Homemade Snare Drum, made out of a PVC-pipe!

gurgelbanana

Junior Member
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
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
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).
 

gurgelbanana

Junior Member
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
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
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.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
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.
 

gurgelbanana

Junior Member
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

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! ^^
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
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
 
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Kingvarsson

Junior Member
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.
 
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gurgelbanana

Junior Member
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!

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
 
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longgun

Gold Member
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.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
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.

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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