Building Drums

You want to know how to build the kit of your dreams...? You can find help here!
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zen_drummer
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Post Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:30 pm

HeaveyDrummer wrote:Lol, thats somewhat true, it is basically assembling, not making.

What me and my grandad did was baught a long, straight piece of maple, soaked it in the bath-tub, made a mold, turned it around that mold to make the sphere, I think we got around 5 times maybe, but then reinforced it with pieces of wood, then drilled all the holes, put the edges on, then assembled Lugs I had lying around my house, It's almost done, we decided to paint it. But we still gotta make something, we are going to make the mounting pit :P so, it's going to be fun.


to make a single board into a 5 ply drum, you would need to start with a board that is over 18 feet long... that's one heck of a bathtub you and your grandpa have!
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Post Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:06 am

I "put together" a 16"X26" kick drum recently with parts I got from Precision drums out of NY. I wrapped it silver sparkle and it just rocks. I am constantly hitting pawn shops and yard sales for old junky drums, shells, etc to experiment on as far as cutting bearing edges...a fun hobby! I get better with every drum I tweak...who knows, when I get old and retire from the road, my dream is to have a little drum shop somewhere.
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Post Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:20 am

I've had the experience of building a drum kit and I thought it was great! I'll only say, to do it right, it's more expensive than you may think. If you use top notch parts, cast hoops, expensive lugs, keller shells, suspened tom mounts, kick drum legs, floor tom legs, etc; can all end up costing a pretty penny once you're done. It all comes down to personnel preference. Once I completed the kit I used it for a while, but it ended up not really being my dream kit, so I ended up selling it for a loss because eventhough I used all name brand componants to put the kit together, There wasn't a DW or Yamaha or Pork Pie name attached to the kit. But if you want to build a kit, that you are planning on keeping and using and can afford it, I'd recommend the experience of building a kit yourself.

Just my 2 cents :D
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Post Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:57 am

i went to a tech college and took the guitar building courses. i've built an acoustic guitar, electric bass, and just recently i built my own drumset.

basically, anyone with some basic wood working skills and common sense can drill the holes and assemble the drum. the real skill comes in the finishing. finishing wood is by far the most difficult step in any wood working project especially finishing musical instruments because of the high level of professionalism in musical instrument finishing.

i spent some time working as a carpenter and most custom carpenters don't even do their own finishing. they hire a professional finisher to do that part. in most cases carpentry and wood finishing are two different fields of work but in instrument building the instrument builder needs to know both trades. not an easy thing.

before even thinking about finishing anything. i would buy Bob Flexner's book "Wood Finishing". read that and then decide if you want to finish a drumset. he is, in my opinion, the doctor of wood finishing. he easily explains everything about wood finishing with all the different techniques and finishes. he explains the differences and the good and bad aspects of each type of finish and all the different techniques involved in applying a finish. you can't just get a brush and start slapping on finish and expect it to look like your high gloss DW set nor get yourself a spray gun and thing everything will go hunky dory cause you know how to use a spray can of paint.

wood finishing is a long and tedious process. to get a high gloss piano finish can take up to a month depending on what type of finish you use and how you apply it. then the process doesn't stop there. after a finish is applied and dried out there is a process in which the newly applied finish needs to be wet sanded and then buffed out.

buy the book, he explains it all.
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joejoeplaysdrums
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Post Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:15 pm

building your own drumset in a pain in the ass. i've built three of them from scratch - done the bearing edges (including snare drums) drilled the holes and did the stain/lacquering. there's a lot of times when you're not 100% sure if you did it right but when you get it all done it looks great and sounds fantastic. i strongly recommend every drummer build at least one snare drum in their life. i've gotten all my stuff from precision drum co in new york - fantastic folks there. you should all check it out.
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Post Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:41 am

Scogar wrote:I was thinking about maybe trying this, because I have heard from some that it is a great way to save some money but still get a custom sound. I was wandering how many of you guys have tried it, how did it go, and how would you recommend doing it?



thanks guys!


