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. 

Step 1: Obtain Materials

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.     
<p>Thanks! I'd told my daughter about these things a couple weeks ago and have tried a number of variants based on other's instructions I found around the web and none of the results were particularly satisfying in their sound quality. Following (mostly) your guide here, I now have several with which I am VERY pleased with and for sure, my daughter will LOVE these when she gets to play with them tonight!</p>
<p>This really does work! I made two of these yesterday for our Science Carnival, a large one with the oatmeal box and a smaller one with a raisin box. They sound great! Thanks so much for the excellent instructions!</p>
Hi Biggsy: <br> <br>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.
Hmm i wonder if this would work with a packing tube if i made a tight fitting card top...

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More by Josephine1:Easy, confirmed working Thunder or Spring Drum **this one REALLY works!!** 
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