In this instructable I will show you how to make a beautiful, sweet-sounding Reenactment drum. As far as I would go, I would say that it could be used from Viking Age Reenactment, and all the way up to, let's say, to the Renaissance.
This Instructable is not for beginners, and it is highly recommended to have at least basic woodworking and metalworking skills. There are some risky parts in the making of this drum.
Here's the beauty:
Step 1: Supplies & Tools
Okay, here's what you will need:
-Good quality plywood(I use birch)
-Drum heads(I used the very realistic Fiberskyn heads from Remo. Usually, I would keep away from using synthetic materials, but for me, goatskin or other authentic heads are too expensive, and I'm using the drum outdoors, so real skin is way too sensitive to weather change. With synthetic heads, I can keep the beat going whether it's rain or sun!)
-Iron rings, or, alternatively, long iron sticks that you can bend round, and put together with a bolt.*
-Rope(I use hemp rope, it has a nice feel, and adds to the look.)
-Wood(I use oak)
-Laquer for ships or musical instruments
The tools you will need, ranges from a simple drill, to a circular saw, so it would be highly advised to have a variety of tools to use. I will not list every single tool to use, as there are many ways to work and use the tools. As mentioned beforehand, it's a great idea to have basic woodworking skills.
* = optional, depending on which kind of fastening you want
** = optional, depending on if you want the raw wood or a fine staining.
Step 2: Cutting, Shaping and Bending the Wood
Okay now. Here's some math. The two layers of plywood should not have the same length, because one goes into the other. The difference between the layers should be the thickness of the plywood times two.
So, you have marked up the wood. Now to the cutting. It has to be the outermost layer of the plywood, that sort of wraps around the drum. If you can't understand this, I will explain if asked to. :) Now cut that wood! Just make sure that you have the right measurements.
Now for the very frustrating part. Maybe you can skip easily over this. You will (maybe) have to cut grooves, as seen on the picture. On my drum, there is a 1 centimeter space between the grooves, that goes down in only about half of the plywood. This makes the wood much easier to bend. This can be done with a circular saw, with a metal ruler or some other stable, straight object.
Whoa, this can take a long time! But when you're finally done with the grooves, you can relax with a long, smoking hot shower....with your wood. Get your wood soaking wet, with the hottest water you can find(not boiling!), and really get them heavy with the water. Now, you should be able to carefully bend the wood, with the grooves on the inside. Find some straps, preferably some used for transportation. Wide, long nylon straps are best. Together with an other savvy hand, bend the wood, so that the ends of the inner layer are opposite the ends of the outer layer. Keep them together with the straps, and maybe some clamps. Again, your plywood may act different than mine. Let it dry for about a week.
Step 3: Securing the Shape
Now, sand your edges of the drum. Look, it's a giant science, what angle should it be? How round? Well, for me, It doesn't matter. Do what your want. Feel free to ask.
Step 4: Heavy Metal Hula Hoop!
WARNING! If you have chosen the Medieval style, and you use a synthetic head, please be careful when making holes. The holes in the read can quickly rip, if not done properly. I don't know how to do it the right way, though.
But, if you want to make what I call a Renaissance style fastening, please read on, and see the intro image. This is an example of Renaissance style fastening. I have chosen this style for this drum.
Let's move on. If you have found metal rings that fit your drum right inside of the metal border around the synthetic head, great! You can go to the next step. If not, read on.
Now, find some round iron sticks. Bend them, so that they are as round as your drum, and the same size. If it is difficult, and you want a more pro look, you can run the sticks through a metal roller to get the perfect curve. Please allow a little space between the head and metal ring for leather tuning claws.
Step 5: Making and Fastening the Leather Tuning Claws
Now, wrap them around the metal ring, as shown on the picture. This can be a little difficult, so you might need your savvy hand from step 2.
Step 6: Strap Up!
For leather tuning straps, as shown on the picture, you will need a appropriate width of leather. Sew them together, and tune it up!
Step 7: Boom Boom Clap! Done!
Please feel free to ask about anything that could come to your mind, questions, answers, anything. Oh, and remember to post pictures if you decide to make a drum, whether it's my way or anyone elses!!