Picture of Make your own drum/ surdo beaters
Surdo beaters are one of those things the average samba drum band goes through quite a lot. New ones are not always cheap - single beaters can cost around 10 pounds each, and of course you end up buying 2 so you have a matching pair.

This Instructable is about how to make your own. The basic ingredients cost me about 10-15 pounds, but I've got 9 or 10 beaters out of them so far, so you can see the cost saving. Of course it gets cheaper if you can recycle old wooden broom handles, stuffing from broken stuffed toys etc. If your beater has broken off right near the head, you might even be able to reuse the shaft to make a new one.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Get your stuff together

Picture of Get your stuff together
You'll need:

Round wooden stick/ dowelling, 2-3 cm (0.8 - 1.2 ins) diameter.
Broom handles work well and I've also used a recycled chair leg. You could also use aluminium tubing
Self-adhesive rubber foam sealing strip
You can find this in any DIY shop, being sold to seal window or door frames, round the edges of baths etc. Go for something between 1-3 cm wide, and with a decent layer of foam. Boat stores/ ship chandlers etc. also sell similar stuff as weather seal for boats
Synthetic or cotton padding/ stuffing (I think it's known as batting in the US)
You're looking for the wadding you use to stuff quilts or coats. If you can't get that, toy stuffing works as well. You can often get a large amount very cheaply
2 or 3 round latex balloons
Elastic/ rubber band
A sock
Thick towelling sports socks or hiking socks work better than thin cotton ones.

Duct/ gaffer tape
Electrical insulating tape

great method , i made a few prototypes of this for our samba band and it works great for ease of consruction exept for a ' tacking ' sound that the baloons make, rather irritating , whereas otheres ive made using the same materials doesnt have , which i found to be a result of the baloons . somthing to keep in mind of decide on befor making a whole bands worth

SheBoomer1 year ago
Thanks for the tips. Made my own surdo beaters today, with a few wee variations, such as using tennis balls for the heads of the beaters, with padding on top. Avoided latex in case of alleriges, so no balloons
davidknox3 years ago
I just made 4 mallets. The reason for the ballons is to squeeze all the air out of the stuffing, it makes for a firmer mallet head. Also if you use the cheap weather striping instead of the heavy duty, you can wrap it tighter. Great project it only takes about 10 minutes per mallet.
and when i make a surdo, i can make this!
j_wo5 years ago
I made this from instructions on this site:

Only I used 1/2" PVC pipe instead of wooden dowell
Great instructable though!
Cardinal Fang (author)  j_wo5 years ago
Another person who dismembered a broken beater tos see how it's made I'm guessing... Only way to to it!!!
robertbirks5 years ago
Any specs as to the felt, and where to get it ? Good job!
Cardinal Fang (author)  robertbirks5 years ago
I use normal craft felt, available from craft and fabric shops. It normally comes in squares. Any size is fine, as long as you can cut it the the size you need (HINT: you can quite often buy scraps or offcuts of felt very cheaply).