Home Tech - Drum Building
Drum Building
This is a Category about Building Drums

Build - Assemble and Finish

Assembling the drum.

Once the lug holes are all correctly drilled it's simply a matter of installing the lugs and assembling and tuning the drum. You know you are gonna love it!

Build - Attaching Hardware

Attaching hardware

Drilling for lugs.

Once the shell is finished, the final operation will be drilling the finished shell for hardware. You need to drill a hole for the drum vent (I recommend the threaded kind rather than the metal grommets you have to stake in place.) You also may need to drill the shell for a snare strainer and butt or mounting hardware if the drum is a tom.

Finishing a Drum Shell

Finishing the Shell:

Once the bearing edges are cut you can either drill the shell for lugs or apply the finish to it. I prefer to finish the shell first since the lug holes tend to cause problems as the varnish etc. can dribble through to the inside of the shell when you are finishing it. If you are applying a wrap it is often better to drill the lug holes first and then apply the wrap over the holes and cut the lug holes in the wrap with an X-acto knife or razor blade using the indentation of the holes as a guide.

Finishing the shell is both the hardest part and the thing that will largely determine the appeal of the finished drumset.

Cutting Bearing Edges

Bearing edges:

Cutting bearing edges is not an impossibly complex operation but there is enough equipment and set-up required that some builders defer to letting suppliers cut the edges. However, once you've constructed an edge-cutting set-up, you can then not only cut new shells but also re-cut old drums which have crappy bearing edges.


Choosing a pre-made Drum Shell


By far the most common unfinished shells out there are the Keller Maple Shells. A drum shell normally will simply be a maple plywood tube with no holes and the ends simply cut off square. They come in a variety of thicknesses and standard diameters that will match commercial drumheads.

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