DIY Drum Shells
Being a woodworker of sorts, I have been itching lately to make my own drum kit. There are several options for making your own kit. You can buy shells already made and add the hardware and finish or you can attempt to make the shells yourself.
A few months ago, I decided to order the shells already made from a drum making supply company. Of course, they still have not arrived and I'm not sure if they actually will arrive. Custom drum stuff seems to take a ridiculously long time. I ordered a custom floor tom from Pearl years ago and it took about 7 months to get it.
Anyway, I've decided to make the shells myself.
There are three common ways to build a drum shell:
- Make a cylinder from staves cut at the appropriate angles, similar to how a whiskey barrel is made.
- Laminate several veneers together to form a cylinder. Imagine a tube of plywood.
- Bend a solid piece of wood into a cylinder
Small hand drums can be carved out of a solid piece of wood but this method is not applicable to standard sized tom toms or snare drums.
For my first attempt at a shell, I'm going to used the stave method. I already have the tools for this type of construction and it's similar to the method my dad uses to make Mook Jongs (martial arts practice dummies). You can check out one of his YouTube videos here
I got a great deal on some hard maple last week from my local hardwood dealer. I have to let it sit in my garage for another week while it adjusts to the humidity before I start milling it, otherwise it may warp after it is planed to thickness.
More to come ..