Introduction: Engineering a Drum Frame Mount

Music is an essential part of many peoples’ lives and is often an indispensable part of their work, education, or therapy. Music provides significant health benefits such as lessening anxiety and stress, boosting confidence and even improving cognitive recognition (Pfizer Medical Team, 2017). Moreover, playing music is known to provide useful therapy, often being used to treat conditions such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, and other cognitive diseases (Alfredo et al. 2015). Music therapy is often used to treat patients with limited hand mobility (Alfredo et al, 2015). However, many instruments are not geared for individuals with limited hand mobility. For instance, Individuals with loose handgrip or limited mobility may find it difficult to grasp onto a drum and play it at the same time. In order to ensure that musicians with limited hand mobility can play the drums comfortably, it is imperative to develop assistive technology that can position a drum in front of the user and attach it to a table or wheelchair. Therefore, the goal of this project is to design a drum frame mount that attaches to both tables and wheelchairs to enable individuals with limited hand mobility or loose handgrip to comfortably play the drum. This prototype is a short, quick, and easy assembly, and should take approximately 20 minutes.


Problem Statement: Many individuals would like to play music, however individuals with limited hand mobility and loose hand grip have a difficult time playing the drums.

Target Audience: Individuals with limited hand mobility.

Aim: Develop a drum frame mount to hold up a drum so that individuals with limited hand mobility can play the drums.

Step 1: Competitor Analysis

There are three main devices that attempt to make drumming accessible for individuals with limited hand mobility. This section will go over the three devices and also describe another design relevant to the project that will also be considered in the competitor analysis. A picture of each competitor is shown, along with a summary table of the pros and cons of all competitors.

Competitor 1: Wheelchair Drum Straps

The first device, the wheelchair drum straps, can be used for attaching djembe drums to the wheelchairs of the musicians. However, these straps are more used to carry and store drums in the wheelchair than to support the drum while the musician is playing on it. The cost for the drum straps is approximately $30 (The Rhythm Village).

Competitor 2: Remo Wheelchair Clip

The second device used to make drumming accessible for individuals with limited mobility is the Remo Wheelchair Clip for Paddle Drums. This device is currently being used by the client. The clip is well-suited for paddle-shaped drums with only a drum skin and frame. Moreover, the clip can attach to the front of the wheelchair by attaching it to a wheelchair rod. The device may also be tightened to fit around the drum frame. The drum attachment can be angled up or down to the client’s preference. However, the device only works on paddle drums and is reported to be weak by the client (West Music). Figure 2.2 below shows an image of the wheelchair clip.

Competitor 3: Wheelchair Tray

The third device is a wooden wheelchair tray to hold multiple instruments. The device clamps onto the side of the wheelchair and provides a smooth, level, and slidable wood table to hold multiple instruments. There is also a clamping arm to hold additional instruments. The tray is washable and may be used with multiple instruments due to its large base (Music & Arts). However, it is not as cost-effective as the device costs over 100 dollars. Moreover, the device is large and bulky. The tray may even limit the mobility and freedom of the client trying to use the device. Figure 2.3 below shows an image of the wheelchair tray.

Competitor 4: Drum Frame Stand

There is also a paddle drum stand that is currently used by musicians to hold up a paddle drum from the ground. This is not actively implemented for individuals for limited hand mobility but does provide a reasonable solution to the problem at hand. The device costs $49.50, which is reasonably expensive for a drum frame mount (Pro Percussions). The device is made of metal, and it is sturdy and cleanable. However, the device is relatively expensive and can only be mounted from the floor and is inaccessible to those with a wheelchair. Figure 2.4 below shows an image of the drum frame mount stand.

A summary table with a comparison of all four competitors is also shown.

Step 2: Approach

This drum frame mount is made with two g-clamps connected with a straight rod connection. This allows the device to firmly secure the drum to a table via a raised attachment. This can also provide the user with a variety of options to position the drum is such a way that it is accessible to people with limited hand mobility. The components of the design are included below. The G-clamps were taken from GrabCAD and modified to fit the design (see the files in Step 1).

Base Design: Two-Way G-Clamp
All three preliminary designs utilize the two-way G-Clamps as the base design along with a type of connector to connect the two G-Clamps. Figure 5.1 shows an image of the G-Clamp parts. At the top is the clamp frame, to the bottom left is the clamp protector, and to the bottom right is the screw or knurled knob. Each of the G-clamps will connect to a separate rod such as a PVC pipe with a connection. The clamp part will have a pole attached to it using CAD to allow it to connect to the separate rod. Figure 5.2 below shows the clamp rod connection.

Prototype Design: Two-Way G-Clamp with Straight Rod Connection
This design utilizes two G-Clamps on either end of a hollow metal or plastic rod. One clamp will attach to a table or a wheelchair, and the other clamp will attach to the paddle drum. The design will allow for increased stability, durability, and sturdiness. Figure 5.3 below shows an overview diagram of the design.

