Snare/Drum shell building

alex19

Senior Member
right then fellow drummers. im into carpentry, and i think id manage to make a drum shell without breaking into too much of a sweat. ive probably got all the tools id need and more.

sooooo... where do i start. ive got all the gear, but no idea. does anybody have a guide or know of one on the internet with techniques on building the shell?

wood suggestions would be helpful too please. i do have a load of meranti wood, would this be suitable???

if i get a guide, expect a project thread sometime soon
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Depends on what kind of shell you want to make...solid? single-ply? ply? stave? If you make a ply or single-ply shell, you'll need some kind of wood steamer and several compression-molding units...do you have any of those? They are drum shell-building-specific pieces of gear.

Meranti is a softwood, and what most cheap drums are made of. If you're going to go through all the trouble of building a drum set, I'd definitely use a harder wood...
 

alex19

Senior Member
i could swear it was meranti i had, whatever it is ive got is a hardwood for sure. im looking at making a stave shell i think. i thought about ply but i dont have the steaming gear so thats a no no. i had thought about getting a big block of wood and making a solid shell, but wheres the fun in that??? hehehe
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
i could swear it was meranti i had, whatever it is ive got is a hardwood for sure. im looking at making a stave shell i think. i thought about ply but i dont have the steaming gear so thats a no no. i had thought about getting a big block of wood and making a solid shell, but wheres the fun in that??? hehehe
Meranti is one of the species of wood that falls under "philippine mahogany", which is a porous, softer wood. If your supply is extremely hard, reflective, and resonant (and non-porous), it might not be Meranti after all.

Getting a big block of wood and making solid shells would probably be the best-sounding option out of all of those, from what I've seen/heard. Stave construction would probably be cheaper because you can make the segments out of smaller pieces of wood, but *might* be a tad harder to construct because you have to be pretty exact with your measurements or else it won't sound good. Either of those options should result in a more resonant shell than if you made a single-ply or ply drum, theoretically.

If I were you, I'd try making 2 snares--one solid and one stave. See which one sounds better to you, and then make the full kit according to THAT method. Or, better yet, make a small tom (12x8) out of each as well, and see what sounds better, 'cause what makes a good-sounding snare might not be what makes a good-sounding tom (or a bass drum for that matter).

Let us know what you end up doing. Good luck, and I can't wait to see the project thread! :D
 

alex19

Senior Member
cheers mate. ive searched all night and come across a website which is imformative. just need to dig out my tools and see whats what. i need to purchase a digital angle finder by the looks of it, to make sure the table saw is set up accurately.

will double check the wood over the weekend, if its what i think it is and its good, i might start marking up and laying some plans down.

gonna start making a snare first. only just bought the drum kit (pearl VBX in concorde face) and i like it. snare isnt too abd on it, but im just looking for an excuse for a project really.

watch this space...
 
C

Crazy8s

Guest
Everything you would need to know is all to be found at the following link...

http://pdgood.us/drumshed/

Make safety and education your first concern. Fingers and hands do not grow back and you will need them to play your newly created drums.

Good luck and be sure to show us pics!
 

alex19

Senior Member
thats the site im using crazy8. very informative website that. going round to collect my tablesaw and the wood from round my dads. project will probably start tomorrow :) with a bit of luck
 

alex19

Senior Member
gonna be a while before i update this. blew my table saw up today whilst checking it still works. bummer. will report back with pics when i get cracking
 

alex19

Senior Member
right then. got my wood. its very heavy and very dense, so should be perfect.
i finally realised while at work on friday i have a prefessional table saw at the back of my workshop that ive never noticed!!!!


just a quick question for all you drum guru's out there.

i will of course, lathe the outside to make it perfectly smooth and round. but my question is, does the inside need to be done?

my theory is this;
if i leave it, technically the bearing edge, although routed and angled, will have more surface area. this in turn should mean more sound transfer from the head to the wood?

am i being silly or does this make sense?
 
C

Crazy8s

Guest
It's not 'necessary' to lathe the inside, but it does make it much more aesthetically pleasing and pro. If you have a lathe with a big enough swing-over-bed to shape the outside then you should be able to do the inside as well.

Again, exercise caution and be safety aware. Anything powerful enough to turn a drum shell on will turn you too and not in a very fun way.
 

alex19

Senior Member
yeah thats what i was thinking. not sure the lathe arm will be long enough, its not my lathe, its my brothers. i just hope hes still got it or i am up the creek without a paddle hahaha
 
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