From 2009 until 2013 Rob Stapleton built the website, "P.D. Good's Builder's Manual", (www.pdgood/ drumshed) which is a compilation of searches on topics important to drum builders supplemented by correspondence and conversations with various manufacturers and individual drum builders, and excerpts from related forums, such as wood worker's and ecology forums. It is STILL the #1 result in a google search for 'how to build a drum'. Rob has graciously given us permission to republish from that wealth of information. He wanted us to acknowledge the now defunct sites drumshed.org and drumtown.info, and all the drum builders out there who contributed to this treasure trove of information.
We are sorry to report that Will Tillman died December 20, 2016. Will was respected as a drummer and was known far and wide as a great builder and craftsman of drums. To see some of Will's work go to his website http://drummersdreamusa.com/. There is a gofundme account established to raise money for funeral expenses and for Will's family to keep their house. Please contribute. https://www.gofundme.com/tillmanmemorialfund
I know I am not the only one. I’ve been on the internet. We are many. We are unabashed. We are gearheads. Professional drummers are amazing people. We worship them, adore them, buy their signature drumsticks, learn their techniques, styles and solos…hang posters of them in our practice spaces…but a few of us yearn for more. We love the drumming, but are fascinated, captivated, no…obsessed with…THE GEAR.
This article is really geared towards the weekend warrior who builds often enough where these small investments would be of value in the long run. These ten tools can lead to saving on service up charges from vendors, common costly mistakes, and potential component issues.
How are you going to use these drums? Think about whether you’re going to be playing primarily live acoustic, live amplified, or in the studio. Maybe it’s a combination of these, but you should have an idea of primary uses and priorities. Some uses call for more emphasis on tone, others require more projection, and where that balance falls will have a lot of influence on your design.
Many years ago, I began the quest for a consistent and easily repeatable method for veneering pre made drum shells. I needed a method that did not limit me to costly backed or wide sheet veneer. One that did not involve contact cement so I could use high gloss lacquer. One that would not give me welts from a hot iron. One that yielded tight almost invisible seams. One that allowed me to create intricate patterns with a hard and machinable glue line. What I needed was a vacuum press and after a lot of trial and error I finally achieved it. I have been using and teaching the following method for the past eight years with great success. With a little practice and attention to detail you can achieve amazing results.