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Thread: Finished My 1st Ashiko Drum

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Fort Wayne IN
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    Thumbs up Finished My 1st Ashiko Drum

    I finally finished my first drum which was made for a very special lady in my life. This was a challenging project as I have never worked with compound angles before. I am really pleased with the finished project and Dianne, the one that actually plays it, is now in love with her new drum. Not a gap anywhere and boy does it have a beautiful voice. Made me feel pretty good when her drum instructor said it was professional quality; I guess I did everything right!

    The size is about 11 1/2" diameter at the top, 6" diameter at the bottom and about 23 1/2" tall. The wood is Black Limba and the head is an african goatskin. I bent the steel rods for the three rings on a homemade jig and had a friend weld them. Not ready to learn welding yet! Stringing it was something new for me as well but it turned out nice. The handle was an especially nice touch. I finished with 6 coats of matte finish.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lewiston, Idaho
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    Beautifully done Raymond! It looks like a custom made professional drum to me!
    Ken

  3. #3
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    Feb 2003
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    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
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    Wow! I can see why that would be a challenging project. I might be able to make the wood part of it givin enough time & wood but I would never be able to lace it!

    Very cool
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Raymond,

    Wonderful job! Could you tell us the number of pieces of wood and angles that you used?

    Really great job, especially since the drummers say it sounds right too!
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  5. #5
    Absolutely professional quality my friend. I play drums myself, and hand drums are my favorite. I got started playing an Ashiko just like yours(except it cost $200 about 14 yrs ago). I have a Djembe now(similar drum and sound with a "goblet" shape) and have thought about trying to make one myself for some time. The rings are one issue that I had wondered about. How did you figure out the angles for the shell? How did you machine them?. Nice work, you should be proud. Color me impressed!

  6. #6
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    Jun 2004
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    KC, MO
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    Raymond -

    That is outstanding!! Beautifully done.......

    Tell us more!

  7. #7
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    Apr 2006
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    Central NY State
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    compound coopering! beautiful job.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2003
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    Lancaster, PA
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    Raymond,
    That looks great! Too bad we can't hear it as well. Did you reference a plan, or go from pictures? Also, where did you purchase the material for the head? Just curious because I have always wanted to make a drum for my son. (Nothing that would come close to matching the professional nature of yours though.)

    Again, an outstanding drum.
    Thanks,
    Wes

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Whitney Point, NY
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    139
    Great work!

    Wes, I made a bodhran many years ago and bought the goatskin head online from Elderly Instruments. It's decent quality and has held up to regular playing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Plymouth County, Massachusetts
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    2,933
    Wow that is great. Definitely out of my league.

    Gary

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Fort Wayne IN
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    # of staves and angles and notes

    Well here goes...

    There are 12 staves, which are cut at 15-degree angles. If you want a different number of staves, multiply the number of staves * 2 and divide that into 360 degrees. If you had 6 staves, the angle would be 30 degrees.

    Use the formula for circumference to help figure out the stave width at the top and bottom. C= 3.14159 * diameter of the circle. Divide that number by 12 staves and you have the length. For simplicity sake, let's say the staves needs to be 3" at the top and 1 1/2" at the bottom.
    Next, Place your taper jig against the fence with your rough-cut stave against it. Position your fence so that the board will be cut exactly 3" as it enters the saw blade. Next, adjust the angle of the taper jig so this measurement is 1 1/2" for the bottom of the stave. This is for the first cut. When you cut the second side, the angle needs to be doubled. I did not worry about calculating angles. I just measured the cut width at the front and back of the board.

    I made a small hold down block and bolted it to the top of the taper jig so the staves could not rise up when cutting. In addition, I used double stick tape to keep them against the jig. They cut just like butter.

    The rings were made from 1/4" steel rod from Lowes' I took a piece of 1/2" plywood and screwed it to some scrap 8/4 oak blocks. Then I screwed a 1/2" plywood circle about 11 3/4" in diameter to that. The rod bends around it easily. As you bend it, just run some drywall screws in at an angle to keep the rod against the jig. When you get to the end where the rod meets itself, take out a screw or two and cut it to length and screw it back in place. The welding burns the wood a little but no big deal.

    When done just file smooth, prime and paint. I used almond paint so the dark primer would not show through the skin. The only one this matters for is the flesh ring as the others are wrapped with cloth that was leopard skin pattern in this case.

    Hope this was a pretty clear explanation.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Fort Wayne IN
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    Links for supplies & instructions

    Wes,
    Here are the links where I bought some of the supplies and roping the instructions.

    Skin
    http://www.wwdrums.com/drum-head-skins-c-25_54.html?osCsid=a61dec09214c6dd71dd77dd4f981a3d5

    Rope
    http://www.afrodesign.com/stretch-dacron-djembe-rope-p-7320.html?osCsid=83b547b191190909faffd06c39c833f3

    Rope Puller
    http://www.irietones.com/category/djembe_repair


    Lacing instructions
    http://hawkdancing.com/Wooddrum/roping.html
    There was anotther link showing the optimal roundover for the top edge. Basically you round the inside top edge to form a circle which is just past where the glue joints are. Then round over the outside to meet this edge. I used a 1" roundover router bit and it was perfect.
    Ashiko drums come in close to standard sizes. I made a mid sized one for Dianne. Just search for Ashikos with google and you can see the dimensions of the small, medium, and large drums.
    I used a hand place to smooth the outside. A 4" sanding belt from my betls sander worked great for the final rounding.
    Anybody with average skills can do an awesome job with this with a little patience.
    Hope this helped...
    Good luck with your project.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Northern New Jersey
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    1,958
    Another interesting project. What a talented crowd we have here at Sawmill Creek!

    Well done...Jeff

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Lancaster, PA
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    Raymond,
    Thanks for the links and instructions! I hope I didn't hijack your thread. Your drum is so nice, I was inspired.
    Thanks again, I'm sure Dianne will enjoy it for years to come.

    Wes

    PS Tim, thanks for the heads-up as well.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
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    499
    Well executed! Very, very nice.

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