Drum shell's glue

veecharlie

Senior Member
Hello everybody,

So a while ago I tought to order ready shells but after thinking again, I want to try and mess around building from scratch. (I have a very close friend that will collaborate with me in terms of molds, machines, etc)
I have made some research but I fall short on information of what type glue are normally used to build ply shells ?
I'm looking for specific answers describing some differences or why to choose "that" glue. There are tons of options and also quite some into the woodwork world, especially if we start looking that glue affects your shell tone.
I'm looking forward to be surprised ;)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I don't know, and don't really have anything to offer except I always thought they used the yellowish wood glue. Get more opinions for sure.
 

veecharlie

Senior Member
I don't know, and don't really have anything to offer except I always thought they used the yellowish wood glue. Get more opinions for sure.
Me too. But I have heard Tama and dw making their own, so... There might be something better in the market available.. without going crazy into chemistry (?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yes I've heard manufacturers saying that they formulated glue that has similar sonic characteristics as wood. Not sure if that's a noticeable thing. I'm thinking not, but that's just a guess.

Andy, Francois, and the other wooden drum shell builders here, you'd want them to chime in.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I can't say what drum manufacturers use, but when I was building laminated bows I used heat-cured epoxy. It was the only thing that withstood the stress of flexing over long periods. Some more traditional bowyers will use wood glue to add backings to the limbs, but those bows don't generally last forever.

I would think gluing drum plies might have some similarities to gluing limb laminates (basically thin plies of wood and fiberglass). I don't know, though. And if you choose a heat-cured epoxy you'd need an oven of some sort that the entire drum and mold could fit in.
 

belairien

Silver Member
This should help. This site is useful for every aspect of building drums. I linked the glue page, but they have everything from shell type to finishing and other little details.

I haven't built any drums yet, but I've read through this many times in case I get the time and money to do so.

https://pdgood.us/drumshed/glues.html

They also list people's preferred glue and reasoning.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
Apparently there is no single best way to make a shell.
Sonor uses a "caloric resin" and no pressure in the shell molds. They just hold the butt-jointed wood in place by hand until it's set.

Pearl, on the other hand uses a heat press with one-zillion pounds of pressure and boils the glue with their scarf-jointed plies until the glue is boiled into the fibers.

Ludwig uses radio waves or some such other way to do it.

Some companies bang the plies of the joint together with a diagonal seam.

From what I surmise, most of them start with an already glued layer of two or three plies and lay them up in sheets of these prefabricated plies.

It seems like it would be a really difficult operation.
 

belairien

Silver Member
Apparently there is no single best way to make a shell.
Sonor uses a "caloric resin" and no pressure in the shell molds. They just hold the butt-jointed wood in place by hand until it's set.

Pearl, on the other hand uses a heat press with one-zillion pounds of pressure and boils the glue with their scarf-jointed plies until the glue is boiled into the fibers.

Ludwig uses radio waves or some such other way to do it.

Some companies bang the plies of the joint together with a diagonal seam.

From what I surmise, most of them start with an already glued layer of two or three plies and lay them up in sheets of these prefabricated plies.

It seems like it would be a really difficult operation.
Following the drum shed site I linked, its relatively simple, just time consuming to build molds out of mdf.

If measured and cut right, using a female mold, you don't need pressure on the plies as each ply tries to spring back to its flat state applying pressure out towards the mold. And each internal ply doing the same. Any glue listed in that link will work. Just a matter of preference. Or experimentation.
 

veecharlie

Senior Member
Apparently there is no single best way to make a shell.
Sonor uses a "caloric resin" and no pressure in the shell molds. They just hold the butt-jointed wood in place by hand until it's set.

Pearl, on the other hand uses a heat press with one-zillion pounds of pressure and boils the glue with their scarf-jointed plies until the glue is boiled into the fibers.

Ludwig uses radio waves or some such other way to do it.

Some companies bang the plies of the joint together with a diagonal seam.

From what I surmise, most of them start with an already glued layer of two or three plies and lay them up in sheets of these prefabricated plies.

It seems like it would be a really difficult operation.
That's a very good point. Very interesting facts! I hope I can experiment long enough to also find something new.
 
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