Building Your Own Kit

wolfendenstate

New member
Since I've been part of this forum I've learnt one thing about high end drums, and that is you're essentially paying for the name.
I've also noticed that many people have suggested building your own kit from scratch. I've been thinking about it, and I'm very tempted to give it a try when I have some money, but how difficult is it?

I know I'll need to buy the shells, hoops, lugs, skins etc. and I'll either have to buy a wrap or I've heard people mention going to an auto shop and getting it customised then.

The thing I'm most worried about it drilling the holes in the kit, what options do I have apart from drilling myself?

Also I read someone's comment about wrapping a kit being harder than it sounds, is this true?

I'd hate to go to all the effort then ruin it all buy drilling a hold a millimetre out of place or getting an air pocket under the wrap or something.

So please share advice, pros and cons and experiences.
Thanks
 

Timekeep69

New member
Alot of drum supply places offer drilling for a small charge. They also offer to cut the bearing edges as well. By that point though, you're not really building your own kit. It's more New drum set! Some assembly required.

Wrap can be a pain in the butt, especally if you use contact cement. If it's just the slightest bit off being straight when you start, it'll be WAY off by the time you wrap the shell. Drummaker.com offers a double sided tape that a little more forgiving.
 

meinlplayer

New member
I've looked into it recently, and i found that amdrumparts.com would be a good place to go... and if you buy all the stuff from them, they'll drill the holes for you.
http://www.amdrumparts.com/shells.htm

Here's an estimate I put together for how much it would cost to put together a one up one down setup...

8x12" shell: $50
2-6lug hoops (black): $28
Suspension: $40
12x14" shell: $65
2-8lug hoops (black): $28
Suspension: $45
16x22: shell: $115
2-22" wood hoops: $46

28- black mini tom lugs: $70
28- black tension rods: $16.80
20- black bass lugs: $55
20- black lug rods: $20
20- black hoop claws: $50
black spurs: $55

3- black air holes: $10.50
48- lug attatchment screws: $6.24
4- screw/lock/washers for spurs: $1.00


TOTAL: $701.54
 

MikeRowland

New member
I own a custom shop, Thumbprint Custom Finishes, which specializes in high-end finishes over Keller Shells. If you are interested in doing the bearing edges and snare beds yourself, you will need a few things, including a router with a jig set-up for edges and a snare-bed jig. You can see an example of each at drumfoundry.com. However, for a small charge, about $40 bucks, you can have your supplier cut the edges for you and drill the holes. Or, you can have them set up a layout for you, so all you have to do is drill the marked areas. If you are going to drill the holes yourself, here are some tips:
1: Buy a layout mat from drumfoundry.com. It allows for up to a 24" shell with six, eight, or ten lugs, as well as up to a 4" snare bed. It runs about $40. You set the drum on the mat, and pencil a small mark at the bottom of the shell where each lug/leg/etc. lines up. Then:
2: Make a jig that will allow you to space the lug holes correctly and straight. You can purchase one at drumfoundry.com, or make one yourself like we did. You will need to check the hole spacing on the lug that you pick, as each lug has a different spacing.
3: Start drilling your holes with a sharp bit and a slow speed. Do Not push too hard, since that will cause you to chip the back side of the holes. Some people put tape on the back of the hole to help prevent, but I just use a 1/32" it and go through each size until I reach the required hole diameter. This entails more work, but you will Never find a poorly drilled hole on my drums. I also use a drill press, but it is entirely possible to use a hand drill. Just use a steady hand and do not let the bit wander when piloting your hole.

Some good sites that I have dealt with: amdrumparts.com, drummaker.com, drumfoundry.com, egodrumsupply.com.

Most importantly, use Keller shells. They are the industry standard for maple shells. Many major companies use them, including DW in the '90's (though they make their own shells now), Pork Pie, and Trick.

Hope this helps. Any questions, email me: mikesdws@yahoo.com, myspace.com/thumbprintcustomfinishes, myspace.com/michaeljrowland.
Good Luck!
 

ombudsman

New member
I have built my own kit or I should say I designed and assembled my own kit. It is 7 piece double bass kit with marine pearl wraps. I ordered the shells, hardware, and wrap from drummaker.com. They also did the drilling, edging, and even applied the wrap. It cost me half of what a comparable kit would sell for retail and I am very happy with it. As well I should. . . I designed it myself. However, my advice would be to do your research. Drum building takes some skill and knowledge. In my case I start with a well researched design and choose people that are good that their craft to help make it happen. I won't talk about the bad ones here but I will say something about one of the good ones. Drummaker cut some snare beds that are so sweet it is best snare I have owned / played in 25 years of playing. Good luck!
 

