When a drum is built using veneers, it has glue applied, and tightened and
held tight as it is rolled around the form.
Yeah, I can see that is an issue. Leaving 'contraction space' so the
veneer meeting edges would just touch as the vaccum was applied would
also be difficult. What about laying up the veneers inside the sewer
pipe and using a pneumatic bladder to press the veneer against the
Still the same problem. You are asking the veneer to slip laterally as the
glue squeezes out. Ever try to coil up a roll of aluminum flashing, to make
the roll smaller? You have to coil the inside before you can get the
outside to get smaller. You can not pull on the outside layer to get it
tighter. It just does not work.
On Sun, 16 Jan 2011 18:04:43 -0500, "Lee Michaels"
<leemichaels*nadaspam* at comcast dot net> wrote:
I was going to ask him how many hours this one took and if he were
selling them/recouping his costs, etc. Nice project, Steve.
P.S: Gonna turn (or metalspin) your own cymbals, too?
Threee days before Tucson, Howard Dean explained that the
tea party movement is "the last gasp of the generation that
has trouble with diversity." Rising to the challenge of
lowering his reputation and the tone of public discourse,
Dean smeared tea partiers as racists: They oppose Obama's
agenda, Obama is African-American, ergo...
Let us hope that Dean is the last gasp of the generation
of liberals whose default position in any argument is to
indict opponents as racists. This McCarthyism of the left
-- devoid of intellectual content, unsupported by data --
is a mental tic, not an idea but a tactic for avoiding
engagement with ideas. It expresses limitless contempt for
the American people, who have reciprocated by reducing
liberalism to its current characteristics of electoral
weakness and bad sociology. --George Will 14 JAN 2011
Article titled "Tragedies often spark plenty of analysis"
Thanks! I didn't keep track of my hours, but I suspect I would have trouble
selling these drums for anything close to a decent profit unless I could find a
niche market among well-compensated hot-shot musicians, and those are few and
far between. I would also have to *significantly* automate my processes before
I could become competitive, and believe it or not there is a lot of competition
out there already. I'm really just doing this for my own amusement, and plus I
need a second set of drums. :-)
So many things to do, so little time! :-)
See Nad. See Nad go. Go Nad!
To reply, eat the taco.
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