Making Your own Drums

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SMD Drums Detroit
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Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:10 pm

Post Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:43 pm

If you can't cut a bearing edge or don't have a good router table to do it yourself, and if you don't know how to cut a snare bed...

BY ALL the extra money and have it done professionally.

I have seen edge work from all the larger companies.

SMD is by far the best.

The trick is the secondary cut after the shell edge perimeter has been flattened on the flattening table. Most every one else doesn't bother to do that for you.

I know they are relocating right now and tooling up for some big new things but they are on the way back and will be in full swing by fall. They are building a new shopping cart web site with all the drum parts and shell options too.

I saw the test site the other day. It's looking sweet.
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Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:50 am
Location: Behind my drumkit

Post Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:10 am

I have never built my own from scratch, but I did a major overhaul on my Granstars last year.
Check out the process:
Saturday, October 14th @ Desiderio's w/ "Vertigo".
Nicholas Plant
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Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 7:10 pm
Location: Galt, CA, USA

Post Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:21 am

Nice work, looks better to me now.
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session drummer
session drummer
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Post Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:54 am

Great work! Your finish looks like it was made by a professional drum company!
dim my eyes if they should compromise
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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:00 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Post Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:15 pm

I totally understand what you're mean when you say that building your own kit would be rewarding... I was playing a Vistalite Ludwig Acrylic kit for years and just converted to a Maple kit that I built, and it's been amazing. The tone of my new kit is incredible, great sustain and the kicks sound like cannons!!

I was able to buy everything from, they are a great company who prides themselves on making sure you get everything you need. Here's a pic of the drums I just built, unless I get an endorsement, I won't switch to any manufactured set period. I definately got what I paid for with these and saved about 3-4 grand, it was definately a rewarding experience..

I'm in a metal band out of Oklahoma, stop by if your interrested in checking it out..

Noble & Cooley (

Trick pedals (
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Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:48 am
Location: Northumberland, PA

Post Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:09 pm

I agree.You'll find pretty much everything you need there. woos shells, acrylic shells, wraps, hardware and rims (crome, black and brass) i've built 4 kits already using only this site (*minus heads of course)
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drumming adept
drumming adept
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Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:25 am
Location: Salem,oregon,Atlanta,Florida

Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:17 pm






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drumming adept
drumming adept
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:58 am
Location: Arkansas

Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:02 pm

well. i can say building drums is its own challenge. i build cu stom drums for people. and let me tell you. it doesnt take much to completely fuck up a perfectly good shell. yes the lugs/rims/throwoff/wire all that is the expensive part. but if you have never done it before you really want to use lower grade parts until you get the process to an art. my custom drums are pretty cheap when compared to any custom drum site. such as a snare made by medicinaman drums for 600 i may charge 300 at the most, and thats for better than pro level parts and quality. i put the same attention to detail into my lower price drums as i do in my upper range drums. Keller is the way to go when building custom drums, i used/use them sometimes. they are the best for the price shell manufacturer. there are better but if your a beggining builder/do it yourselfer keller are the best.
Get KRUNK...Its A Death Metal Thing.
drumming adept
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Location: New Orleans

Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:30 pm

I actually prefer the shells made by Jasper as opposed to Keller- Jasper was the supplier for Gretsch, Rogers, & Camco during their glory period, as well as Fibes until a few years ago. Many people attribute That Great Gretsch Sound to those shells- six plies of alternating maple and gumwood.

You can still find Jasper shells out there, but it takes some work- Keller has pretty much cornered the market at this point.

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drumming adept
drumming adept
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Location: Pompano Beach, FL

Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:57 pm

I've been thinking about making my own set too. I've known about Keller. I've never heard about Jasper but I'll look into their stuff.
Something else I'm looking into is getting large tube aluminum or having sheet aluminum rolled for me. I'm getting more and more connections to get things done cheaper, but I'm still trying to find out more about it.

Is there anyone else that makes shells?
8-piece Mapex Vx
5-piece Premier 1960s vintage

custom vintage Mapex 5-piece (for sale)
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drumming adept
drumming adept
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Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:21 pm
Location: Central Florida

Post Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:45 pm

Eames is a great shell maker as well. They advertise in Modern Drummer and maybe Drum! as well.

Back when Neil Peart played Tama he had the shells switched to Eames with Tama hardware. Bill Hibbs from Tama told me that *secret* several years ago in the Bahamas. I don't know if he was pulling my leg or not. But I have heard that from a few other people over the years as well.
Pearl Masterworks Kit, BRX Kit, two MM Acrylic Kits, Roland V-Drums Kit, SPD-15, SPD-20, Octabans, Gong BD, Full Rototom Kit, 12+Snares, around 100 Paiste's & Various Cymbals: Zildjian, Sabian, drum racks: Pearl, DrumFrame VX1
drumming adept
drumming adept
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Post Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:39 am

Forgot about Eames. Great shells, but two points about them: 1) they only sell birch shells, no maple (I actually like birch shells but for some reason maple seems to be the craze). 2) Very expensive- a 6.5 x 14 shell retails for about $155.

Still, a great product if you're into birch- uber high quality control. Eames snares make their way on Ebay every once in a while, and are highly sought after by collectors.
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groove master
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Post Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:57 pm

Mr. Pants has it right about Not only do they have great prices on keller shells and all sorts of hardware, they will cut your bearing edges for you and drill lug holes if you want. As soon as I have a spare $1000 to throw at it I'm gonna build my own. I've been planning on doing this for a while, and I've already calculated costs. For a four piece like I play its under a grand. How else can you get your own custom keller maple set with everything the way you want it for that price?
yee freakin' haw