Can drums swell/expand?

Icetech

Gold Member
So.. i'm 99% sure the answer has to be yes to this.. BUT.. about 2 years ago i had a guy here in michigan (bud buznik, i think) Make me a walnut stave snare.. which i just love to death, a few months about i just couldn't seem to tune it at all and get anything decent.. So i was going to swap heads and when i took the hoops off i could not get the heads to budge, ended up using a handle on a big screwdriver to kind of hammer the heads off.. And none of the heads i have from all 3 brands will go back on..

has anyone every had a drum do this before? And is there any known fix? The drum is kept in my basement where my kit is.. very low humidity and always around 65 degrees.

I love the drum.. but if i have to get a new shell and move over the hardware it is what it is... just hate to have to do that.
 

GruntersDad

Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
If they are made of wood they will expand and contract with the change in humidity for one. Change in temp. will have some effect if extreme but moisture will definitely cause fluctuations. My latest woodworking venture has taught me to try and assemble product with wood/lumber at the same moisture content as where the product will be used when finished. Also using table top fasteners to fasten legs and table frames to the top to allow for expansion and contraction. Sorry to be so long.
 

GruntersDad

Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
Also stave drums with vertical grain will expand side to side, lets say making a 14 inch drum 14 1/4 in diameter. Not specifically but you get the idea. If the drum was stored in a humid location is will expand in size.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
This is a known issue with solid or single ply shells like Craviotto. Changes in humidity result in expansion/contraction and you're forced to retune everything.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I am a bit surprised, since you keep the humidity stable and low, but in general, yes, wood swells and shrinks.

As for your specific drum, what about having a bit lathed off the outside, rather than scrapping it? If it's a stave drum, I'm sure there is plenty of thickness there. I'm not sure if the drilled holes will present problems, but it would something to inquire about.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
Well pewp... as i figured, and yes i actually thought bought having someone shave like 1/16" off all around maybe 1" high around the outside if i have to.. shouldn't change anything too much. Just weird it happened after 2 years. but it is what it is..

Thanks guys..


I am a bit surprised, since you keep the humidity stable and low, but in general, yes, wood swells and shrinks.

As for your specific drum, what about having a bit lathed off the outside, rather than scrapping it? If it's a stave drum, I'm sure there is plenty of thickness there. I'm not sure if the drilled holes will present problems, but it would something to inquire about.
 

GruntersDad

Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
I would have someone turn or sand the entire drum down to the same thickness rather than just bugger with the two edges. Sand then refinish to look new
 

Icetech

Gold Member
I would have someone turn or sand the entire drum down to the same thickness rather than just bugger with the two edges. Sand then refinish to look new

haha and thats why i look for advice.. that makes more sense :) Plus it's only oil finish... can refnish it in.. ohhh 30 seconds :) thanks man
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Your basement may have more moisture down there than you think. My basement has a dehumidifier running constantly in the summer and it hits about 53% humidity. Since its cooler down there you don't really notice the higher humidity levels, but you cant really argue with what the hygrometer tells you. You may want to take the drum upstairs in to an A/C environment for a couple weeks and see how it reacts. My upstairs runs anywhere from 35-50% humidity depending on the day. If you house is similar to mine, you may see some of the swelling go down.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
ah fair enough... i might actually just wait a few months.. i have other snares to use.. i just kinda love that one. But when winter hits my humidity will goto nothing.. then i will know for sure. thanks.
 
I wouldn't touch the drum. It will more than likely shrink when the weather gets colder.

If you go making the drum smaller (sanding, lathing) you may find that when colder weather comes it will be even smaller.

*Edit*
Just saw you will wait. Cool.
 
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