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  #1  
Old 06-25-2013, 10:14 PM
gurgelbanana gurgelbanana is offline
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Default Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Hello all!

I thought you guys maybe would appreciate me sharing my little project I recently had; building a snare drum out of a PVC-pipe. I don't know where the idea came from but I've been into experimenting with drums alot so, a snare drum out of a PVC-pipe.. why wouldn't that work? ;P

The snare drum has the sizes 13x5". 14 inch is for later projects ;)

So let's begin the presentation!



Here the package arrive, shipped from the US. I bought the piece from an American company called "FlexPVC"(http://flexpvc.com/) for 12.5 american dollars (just for the 13x5 inch pipe), but since I live in Sweden it got a little more expensive due to shipping cost and taxes :/ I had hope to find a dealer here where I live instead but couldn't really find any, not even other countries inside the EU, so had no choice other than USA.




The pipe itself was pretty dirty. It also had some scratch marks on the outside of the shell, but other than that it looks really good. The shell is pretty heavy and about a centimeter thick. The resonance is very dense. Not much resonance at all but it has some tone to it.




Here I'm doing some cleaning work. I used something called Autosol (it's like a cream that cleans with a lot grains inside it, like sandpaper) to remove all the dirt, plus the red text that you can see on the picture.




Here it is when its clean and shiny! but it was more work than I expected :P




I bought the hardware from "Thomann" (http://www.thomann.de/), a large company from Germany that sells a lot of music gear and stuff. You can see that I bought some S-hoops for the snare. I've never tried them before but I thought it'd be cool to try out on this project :) you can also see that there's a Remo Clear Controlled Dot. Dunno what I had in mind there but I've seen some drummers using that as a snare head. It'll look cool too :P I also have an ambassador laying around if I don't like the clear dot. The snare strainer I bought were apperently for piccolo snares but it worked pretty fine for the 5" depth snare in the end as you'll see. The snare wires were some cheap ones that I've now replaced with Puresound.




The lugs I'll be using is from a PDP snare I had lying around.




Now for the real work. I gave the drum shell to a local drum builder to cut the edges. I don't know what to think but this person said it is "better" to have round edges because it let's the drum head vibrate more. I mean, who can say it's "better" having round edges than sharp edges? It certainly makes difference on the sound and feeling depending how the drum edge it shaped but.. heck, I didn't argue with him so I just let him do the best with it. :P When I got the shell back I was quite happy with the results, except, whats the deal with the untouched flat edge? Shouldn't it round off more? Have anyone of you seen this before? Also, I had to make the snare beds deeper myself because they where too shallow (did this after the project was "done"). I'll cut the edges by myself in the future.. Think I'm capeable of doing it and it'll also be much cheaper xP




I cut the holes myself though. Not much to say here except it was really difficult because you had to be so precise! If you wanna know how I did, just ask. Otherwise there's ton of information on the internet of how you can do it :P




Now It's almost done! I did some extra cleaning and put on the hardware and...




...Viola! Looks beautiful to my eyes! What do you guys think? I just love how the inside is just all white. I'm pretty damn happy with what I've just created :D I'd love to give some sound examples but I don't have any right now. It's difficult to discribe how the snare sounds like but I can say it has a lot of bite to it, probably because of the dense material but I'm no expert. The best way to let you now is to record it. Going to do it as soon as I got time for it.

I'm planning to do a similar project in the size 6x13" instead of 5 inch deep.

Maybe I'll post this snare drum on the "Sell/buy"-thread on the forum, but thats for the future!

Hope you guys liked my little presentation! :) Please leave a comment!

/Johannes W
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2013, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

I only see one picture - but I'd like to see the rest of them.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:31 PM
gurgelbanana gurgelbanana is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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I only see one picture - but I'd like to see the rest of them.
Try update the page. Had some problems posting the pictures, but I think it should work not. Atleast I can see them :P
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Very cool! I would definitely love to hear it!

Years ago I read a book on how to build patio furniture out of PVC pipe, this is even more ingenious! How much are you planning on selling them for? If it sounds great, I may want one. Makes way more sense then using something like Korian (which Ford Drums does).
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Wow that looks very nice! Great work you have done there :-)
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:07 AM
gurgelbanana gurgelbanana is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Thanks alot!
Yeah, I'm planning to do some recording on the weekend.
Making PVC-furniture? I've heard of that :P but drums goes before furniture ofc!

