Do It Yourself page! Be empowered to create!
1) tools needed to make drums.
2) Using your old gear and electronics for other needs.
3) Electronic kit building and related links.
Cheap quality speakers will not produce a desired tone. This is a set from a Phillips Home entertainment system. 6 small and one Sub. Cost us $10 player included.
Speaker viewed from bottom head. Mounted with L bracket fastened by Lug mounting screws.
2” 3 ohm 100 Watt. High quality low mass.
8” Sub viewed from resonant head side. This was mounted using tube style lugs that are adjustable. Then mating them to L brackets fastened by lug mounting screws.
Sub kick as seen from beater head.. You might have to dampen sub kick with a load resistor. 130k.
XLR jack is mounted to our RESO-nation drum panel. mic line exits drum through air vent.
Floor Tom is on rims mount. We used a scrap drum shell piece and fastened a low mass tom leg mount to leg then mounted an XLR jack.
XLR jack is mounted to our RESO-nation Snare butte panel. mic line exits drum through air vent.
On our 12”x7” rack tom mic line exits drum through air vent. Then XLR mounts to RIMS mount.
Using Speakers as internal mics.
I get some nice recordings with this setup.
We did a live PA trial run on May 27th 2017
We got great response and superb isolation.
We used a 1600W powered 8 channel mixer..
This has some nice benefits.
1) No mic. stands to haul around
2) Plug right into drum.
3) Great isolation.
4) Less gear to keep track of
5) Quicker setup and tear down time.
Tools needed to make drums!
Tricks and DIY methods!
Wrap versus paint?
A large table. This can cut edges on shells up to a 30” diameter.
2) A square to make straight lines for hole locations.
3) An adjustable square to mark hole locations.
4) Sanding block for finishing bearing edges. Grits used are: 60,80,100,120,150,180,220,360 and sometimes 400.
5) Pencil. Duh!
6) Masking tape not shown.
Used to mark hole locations.
7) Truing surface. We use a granite
slab. This is large enough to do a 30” shell. you can get by with a smaller one if you desire to do a smaller OD.
8) Sanding surface. We use
a granite slab with stick on 80 grit sanding paper. This is large enough to do a 30” shell. .
9) A drill to make holes.. Several sized bits are needed to make as close a hole size match as possible. A small bit is needed to make ALL your starter holes. These prevent blowouts..
This can also be used with a hole cut saw bit to make large holes for telescoping mounts.
( we never use such mounts on our drums.)
Not shown but coming: 10) Measuring tape to find lug placement positions around your shells. 11) Table saw with rollers for cutting down shells. 12) Finishing sander for prepping shell for non-wrap finishes. 13) Sander set up with felt pad to help press on wraps.
( we no longer do wraps ).
A one car garage is plenty of space to use these tools and have a clean finishing table. Two car garage? Makes a stockroom and shipping department.
Our philosophy on making drums.
Like driving a car or owning a website one should know as much as possible about their craft or process.
When you have made or repaired 1000 +/- drums you learn a lot.
We started off wanting to make affordable pro-quality drums for beginners.
Most beginners have Nike syndrome. Kenny was right. Focus on high end drums and seek out endorsers. Let it be known endorsers get it for free?
Real money is made in selling to students.
When asked “ Who makes THE best drum?”.
I have two answers: 1) Beginners may very well want that Pearl Export startup package.. A cool vintage set may seem old and worn out. Get them a set that they will play.
2) For professionals? There are none. All brands use different wood, edges etc. I have had countless vintage drums receive new heads and a strike of my stick. They all sound different. They will be effected by type of head that has been mounted. A friend and fellow drummer once said “ I cannot play Champagne Sparkle.” SO! Decide what you want to look like and sound like.
It was once stated to me: 3) “ Yeah your vintage drums look cool but I’d like to see if you can make a drum from scratch.”
Response. “De-engineering then restoring is much more skill demanding then fabrication from a blank shell.”
4) ”Wow! your wrapped drums look cool but can you do paint?”