Step 3: Step 1: Gather Materials

This prototype will need the following materials:

  • A shallow container (of any diameter), <500g.
  • 50.8 inches length, 2.25 cm diameter PVC pipe
  • 18-8 Stainless Steel Hex Machine Screw Nut (#8-32) (2 pieces)
  • #8-32 x 1-1/4" Machine screw, Truss head, Slotted/Phillips combo
  • 2 plastic clamps G-clamps (Solidworks STL files included below), printed at 150%

Note that the 2 of the G-clamps should be printed at 150% their original size. The STL files are included below. Moreover, a 0.6 inch PVC pipe may be hard to find. Attached here is a link to a 0.5 inch diameter PVC pipe. If you are using a 0.5 inch diameter PVC pipe, ensure that you change the pole diameter of clamp_stl_5_13.STL file to 0.16 inches to ensure that the clamp is in correct proportions.

You can find all of these materials online or in a hardware store, however the billing information and some helpful links are included in the Billing Table for Materials.

Step 4: Step 2: Slide the G-Clamp Into the PVC Pipe

Slide the G-Clamp into the PVC pipe. Be sure that you are using the specifications as specified in Step 1. This may require you to push and rotate the clamp. Repeat this on both sides of the PVC pipe.

Step 5: Step 3: Screw in the Clamp Into PVC Pipe

Use the screws and nuts obtained in Step 1 to secure the clamp to the PVC pipe. Repeat this for both sides of the PVC pipe.

Step 6: Assembly Video

Here you can see a short video on assembling the Drum Frame Mount given the materials in Step 1.

Step 7: Usage-- Testing the Clamp

To ensure everything is working correctly, attach the circular container as shown in the pictures.

  1. Place the container in the clamp and screw the G-clamp inwards until it fits snugly against the circular container.
  2. Move the device around to ensure there is no breakage.
  3. If there is no breakage or tension, you may attach a paddle drum/frame drum in the same manner.

Step 8: Usage-- Applying the Clamp

  1. To apply the clamp to a table or chair, first unscrew the clamp.
  2. Place the two-ends of the clamp above and below the table.
  3. Screw the g-clamp screw until it fits snugly against the table.

Step 9: Usage-- Different Usages

The drum frame mount can be used in different ways in different orientations. The pictures below illustrate the various orientations that the dum frame mount can be positioned in.

Step 10: Usage-- Safety and Maintenance


The device is not prone to cause any serious safety hazards. However, when constructing and using this drum frame mount, there are always safety precautions that should be used. The following safety precautions should be used while constructing the Drum Frame Mount:

  • The support filament should be removed with caution with a screwdriver/other object to ensure that the constructor does not get hurt.
  • The screws should be dealt with carefully to ensure no scratches when screwing them into the PVC pipe.
  • It is important to not attempt to screw the g-clamp in too tightly to a table or other objects, in case the screws break.
  • Use caution while lifting the device, as the device may be heavy.
  • Ensure that hands, body parts, or clothes do not get stuck in the g-clamp while attempting to screw it in.
  • Do not bring the clamp to the eyes or on sensitive body parts.

The following safety precautions should be used while using the Drum Frame Mount

  • It is important to not attempt to screw the g-clamp in too tightly to a table or other objects, in case the screws break.
  • Use caution while lifting the device, as the device may be heavy.
  • Ensure that hands, body parts, or clothes do not get stuck in the g-clamp while attempting to screw it in.
  • Do not bring the clamp to the eyes or on sensitive body parts.


This design should be relatively easily manageable in terms of maintenance. This design should be maintained by keeping it in a secure location where the screws and parts cannot be tampered with. Due to the easy construction of the device, any parts can be replaced at any time with the materials illustrated in Step 1. The device should be cleaned by using a clorox or bleach wipe to disinfect any of the components. The components can be taken out and rebuilt easily to make cleaning of the device easier.

Step 11: Improvements and Extensions

In the future, the Prototype 1 will be modified to fortify the G-clamp screw to ensure that it can withstand the force of repeated hits on a heavy drum. This will be accomplished in two ways. The first is by inserting a metal base rod inside the screw to ensure no breakage due to twisting or shifting of the screw. The second is by substituting the plastic screw with a metal one with a modified screw cap protector. Prototype 1 will also be modified to add rubber stoppers at the end of the G-clamps to ensure no slipping. This will be completed in one of two ways: rubber stoppers often used to prevent slippage in furniture can be attached to the bottom of the screw clamp protector, or rubber band straps can be used to increase friction between the screw protector and the surface. Include some type of pivoting mechanism. This will be likely accomplished by building in the slotted ball hinge into the PVC pipe as outlined in the preliminary designs section.
Moreover, in the future, all designs outlined in the preliminary designs section will be tested extensively. A connection between the metal hose and the PVC pipe will be developed. The G-clamp will be fortified as specified above. The slotted ball hinge will be tested extensively in subsequent design studies for mobility, strength, and its locking mechanism.

Step 12: References and Resources

Alfredo, R., Lapo, A., Giulia, G., Silvia, R., Elisabetta, G., & Enrico, G. (2015). Effects of music and music therapy on mood in neurological patients. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Retrieved from

johann517. (2016, July 14). G-Clamp fully printable by johann517. Retrieved from Settings

Jennings, W. (2015, May 25). Free CAD Designs, Files & 3D Models: The GrabCAD Community Library. Retrieved from

Pfizer Medical Team. (2017). 10 health benefits of music.