Latest drum; project for niece

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sushinutnc

New User
Mike
**EDIT 3/19/2011: I reheaded/relaced the drum today. New photo added. Also shows the rattles I made.

reheaded_drum.jpg











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My niece likes the celtic drums I make ("bodhrans") and asked if I could make her a drum for her Indian Princess (YMCA) "tribe." I got some magnolia from BobN last June (he got a bunch from Ed D.... Thanks to both of you!). I decided to hollow out one of the logs into a solid-shell, double-headed drum. The heads are from deer hide (thanks, Kevin/Rhythm House Drums, for the tip on Centralia Fur & Hide... great source/excellent service).

Her tribe has "Raccoon" in its name, so I wanted to put that into the design. I "borrowed" a tribal tattoo design I found on the web for the side of the drum.

So as far as the process: I hollowed out the green log with a drill press and spade bit. It was a nasty job I wouldn't want to repeat.... but it seemed to be the easiest/quickest way considering the tools I have available. Once I was able to hog out most of the wood and eventually penetrate the full depth of the log with the drill press, I used chisels to rough out the rest to about a 1" thick rim that I then let dry for several months.

I then finished it on my lathe. BTW, I didn't try to hollow it on the lathe, because it was way too heavy and bulky. Would have caused my ShopSmith to walk across my garage. Once it was dry though and hollow, I was able to turn it fairly easily.

So, here are some pictures. I'm pretty sure I took some more process photos, but I don't have them handy. Might upload more later.




Yep... It's a whole deer hide:

hide.jpg



Cut out two heads and about 16 feet of 1/4" lacing. I'm also making six deer hide rattles for the girls. I'll post those, when they're finished (all parts are ready to assemble... just need a bunch of sea shells to put in them).

drum1.jpg



The drum can be beat by hand, but I decided to turn a beater anyway. I'm a little concerned about them beating the heck out of the drum head though, so I might not give it to them. LOL

I wound some nylon sting for the grip, while it was still on the lathe. That's more hide lacing wrapped around the head (at bottom of photo).

beater.JPG




The finished drum (version before relacing) and beater along with accompanying feathers and raccoon tails (one is somewhat hiding behind the drum).

final_drum.jpg



Really enjoyed the project and can't wait to give it to my niece.

Hope you like!
 

eyekode

Salem
Corporate Member
That is awesome! I would love to make one for my daughters tribe. How did you apply the racoon? It looks great!!
Salem
 

Canuck

Wayne
Corporate Member
Awesome work there, Mike!!:icon_thum:icon_thum

I am sure that it will be the talk of the tribe and be featured in many more Girl Scout pictures and events.

Well done!

Wayne
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Very nice! You should give them the beater; maybe wrap the head with hide if you are worried. The drum is beat 12 times to begin meetings/events with a real slow rhythm and resonates in between beats; a hand just wouldn't sound right. The other thing is that the drum stick is also often the "talking stick". You might mention that to her dad if he doesn't know. To keep order at meetings, sometimes in the first couple of years you use the stick and only the person with it can stand and speak to every one. Great program - I have 3 5th years and a 9th year all still going to camp with me this Spring. My oldest will probably stop after next year; it was her goal to drive dad to camp before she quits.
 

zapdafish

Steve
Senior User
Wow, it turned out great. :icon_thum

I thought it was going to be something like a bongo when I saw the rough form. :rolf:
 

sushinutnc

New User
Mike
That is awesome! I would love to make one for my daughters tribe. How did you apply the racoon? It looks great!!
Salem
Thanks, Salem. I took an original jpg and converted it to a raster image in Visio, just so I could tweak it and scale it nicely. I then printed it across two sheets that I then taped together (another reason for bringing it into Visio), and then traced it using carbon paper. (Funny, but remember the days when you could find sheets of useful carbon paper in the office trash??? Not anymore.... I bought an single XL sheet at Michaels a few years ago for several bucks.) I then just colored in with a permanent marker, which (surprisingly) doesn't look like a marker. Looks deep like India ink. I think it's because it went on top of an Arm-R-Seal semi-gloss finish. I top coated everything with hardwood floor poly, since I was thinking it would get beat up with use.

If you decide to make one and want any tips, feel free to shoot me a note or drop by my place with the parts. I can help you put on the heads.
 

sushinutnc

New User
Mike
Very nice! You should give them the beater; maybe wrap the head with hide if you are worried. The drum is beat 12 times to begin meetings/events with a real slow rhythm and resonates in between beats; a hand just wouldn't sound right. The other thing is that the drum stick is also often the "talking stick". You might mention that to her dad if he doesn't know. To keep order at meetings, sometimes in the first couple of years you use the stick and only the person with it can stand and speak to every one. Great program - I have 3 5th years and a 9th year all still going to camp with me this Spring. My oldest will probably stop after next year; it was her goal to drive dad to camp before she quits.
Thanks, Andy. I decided they will be getting the beater. I'm used to making music quality drums, and it freaks me out when I see what a kid can do to a drum head. I then realized that this one is intended to get some heavy use by kids, so I'll just tell her it's hers... she can do what she wants with it. :icon_thum

So... this drum doesn't have much resonance. Not the sound you think of with an "Indian drum." It has a LOT to do with the type and thickness of the head and the diameter of the drum, too. Toy indian drums are usually made with tanned leather as the head. Makes a real soft tone. This one IS a quite a bit "ping-y." I decided that I didn't lace this one right, so I'm popping the head off this weekend and restringing it before she gets it. That'll also give me a chance to condition the head and make it more "thud-y".

re: the talking stick-- they already have one. My brother told me all about it. I was THIS close to buying a raccoon skull from the place I got all the other dead animal parts :embaresse. That would have been great on top of a talking stick... but my brother advised that it would freak the girls out. LOL
 

sushinutnc

New User
Mike
Wow, it turned out great. :icon_thum

I thought it was going to be something like a bongo when I saw the rough form. :rolf:
Thanks... yeah... I took a lot of liberties, experimenting with the shape. Normally, these types of drums are just straight-walled cylinders. I decided to make one end bigger than the other, so they could play around with two different tones if they wanted to.
 

sushinutnc

New User
Mike
FWIW, I added a new photo above with new lacing pattern and the 6 rattles I made. I like it much better than the previous lacing. Also got a chance to try to soften a new head for it and add 2 ports on the backside.
 
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