'll try to come up with a decent price. At the moment I just know how much it cost to make this whole project, a lot of things could have been done much cheaper but its a lesson for the future :P
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

I love this... a schedule 40 snare drum.

Sound files please!



When I got the shell back I was quite happy with the results, except, whats the deal with the untouched flat edge? Shouldn't it round off more? Have anyone of you seen this before?


GRETSCH at one time cut a single 30 edge like that, (I have a KELLER set cut that way) it works on thin shells, but on thicker shell's the cut needs to be all the way across, meaning the inside edge is 90 degrees. Let's hear how it sounds.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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Originally Posted by gurgelbanana View Post
Try update the page. Had some problems posting the pictures, but I think it should work not. Atleast I can see them :P

Yep - pics came through when I checked back in. Looks good. Looking forward to hearing how it sounds.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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Originally Posted by gurgelbanana View Post
I gave the drum shell to a local drum builder to cut the edges. I don't know what to think but this person said it is "better" to have round edges because it let's the drum head vibrate more.
whats the deal with the untouched flat edge? Shouldn't it round off more? Have anyone of you seen this before?
Johannes, I think you've done a great job, & certainly put in a lot of work.

PVC is a totally viable drum shell material, as are almost all materials. You're right to identify a lack of resonance, but that's fine, & it's what makes it a valid alternative choice. That lack of resonance offers focus & great articulation. OK, almost all the sound is coming from the heads, but that means you have a high level of control over the sound. As PVC isn't as hard as acrylic or similar, you get less reflection, & hence, less high overtones to wrestle with.

Unfortunately, & it's very rare for me to straight out say this (a first actually), but the guy who did those edges doesn't have a clue what he's doing. 1st off, that flat section where a bearing edge should be is terrible. It essentially offers two peaks to the head, the inner one acting as a huge dynamic brake. His statement about rounded edges offering greater drum head vibration when fitted to a sonically dead shell is pure fantasy. Please tell me the reso side edge isn't the same :(

Sorry to say this, but it's no reflection on the excellent work you've done. You won't even begin to get the full range of sounds from that drum until the edges are fixed. Do you have a router table? If so, you can increase that 45 degree counter cut depth until it meets the half roundover section, then carefully finish off by hand with various grit papers. If you need further advise, just shout & I'll do what I can.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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Originally Posted by gurgelbanana View Post
Hope you guys liked my little presentation! :)
Enjoyed it big style. Please keep us posted as to how your PVC snare sounds.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Blue Man Group needs to let you build them a full kit.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

That looks great...............now you've got me thinking..............
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:09 PM
gurgelbanana gurgelbanana is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Thanks guys! :)

Keep it simple,

Thanks, thats a lot of valuable information that I haven't thought about! :) Yeah, it definitely felt very wierd when I first saw that flat edge. Like you said how it would act as a "dynamic brake" were kinda my thought too :/ And the edge looks the same on the snare side too xS
I'd actually love to get a router table (like you said) to do all the edge-work myself.
But don't worry! I really appreciate that you tell me all this stuff! Learning a lot from that! and I'll definitely shout out to you for maybe further advice :)

So, yeah, maybe I'll try to cut the edges correctly before I post any sound examples, a little bit shame though :P

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Originally Posted by Milt Hathaway View Post
Blue Man Group needs to let you build them a full kit.
Hehe! Yeah, maybe thats my future xP Never seen them play on a real drumset though but they totally should! ^^
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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Originally Posted by gurgelbanana View Post
Thanks guys! :)

Keep it simple,

Thanks, thats a lot of valuable information that I haven't thought about! :) Yeah, it definitely felt very wierd when I first saw that flat edge. Like you said how it would act as a "dynamic brake" were kinda my thought too :/ And the edge looks the same on the snare side too xS
I'd actually love to get a router table (like you said) to do all the edge-work myself.
But don't worry! I really appreciate that you tell me all this stuff! Learning a lot from that! and I'll definitely shout out to you for maybe further advice :)

So, yeah, maybe I'll try to cut the edges correctly before I post any sound examples, a little bit shame though :P



Hehe! Yeah, maybe thats my future xP Never seen them play on a real drumset though but they totally should! ^^
I was hoping KIS would chime in on this.When I saw the "bearing edgs" cut by this local drum builder I thought good gravy,that's terrible.It certainly looks like work done by somone who's clueless.Glad he dosen't live here.