My opinion on this took over 20 years to decide. After finally buying a compressor, spray gun and setting up a 8x8 storage building for paint? we gave it a shot. We made one painted silver sparkle set ( now owned by Harbor Leadership Academies music department.) and made several black lacquered Bass drum hoops. Simply beautiful. Painting is: a) VERY time consuming with all those cleanups and re-shoots for multiple color and clear coats. Typically 5 or more layers. b) VERY toxic to yourself and my surroundings. c) Weather dependent. d) Difficult to repair. We decided to stop when our $300 compressor decided to stop. To costly to try again.
5) Paint versus wrap? Paint scratches. Wraps bubble, split or curl. We did perfect a match butte seam which to this day I have not seen one turn up curled.
We used a two glue process. So if your a purist “ I want my drums to resonate” Then quit painting or wrapping them. We use rub on stains or padding finishes on our personal drums. This is to control excess moisture transferring through shell.
Detailed pictures and possibly videos will be coming on these topic.
Ask us a question and we will possibly post it here with our response..
Designing drum basics.
Picking a shell type:
They’re three major shell types. In order of density starting from soft to hard they are:
1) Mahogany is a dark porous wood with a warm softer toner. ( It does not receive paint or rub on coats well. It will absorb a lot of it)
2) Birch is a slightly harder shell. ( middle of road tonally )
3) Maple is your hardest choice. This will give a brighter tone..
There are other woods and you can buy almost any combination imaginable. Even 1 ply shells of Maple, Cherry, Oak etc.
Picking a shell thickness:
Number of plies effects both pitch and resonance.
In a nutshell a 14x14 floor tom with 6 plies will have a lower pitched sweet spot then a 8 or 10 ply shell.
Shell ply combinations will make a difference as well.
We have found that a combo of soft gum wood with hard Maple sounds more pleasing then 100% Maple.
We presently play a 6 ply 3 gum and 3 maple.
Picking a shell size:
Bass drum sizes? 20” inch would be an optimum tonal size. It gets a low note.
Its natural wave shape length is about equal to most clubs.
A shallow shell will have a faster punchier tone.
This applies to tom sizes as well. We have always preferred square floor toms.
We prefer shorter rack toms to get that fast attack.
We also have that luxury of mounting are drums lower over our Bass drum.
Less is more.
Leave as much un-drilled wood as possible.
Lug mounting screws will clamp down on shells.
We make three drum lines:
1) Deluxe models have lugs and mounts fastened on to shell. Maximum cheap, least shell resonance.
( Deluxe models can use rims mounts to enhance shell tone.)
2) RESO-nation models. These drums use tube lugs which then have RESO-nation panels mounted on tube lugs.
These panels will then mount ALL hardware, Spurs, tom mounts, leg mounts and yes snare throw off and buttes.
( With a rubbed on finish you cannot get more shell resonance then this.)
3) RESO-nation String Bass.
These drums use a lot of parts.
Conventional low mass lugs on special panels to make conventional Bass hoop claws functional.
Bass guitar strings come from inside shell through a small hole.
These run across floating nuts and bridges up to hoop.
There are no air vent holes drilled since air pressure pushes through string holes. Two holes per claw.
Bearing edge choices:
Old vintage drums of pre-65 periods still had big fat edges with tone rings.
Tone rings of this type served two purposes. a) They reinforced these thin 3-6 ply shells.
b) They made a large surface area for head contact. When you have a FAT bearing edge you force more shell vibration.
A thin bearing edge makes for more drum head tone.
We typically copy a Rogers 45 degree on inside with a 2 ply outside 45 degree back cut..
Gretsch used to use a outside round over. This fit their drum heads inside contour. “ Permatone heads. Tune them once?”
Gretsch and Slingerland took a while to realize ALL drums need some form of air vent hole.
We prefer Remo 1 ply coated Ambassadors tuned wide open no muffling.
( Learn to play both quiet and loud).
One ply heads offer a maximum tone and sound great on all volume levels.
Two ply heads will last a little longer for hard hitters.
They will offer a more direct punchy tone.
They will not offer a cool warm quiet jazz or Blues tone.
Ask us a question and we will possibly post our response.
May 26th First show.
“The Show That Never Ends”