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Post Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:39 pm

This thread along with the websites provided has inspired me to make my own snare! :lol: After I buy my cymbals I think I shall do this! I wanna try building an acrylic snare first but I'm wondering if theres a way to get designs on em? Or how to get your own custom logo badge?
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Potatoe Snack
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Post Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:40 pm

i would absolutely love to do this, but refuse to ever do it. I have a feeling if I tried to put stain or lacquer on anything at all, I'd mess it all up. Until the day I can watch someone in person do it as they explain everything and all the steps I'll take a seat and just get everything I need from guitar center or ebay, lol. but like I said before, I would LOVE to do this.
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Post Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:45 am

Gold N Times will sand blast designs into their acrylic shells.
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Post Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:57 am

Timekeep69 wrote:
zen_drummer wrote:
Timekeep69 wrote:No offense but you're assembling your snare drum, not building it.


That's a fact.... of course, lots of custom builders are really just assemblers when you consider what's really going on.


Yes and no. Drilling straight holes and cutting good bearing edges isn't as easy as one would think.

I don't agree with the argument that because most companies use Keller Shells they're all the same or that it's not really building. Carpenters don't cut down the trees and make their own 2x4's. Most furniture makers buy their wood from someone else too.

To have someone else apply a finish, cut the edges and drill the holes is really the same as buying a desk from Wal-mart and saying that you built it and in reality all you did was take it out of the box and assembled it.

Same thing.


I dont know if i would consider drilling holes and cutting 2 bearing edges the difference between assembling and building
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xdoseonex
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Post Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:02 am

Timekeep69 wrote:There are a lot of places to go to get supplies. Drummaker.com and amdrumparts.com both sell everything you need and will do the bearing edge cutting and drilling for you for a fee ( I 've heard amdrumparts does it for free as long as you order everything from them). This works if you want a wrapped kit. If you want a lacquer kit, you'll have to do it all yourself because lacquering a shell with holes drilled in it is a pain in the butt.

You'll save on the labor charges but you won't save much on the hardware. Depending on what you want, you could still spend over $1000 just on hardware.



the vocalist for my band used to refinish furnature, and he said he would have absulutely no problm finishing a drilled shell. what are the pronblems you run into?
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Post Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:23 am

xdoseonex wrote:
Timekeep69 wrote:
zen_drummer wrote:
Timekeep69 wrote:No offense but you're assembling your snare drum, not building it.


That's a fact.... of course, lots of custom builders are really just assemblers when you consider what's really going on.


Yes and no. Drilling straight holes and cutting good bearing edges isn't as easy as one would think.

I don't agree with the argument that because most companies use Keller Shells they're all the same or that it's not really building. Carpenters don't cut down the trees and make their own 2x4's. Most furniture makers buy their wood from someone else too.

To have someone else apply a finish, cut the edges and drill the holes is really the same as buying a desk from Wal-mart and saying that you built it and in reality all you did was take it out of the box and assembled it.

Same thing.




I dont know if i would consider drilling holes and cutting 2 bearing edges the difference between assembling and building


I do.

Screwing up either will ruin your drum. A bearing edge can be re-cut (sometimes) but if you screw up the lug alignment you either live with it or start over on a new shell.

With someone else cut the edges and drill the holes, all you have to do is screw on the lugs, strainer and butt plate. That's not building a drum, that's assembling a drum.
Last edited by Timekeep69 on Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:23 am

So, this thread go me thinking about designing and assembling my own acrylic snare. I went to am drum parts and apparently they dont sell just the acrylic shells. They say they're only available as completed drums. Where can I go to get just the shell. If possible I'd like to buy everything from one place.
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Post Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:26 am

Looks like drummaker.com has just the shells.
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Post Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:46 am

www.pjclevenger.com

www.medicinemandrumsaz.com

DML Special: 20% off all drums.

Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left!