Instructables

Easy, confirmed working Thunder or Spring Drum **this one REALLY works!!**

Picture of Easy, confirmed working Thunder or Spring Drum **this one REALLY works!!**
I wasn't able to find reliable plans on the web for building an actual working thunder drum.  Most plans featured drums that ended up not working or were not truly a thunder drum anyway.  Follow these simple steps for an ultra easy to build thunder drum that will rival the expensive ones!   Total cost is under $15 for a large sized drum.   Please be sure and read ALL STEPS FIRST before beginning your build. 
 
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Step 1: Obtain materials

Picture of Obtain materials
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You will need a large, Quaker or similar 1 minute quick oatmeal container.  Make sure it has a cardboard bottom and NOT metallic!  Dimensions of this oatmeal container are approximately 5" across and 9.5" length. 

You then need a spring.  The type of spring is crucial to obtaining the proper sound.  I recommend this one from McMaster-Carr:
9665K54.  The spring specs are 0.187" OD, 0.020 wire diameter, 20" length and type 302 stainless.  Cheaper springs may work, but have not been tried in this diameter.

You will need a vice, needle nose pliers, and a 15 foot tape measure.  Lastly, you will need a pen with a decent point.     
Josephine1 (author) 1 year ago
Hi Biggsy:

Proper resonance of the tube/ spring combination is fairly critical. Through a lot of experimentation, I found this oatmeal sized container had about the best characteristics for this sized spring. Thickness of the cylinder, especially where the spring is attached, and type of membrane can affect resonance and sound greatly. Too thin of a membrane, and you hear the clicking of the spring along with the thunder. Too thick, and you have to shake too hard to get any decent resonance.
Biggsy1 year ago
Hmm i wonder if this would work with a packing tube if i made a tight fitting card top...