Originally Posted by uniongoon
So humour me, each drum is carved solid directly out of each log? So no steam bending, no plys? They must have a way to cut the log out like a giant hole saw, or else the waste would be phenominal. I believe over here in North America, ironwood is very expensive. On my local woodworking site, a guy brought a one foot by one foot block back from jamaica, he paid $10 for that piece.
You are correct, these are milled from solid logs. The wood in the shells is exactly as it was in the living tree. There is no bending involved in the manufacture; I honestly do not believe this wood could be bent or shaved into plies.
They have a way of taking concentric shells from the interior of the log, so one section will produce a bass drum and a couple of toms. They use a giant metal lathe for finishing. The wood pretty much destroys saw blades on contact. This ironwood has a specific gravity of 1.2 - it is 20 percent heavier than water and the shells sink.
The main risk of this manufacturing technique is warping, splitting and cracking. Ironwood is extremely dry and even when freshly cut, it has a lower moisture content than many seasoned woods, so it is structurally very stable. But I sometimes have bad dreams where I find the shells split - seriously. So I check them all the time. These are the kind of drums that appear regularly in dreams.
Erythrophleum chlorostachys grows in a very harsh, dry climate. As you know, basically in Australia everything is more badass so there are termites the size of your index finger. These trees have to be indestructible to survive. If my house burned down, these shells would survive. This wood grows very slowly and these drums were fashioned from a tree that grew to about 20 inches in diameter over 350 years. This set was finished in 2006 and the wood was cut, then cured and seasoned for a few years before that.
Yes, they are expensive. I forget now but I itemize it all in a previous post in this thread. This is the last drumset I will ever own and I view myself as the first in a long line of its caretakers.