There's no way I would do work like that and then still make false claim about vibration.

Listen to what KIS says,he knows how to build drums,and produces some of the finest instruments on the planet.

Go to someone else and get that edge cut properly and it looks like you'll have a fine snare drum.

Steve B

Last edited by tamadrm; 06-27-2013 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Nice job! Looks cool.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Gurgelbanana, may I ask who cut the edges? The only custom drum builders that i'm aware of in sweden is Tobias and K Drums (I guess they're the biggest ones, but I haven't really checked it out), but I think both of them would cut edges very well.

Now that i actually post i have to confess that i'm probably what you guys would call a lurker... But hey, the search function offers me all the (almost) all the answers i need!

Edit: Just looked it up and there seems to be quite a lot, sorry.

Last edited by Kingvarsson; 06-27-2013 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:02 AM
gurgelbanana gurgelbanana is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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Originally Posted by tamadrm View Post
I was hoping KIS would chime in on this.When I saw the "bearing edgs" cut by this local drum builder I thought good gravy,that's terrible.It certainly looks like work done by somone who's.Glad he dosen't live here.

There's no way I would do work like that and then still make false claim about vibration.

Listen to what KIS says,he know how to build drums,and produces some of the finest instruments on the planet.

Go to someone else and get that edge cut properly and it looks like you'll have a fine snare drum.

Steve B
"Glad he dosen't live here." damn that's pretty hard to say :P but I know your point. And yeah, KIS seems to know his stuff. Great to have forums like this were you can get a lot of help!

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Originally Posted by Kingvarsson View Post
Gurgelbanana, may I ask who cut the edges? The only custom drum builders that i'm aware of in sweden is Tobias and K Drums (I guess they're the biggest ones, but I haven't really checked it out), but I think both of them would cut edges very well.

Now that i actually post i have to confess that i'm probably what you guys would call a lurker... But hey, the search function offers me all the (almost) all the answers i need!

Edit: Just looked it up and there seems to be quite a lot, sorry.
Well, the guy I talked to have his drumshop/-workshop in Stockholm called "Trumverkstan"("Drum Workshop"), not far from where I live. It was a cool place though. He had a lot of old vintage drums and stuff, but it was kinda messy in there :P

Last edited by gurgelbanana; 06-27-2013 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Ugly Percussion (US) made snares out of PVC back in the 90's. Wonder if they're still around?
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Gurgelbanana, If you wouldn't mind, do you have a link to the pipe you bought or a part number.....went on the "FlexPVC"(http://flexpvc.com/) link and everything large enough to work was around 90 shipped.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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Gurgelbanana, If you wouldn't mind, do you have a link to the pipe you bought or a part number.....went on the "FlexPVC"(http://flexpvc.com/) link and everything large enough to work was around 90 shipped.
Yeah, same here. I couldn't find the $12.50 piece of pipe.

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Originally Posted by longgun View Post
That looks great...............now you've got me thinking..............
How about a snare milled from a block of steel, lugs and all? Only attached parts would be the throw-off and butt plate (and the parts attached to the shell could be milled with the rest of the shell). Nothing penetrates the shell at all.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

That's really awesome! I'm looking forward to some sound samples! :)


I had considered making 6" and 8" toms/concert toms out of this but I always got tripped up by the inside vs. outside diameter and stuff. How did you get it exact? What thickness would you suggest?
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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How about a snare milled from a block of steel, lugs and all? Only attached parts would be the throw-off and butt plate (and the parts attached to the shell could be milled with the rest of the shell). Nothing penetrates the shell at all.
I live in a part of the world where it would be very easy to get a slice of oil well casing pipe and have it edged and drilled.

