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Thread: Hoping to make a bass drum

  1. #1
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    Hoping to make a bass drum

    Skinny Bass.jpgPlanning on making a new type bass drum. 18" diameter, open face, 6" (or so) deep. Going to make it out of lepoardwood (have a bunch of 8/4 and don't like it much). Going to make 3 segmented rings, glue them face to face to make a rough cylinder, and turn it to 18" diameter. I can then turn half the inside thin, reverse it in the chuck and turn the other half of the inside. Buying one is $310 + shipping & tax = $425. I can buy the hardware (sans legs which I will make) for just under $120. Here's the link to the commercial version https://www.sidekickdrums.com/shop/s...m-single-head/
    Last edited by Larry Litwin; 11-30-2023 at 12:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    That will be a fun project. Looking forward to following along!
    Best Regards, Maurice

  3. #3
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    Got all the machines set and did a test ring to make sure that it would be c2c 18". Also ran the rough stock through the planer to smooth the sides that will be glued. Prior commitments today so tomorrow I plan on starting. Got to run the 8/4 through the bandsaw to mill to final thickness. Then it's just cut the segments and glue them up and wait. Once set I can glue the rings together and get the rough cylinder on the lathe.

    I need to get some threaded rod to pass through the chuck jaws and fix something across the front of the cylindar. I need to do this semi-outboard. The Nova 2K doesn't have quite enough swing, so I have to rotate the headstock a bit, so there's no tailstock to put pressure against the cylinder. Once I get to this point I'll take a picture to post.

    Once it's fixed on the lathe I just have to turn the outside to 18" and the inside to about 3/8th inch thick. I haven't decided what finish to use. I will probably opt for a clear Watco followed by gloss poly. Parts are due to arrive on Monday but I won't be ready to install them till later in the week.

  4. #4
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    Here is a satisfying video from Black Swamp Percussion to watch while waiting for the glue to dry. This company does a lot with solid wood rather than veneer.

    Best Regards, Maurice

  5. #5
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    Thanks. That was interesting. Beautiful finished product.

    Started with raw wood yesterday. Worked a short time and got the three segmented rings done. Today I trued them and glued up the cylinder. Only took a few enjoyable hours. Tomorrow I'll put the cylinder back on the lathe and turn the outside. I may have to leave the inside surface alone. If I turn it smooth inside I will probably end up with a " thickness. That might lack enough strength.

  6. #6
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    Here is more entertainment to bide the time while glue dries. I got to hang out at the C&C shop twice. I love the humility there.

    Best Regards, Maurice

  7. #7
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    First try on the lathe a failure. The joints of the segments stick out too far and are too far apart for the speed the wood past the tool (rotational speed within reason for an 18" diameter). One other factor is the splinterieness (a real word?) of the lepoardwood. One reason I don't like to work with it. Took the cylinder off the lathe, clamped it to a work horse and nipped the protrusions with a Stihl MS 192 T (first time I ever did woodworking with a chainsaw), remounted on the lathe and was able to turn it (very carefully). Took it down to an even outside surface. Tomorrow I will dimension it and sand the outside. Still not sure what I'll do about the inside. If I turn the inside, the walls will be about " or so. I will probably turn the top inside so I can do a proper bearing edge for the head.
    Attachment 511694 Attachment 511695

  8. #8
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    Really Cool !!!!! Thanks for sharing. Wish I could afford a set from them. But at 77 ...

  9. #9
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    I have to re-up my donation to see your images. This is an epic turning project. I have started big turning projects by using an angle grinder with 16 or 24 grit discs rather than a chisel. Another thing to try is cutting the segment stacks very close to the desired shape with the band saw, jig saw, or pattern router.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  10. #10
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    Well, it was fun while it lasted. On turning down to the finished size so the head would fit, one edge ended up paper thin. Reversing the cylinder on the lathe didn't resolve the problem. I tried to work too close to tollerance and didn't account for slightly out of round.

    I thought of a way around the problem that might work, but ... there is still the issue of the inside not being able to be smoothed and no assurance it would sound good. I've decided to cut my loss and order a shell. I'll stain it the same as the floor tom I assembled from parts and be done with it.

    The shell I ordered is 12" deep so I can leave it that deep or cut it down to 6" (which is what I intend - a skinny bass). If I cut it down I'll have an additional 18" by 6" shell that I can use for another drum at some point. It makes sense to admit when it's gotten to be a bit too much to continue. Better to spend time on practicing or something else fun when the activity has become a chore.

  11. #11
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    The 18" by 12" shell came yesterday. I was coing to cut it dowmn to 18" by 6" to make a skinney bass drum. Instead I decided to stain, finish, and assemble it at 12". I can always cut it down in the future.

  12. #12
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    I don't feel so bad about the "trouble" I had with the 18" segmented ring. I put the commercial shell on the lathe and it wobbled too. Got the drum finished and semi-tuned. Still have a wee bit to do - a wee bit of dampening and final tuning. But it's nice to finally have a full, if minimal, set.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Litwin View Post
    I don't feel so bad about the "trouble" I had with the 18" segmented ring. I put the commercial shell on the lathe and it wobbled too. Got the drum finished and semi-tuned. Still have a wee bit to do - a wee bit of dampening and final tuning. But it's nice to finally have a full, if minimal, set.
    Thats going to be fun. I need to dust off our little kit and get it set up for the kids Christmas visit. They were very loud for a few years and annoying at times. Now we look forward to having them rattle the windows from time to time. I keep thinking about building a whole small kit. I would most likely use staves. It would be fun to get several drums from one tree.

    IMG_1733.jpg
    Best Regards, Maurice

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