Gonna cut down my 14x12 to a 14 x ?...


Pioneer Member
I am considering modifying my PDP maple 14 x 12 floor tom. I don’t use it as a lower tom anymore but occasionally have set it up as a rack (1 up 2 down) for the Bonzo set up.

The problem with that is that it is so low in tone that with the 16 and 18, it’s almost too much bottom. Also, I set up a 3 up 2 down a few times and having the 14 shorter will give me a more comfortable set-up.

The Question is this!

Has anyone ever done this and can you tell me what to expect in terms of sound.
If no one has modified a shell this way, does anyone play a 14x10 maple tom. How does it sound?

I measured the shell and to cut the shell down just above the reso side lugs will give me 14 x 9½ shell.

My guess is that it shouldn’t change the sound too much, but I don’t want to ruin the sound of a good drum if someone has some insight as to what it might sound like.


Silver Member
Do you have any experience with wood work?

Are you planning on redoing the bearing edge, and putting the lugs back on? Or will you plan on using just a batter head?

Things to consider.


Platinum Member
There is a thread every now and then from someone wanting to shorten their drums. The usual consensus is: You'd really better know what you're doing or you will ruin the drum; and for what it would cost to have it professionally done, you might be better off just buying a replacement shell of the size you want, pre-cut and pre-drilled, and transferring the hardware.

For people who care about such things, resale value is another thing to consider as a modified drum will lower the resale value.


Platinum Member
Traditional sized 14 is a 14x10. The Bonham thermo-gloss kit had a 14x12 in it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bonham Later he switched to 14x10's. I've had/have12x8, 13x9, 14x10, and 15x12 racks (maple). There are no hidden surprise's with that size. I ran 22, 14, 16, 18 sized drums (25+ years). I also run a 26x14 kick, when the 22x14 just ain't enough.......as far as cutting the drum yourself. A good table saw with a sharp blade is what you need. And a router mounted in a table is what you need to cut bearing edges. Plenty of info. on how to do this already posted on this forum, and on the internet.......the difference between a 14x10 and a 14x12 is not gonna be that huge, so if "not so much bottom" is what you're after, maybe just selling the drum/swapping it out for a 13x9 would be a better road to travel.


Silver Member
I had my 14x12 ddrum dios bubinga floor tom cut down to 14x8 to match the other rack toms on my set (10x8, 12x8, 13x8). Resurrection drums in Miami did it for me and they did a fine job.

The only thing i didn't like was the fact that the only way to do this was to cut from the top and leave holes where the tom leg brackets were. Sound-wise, it was pretty much the same as before except quicker decay and shorter sustain. Now i have 5 up, 2 down toms.
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Silver Member
diosdude: I was about to suggest that.

There is nothing sexier than a piccolo snare, especially in that beautiful wood grain.

Or send it to me and I'll do it. (and keep it)


Gold Member
So what youre going to want to do is go to all those little screw thingys on the drum... there's probably somewhere like 8 per head. Then turn them counterclockwise. This will tighten the head and increase the pitch.

Seriously though, it's probably not worth it. You can tune it up a little more and it should be fine. Changing the depth of the drum has more of an effect on its sustain than its pitch anyway. Pitch is determined more by diameter, so the other route is to do what Harry says and get a 13".


Pioneer Member
Thanks for the replies.

I wasn't planning on doing this myself. A friend of mine makes custom drums and has all the tools. He said he would cut down the shell and do the bearing edge for $25.

I can drill the holes for the new positions for the lugs. The drum has the DW style STMs so I don't have any issues with legs.

It seems like this won't change the sound too much except reduce sustain and that will be OK since it will become a rack tom.

I'm going to do it.