Whether I want a 75# snare drum is another story...
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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Gurgelbanana, If you wouldn't mind, do you have a link to the pipe you bought or a part number.....went on the "FlexPVC"(http://flexpvc.com/) link and everything large enough to work was around 90 shipped.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Yeah, same here. I couldn't find the $12.50 piece of pipe.
You can find the one I bought here: http://flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?pr...PIPE-SCH40-120
It's also kind of wierd how they measure the diameter sizes in the PVC-market. The one I linked here says 12inch diameter but it's actually 12,75 inch in diameter! Don't know why it works like that. :P But it's still perfect because you get that undersized shell you often wanna have, and I believe a 0,25 inch undersized shell is quite common.
You can see a list here where it explains all the different sizes: http://flexpvc.com/PVCPipeSpecsRigid.shtml
So, if you want, for say, a 13x6 pvc pipe you just type in "0" on the "Feet" box and "6" on the "Inches" box under "Cut size:" from the first link I gave you.
You can also see that's different types of PVC pipes, like SDR 41 and Sch 40. I don't know much what the differences are but the drum I made is Schedule 40.

Here's a link for every pipe they have: http://flexpvc.com/indexPVCPipe.shtml

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
How about a snare milled from a block of steel, lugs and all? Only attached parts would be the throw-off and butt plate (and the parts attached to the shell could be milled with the rest of the shell). Nothing penetrates the shell at all.
That's a cool idea, but a lot of work :P That snare would look pretty neat if it was done. Plus, it should have hoops maybe out of PVC too, like wood hoops are made xD would be awesome!

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Originally Posted by Lovetadraw View Post
That's really awesome! I'm looking forward to some sound samples! :)


I had considered making 6" and 8" toms/concert toms out of this but I always got tripped up by the inside vs. outside diameter and stuff. How did you get it exact? What thickness would you suggest?
Thank you :) I will update you everyone with sound samples and stuff as soon as I can.. And as soon as I've recutted the ugly bearing edges :P

Toms would probably work pretty well with PVC pipe. I've had that thought also :)
Watch the 2nd link I wrote above for sizes. "Nominal Pipe Size" is not the real diameter but thats what they call all the various sizes. "Outside Diameter" are the real measurement which you should look after.
I've notices though that the pipe with "Nominal Pipe Size" 14 has the same "Outside Diameter" which makes me wonder if it really would work for a 14" drum? The drum heads wouldn't probably fit because it's not somewhat undersized in the diameter. But I remember I've seen pipes that are 13,65 inches wide but maybe thats TOO undersized?
Maybe someone have an answer for that :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyonero View Post
Ugly Percussion (US) made snares out of PVC back in the 90's. Wonder if they're still around?
Never heard of them but I have a feeling I'm not the first one to make a acoustic drum out of PVC :P "Ugly Percussion" is a pretty odd choise for a brand name! hehe
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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Originally Posted by gurgelbanana View Post
The one I linked here says 12inch diameter but it's actually 12,75 inch in diameter! Don't know why it works like that. :P But it's still perfect because you get that undersized shell you often wanna have, and I believe a 0,25 inch undersized shell is quite common.
That explains why I couldn't find it. I didn't even consider that the outer diameter is bigger than its size. I should have known, construction materials are often like that, like a 2x4 is actually 1.5x3.5". Thanks for the link!
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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That explains why I couldn't find it. I didn't even consider that the outer diameter is bigger than its size. I should have known, construction materials are often like that, like a 2x4 is actually 1.5x3.5". Thanks for the link!
Glad I could help :)
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

I don't know much what the differences are but the drum I made is Schedule 40.

SCH 40 is wall thickness. Schedule 40 means your snare drum is technically for 'indoor use only'.

Most PVC pipe is sold based on the inside diameter up through 12". Larger sizes are based on the OD.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:59 AM
gurgelbanana gurgelbanana is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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I don't know much what the differences are but the drum I made is Schedule 40.

SCH 40 is wall thickness. Schedule 40 means your snare drum is technically for 'indoor use only'.

Most PVC pipe is sold based on the inside diameter up through 12". Larger sizes are based on the OD.
Ah, so that's how it is. But you say, Sch80 is thicker than Sch40 but still the same material?
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:25 AM
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Ah, so that's how it is. But you say, Sch80 is thicker than Sch40 but still the same material?
"You could play your schedule 40 snare drum outside if the stage is covered, not in direct sunlight"- is how the joke would end.