Sway

New member
Im practicing and about to start building my own kit and stuff. I think though if your doing it to save money then yeah maybe get someone else to do all the drilling and stuff for you. If your doing it so it can be your own creation then do it all your self. Thats what im doing. Im putting in alot of practice though before i do. I just bought some sheets of plywood from the local hardware store cut it into like 10 pieces and start cutting the bearing edges on that.
Also if your going to build your own kit you might as well get the best finish so when everyone looks at YOUR drums theyll be like WOW! I would just send them to a body shop or a guitar shop. But gooduck. Just make sure to practice first so you dont buy all this crap and screw it up.
 

dtran09

New member
I'm thinking about doing that also. It seems like it will be MUCH cheaper, but I have to get a job this summer to pay for it, so if you decide to build your own you'll likely finish before me. I would like some feedback
 

Drutort

New member
is there any kind of programs that you can use to setup and get a good feel or look for your set? btw it seems that the mounting/suspension still is one of the most expensive things out there
 

dtran09

New member
Lugs can be expensive also if you get tube lugs.
I don't think there is a program like that, but i wish there was. :D
 

Drutort

New member
also how do you deal with reselling value? when you make a custom kit? doesnt that affect it a great deal? i mean what do you say?

if you get most of your stuff or all the shells from one place do they put serial number or something like that as well?
 

DrummerSnake

New member
I recommend building your own kit only if you are at the top of your game with the kit you're on and are looking for something extremely special. As far as collection assorted drums and hardware, sure, but if you want to create the drum itself, make sure its something you're ready for . I had a 15" shell given to me, complete, and the hardware - rims, lugs, heads, and 3 floor feet - cost as much as a new 15" matching Pearl floor tom would have, without considering the cost and time into molding a shell. Given that 15" is an odd size, I still would have bought new if I'd have known.
 

ChrisNichols

New member
wolfendenstate":jo711cy9 said:
Since I've been part of this forum I've learnt one thing about high end drums, and that is you're essentially paying for the name.
I don't think that's quite true. I mean, the drum company had to do SOMETHING to get recognized as a high-end company. So obviously these big ones like Ludwig and Pearl must have a good sound to them as well as looking great (and yeah, having that impressive logo on the side).

So whil I agree wholeheartedly that you don't need to have a big expensive kit to be a good drummer, these big ones must be doing something right to set them apart from all the others.
 

drummert2k

New member
when building your own drums, other than the edges and snare bed (which i usually have the shell supplier do for me. i've done a few but just dont trust myself to do it for someone elses kit) getting a good high quality finish is the hardest part. most time when you see someone who built their own kit its a stained shell with little or no gloss. if thats what you're going for thats fine. but thats not that hard to do. when i do the clear coats to get that really igh gloss finish i actually out the shell on top of a bicycle wheel i have in a vice. that way i can sping the shell on the wheel and use a pressured gun to put on thick coats of clear coat without worrying about running or anything. i recommend trying that. i just think the high gloos looks better than flat stained drums. also fades and bursts aren't impossible to do. just practice on some scrap wood before doing it to your kit.
 

wolfendenstate

New member
Thanks for all the feedback, it definatly seems like a good option to take, although it wont be for a long while yet, I think getting some decient cymbals is next on my list.

One more question though, to do with wraps. A lot of drum companys seem to be about "Anything you want we can do". This makes me think that some things must be hand painted.
Now, I'm not too bad with designing and painting etc. Is it possible to get a wrap that you can paint on, or something like that?
Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but I firgure if you're going to have a truly unique kit, and you've got the ability to do you're own design, then why not go for it?

Thanks again
 

Timekeep69

New member
Both Rockenwraps and drumskinz.com can make wrap out of artwork that you provide. Alot of companies also do automotive paint jobs.
 

jayusl

New member
I'm not going to list all the details, but I recently priced out a complete 7 peice shell pack from an online drum part web site. For every part necessary to put together the kit from scratch.......$1800.00.
S**T on that, I'll just buy a Starclassic shellpack and some extra toms for about the same.
 

Benhamin

New member
hows the quality?
if i ordered from drummaker or drumfactory or where ever
am i gonna get a bunch of crap?
and would it hurt the shells to stain them directly for a finish?
 

SmellsLikeIan

New member
Benhamin":w9ncgt3g said:
hows the quality?
if i ordered from drummaker or drumfactory or where ever
am i gonna get a bunch of crap?
and would it hurt the shells to stain them directly for a finish?
I like AMDrumparts.com
You'll get to choose from acrylic, birch, or Keller maple shells (same as GMS, C&C, Orange County, many more) drilled for whatever lugs and configuration (offset, standard) and bearing edges cut to 45 degrees or whatever you specify. Stain them if u want, wrap them if u want (they sell wraps too) or do what I'm gonna do as soon as I save the $900 it will cost for my 4 piece...Auto paint. I have a neighbor that has a collision shop, so I'm hooked up. I also already have some bad ass pearlescent purple paint left from painting my ol lady's old ride. Anyhoo, I hear that the drilling and cutting they do there are first rate.
 

Drummer_chum

New member
Ive built a couple of drum kits in the past and build mostly snare drums now but if you want advice from alot of builders and want to ask questions go to
www.drummaker.com and go to the message boards. Go there and ask all the questions you need to buils your kit and see if you want to put in the time and make the commitment on building a new drumset. I would suggest buying a snare shell and building a snare first and see if you like the building process before spending alot of money on buying shells and all the other things that go on a drumset.

:wink:
 
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