Originally Posted by theberzh
These are awesome drums. I have had this theory for a while about making drum but never had the tools for the execution.
There's a reason why solid shell drums are so rare (although they were common for thousands of years, and still dominate to this day in some parts of the world).
They're a lot heavier, they take more work to make and they are vulnerable to splitting and cracking. Plywood is far superior for strength and durability - why do you think they make houses out of wood composites like plywood and particle board? Staves are a good compromise, miximizing the advantages of solid and ply and minimizing the disadvantages of each.
The denser the wood, the lower the moisture content and the less susceptible shells will be to cracking, so ironwood is ideal for solid shells. To make solid shells, you need really specialized machinery, the right kind of wood and the logs have to cure for months. There should probably be an easier way to do it with modern technology but no one is devoting a lot or research to this.