UV and heat are PVC'S worstest enemies. Your snare will probably never see enough UV to worry about damage.

Wouldn't uses schedule 80, too thick... but who knows, maybe it'd sound better than 40.


Sorta Kinda-- All weather drum circle ready.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

So I guess 6" and or 8" toms wouldn't work because it's not the outside size... Darn :(

Oh well, I'm happy for you! :D
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:04 AM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Hello again!

Been a while since my last post :3

I thought you maybe want to hear how the drum sounds!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2PIJCXQsoE

Hope you like it! If you have any question, feel free to ask! I'll do my best to keep you updated with answers :)
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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Hello again!

Been a while since my last post :3

I thought you maybe want to hear how the drum sounds!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2PIJCXQsoE

Hope you like it! If you have any question, feel free to ask! I'll do my best to keep you updated with answers :)
Sounds good nice job
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  #32  
Old 03-23-2014, 07:04 AM
TheHeelDrummer TheHeelDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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Originally Posted by gurgelbanana View Post
Hello again!

Been a while since my last post :3

I thought you maybe want to hear how the drum sounds!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2PIJCXQsoE

Hope you like it! If you have any question, feel free to ask! I'll do my best to keep you updated with answers :)
Wow. Sounds great. Cant believe that started with a piece of PVC pipe.
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  #33  
Old 03-23-2014, 09:24 AM
markdrum markdrum is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

That snare sounds great! Did you rework the bearing edges?
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  #34  
Old 03-24-2014, 01:05 AM
gurgelbanana gurgelbanana is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by markdrum View Post
That snare sounds great! Did you rework the bearing edges?
Yes, I fixed them. Maybe I'll try find some pictures how the edges look now and post them here on the forum. It's a big difference soundwise from how it sounded with the bad edges. The heads seem to give more tone and resonance than before which clearly is a positive thing! :)
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  #35  
Old 03-24-2014, 01:13 AM
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Yamaha41 Yamaha41 is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Ok I'll play the jerk but it should only be more of a compliment anyway you could post a vid of someone hitting that drum getting that sound. Almost sounds to good to be coming from PVC though I have to admit the tone sounds like it could have. Even gives me thoughts of a good way to make a nice looking edrum kit.
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  #36  
Old 03-24-2014, 02:20 AM
ahsdrumline2013 ahsdrumline2013 is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

I'll take 3. :p

Awesome job! Just quit your day job and become a drum builder.
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  #37  
Old 03-24-2014, 09:35 AM
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JesusMySavior JesusMySavior is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Dude that drum is sweet. Nice work.
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  #38  
Old 03-25-2014, 08:15 PM
MatrixClaw MatrixClaw is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Wow, sounds way better than I was expecting. Nice work!
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  #39  
Old 03-26-2014, 03:37 AM
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MileHighDrummer MileHighDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

Great job. Plus, it sounds great. Unfortunately, unless you have parts laying around (like you did) it wouldn't make sense to make one from scratch. Between the PVC shell, rims, snares/throw off, heads and lugs it would cost approximately - $175 w/ taxes and/or shipping. I can buy an excellent snare drum for $175 especially used. However, if I had the parts laying around and wanted a project, it would be fun. Edit, oops, I forgot the lugs. Eight lugs would be about $50 so in total about - $225.
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Last edited by MileHighDrummer; 03-26-2014 at 03:47 AM.
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  #40  
Old 03-26-2014, 03:43 AM
gurgelbanana gurgelbanana is offline
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Default Re: Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

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Originally Posted by Yamaha41 View Post
Ok I'll play the jerk but it should only be more of a compliment anyway you could post a vid of someone hitting that drum getting that sound. Almost sounds to good to be coming from PVC though I have to admit the tone sounds like it could have. Even gives me thoughts of a good way to make a nice looking edrum kit.
I can guarantee you that the recorded sound is from the PVC snare. I'm doing another PVC-snare at the moment with 6 inch depth instead of 5 inch. Thinking about doing a video recording when I'm done with the new snare. I am too very surprised by the sound! The PVC-pipe was so dense that I was sceptical how the shell would just kill the tone and make the snare sound flat, but apperently not!
Yeah, that edrum would look very neat :)
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