Introduction: Frame Drum Daf Extension Kit

In my first instructable on frame drum extension kits, I explained what a frame drum is and why it is so enjoyable to play and to listen to. Then, we built an extension kit to turn a normal frame drum into a so-called bendir, a special type of frame drum with a snare system originating from Northern Africa and the Mahgreb. In this instructable now, we will built an extension kit to make a bare bone frame drum sound like a daf. A daf is a Persian frame drum which uses chains / interlocked metal rings at the backside of the drum head to add a special flavour to the drum sound.

For this project we need:

  • Again: A quality frame drum
  • Two 3D-printed parts: A mounting for the drum, and a mounting for the chains / rings
  • One 2mm * 10mm self-tapping screw to fix the printed parts together
  • Chain material from the DIY jewellery shop
  • Alternatively: 1.5mm – 2.5mm wire if you want to make our own chain

From the DIY jewellery shop, I bought a chain that was already making a pleasant and clearly audible sound when shaking it. Only a few chains met this criteria, especially double chains with larger chain links, see the image above. (Material: aluminium, price: about 10 Euro.)

When making my own chain, I took a 1.5mm silver wire. (Although it was sold as “silver wire”, I doubt that it is real silver, since 1.8m was only 1.99 Euro.) All in all, 2mm wire seems to be okay, too. 2.5mm wire is already quite massive, but on the internet I saw also drums using such thick rings (often made of brass).

Step 1: Printing the Parts

The following instructions again presume a 22” Remo frame drum with Renaissance head. If you have a drum with different dimensions, you need to adjust the attached Fusion360-CAD-file first (DafExtensionKitV4.f3d).

Start with printing the clamp for the drum (MountingDrum.stl). It is important to print it in a lying position due to the force that will be later applied to the part by clamping it on the drum and connecting it with the mounting system for the chains. The part needs to be printed with support material. To improve bed adhesion, especially when printing with ABS, it is also important to add a brim. Cura slicer settings: infill “50%”, infill type “grid”, wall line count “3” (i.e. print it with 3 outer walls). Moreover, I printed the part with a support blocker for the half cylinder and the screw hole, see the Cura forum for more details on how to use the so-called support blocker tool.

Next print the mounting system for the chains (MountingChains.stl). It can be printed without any support material. For better bed adhesion, a brim is a must, especially when using ABS. Infill “50%”, infill type “grid”, wall line count “3”.

Finally check the printed parts and get rid off any sharp edges and corners. For this task, I usually use a needle file on which I have fixed a piece of 120 grit sand paper using double-sided adhesive tape.

Step 2: Assembling the Printed Parts

Assembling the printed parts is quite easy: The parts just need to be snapped together as shown in the pictures. The parts can be additionally secured by a 2mm*10mm self-tapping screw. That’s it!

Step 3: Chain Making and Chain Mounting

If you have a chain from the DIY jewellery shop, break it in parts and mount them. At the end, I made sure, that there are no sharp edges which can harm the drum head. I removed them with a needle file. That’s all!

If you want to make your own chain, more work needs to be done. First, we need a rod to wrap the wire around as shown in the picture. The rod servers as a mandril / template so as to make rings of an even size. I took a drum stick with 13.5mm in diameter. As wire, I used silver wire with a diameter of 1.5mm.

After having created some kind of spring like object, we need to pull it off the rod and cut it into pieces. I took a wire cutter for that.

After cutting, I removed any sharp edges with a needle file. All in all, I needed about 2.3m of wire to make the chains (13.5mm*pi*4*13). For each mounting point, I used four rings: Two rings in a row, and two rings on the last ring. Two rings on one and the same ring give a better sound when shaking the drum. I observed this “design pattern” on many professional daf drums which always had two rings on the last ring. Finally, to prevent the chain from unlinking, I closed the rings with some normal solder for electronics. Again I made sure as a last step, to remove any sharp edges from the rings.

Step 4: Enjoy!

We are done! Mount the extension on your drum and have fun playing your new daf! And by the way: If you found this instructable inspiring and life-enhancing for you, you can also buy me a coffee :-).