As my band has gotten semi popular over the past couple months, the number of gigs we have had has grown greatly. More importantly though, I have been lugging my well cared for drums around unprotected. For the simple reason of protecting my drums and to make them easier to transport.As a result of this, I decided to look into drum cases.
I was shocked to see even soft cases for over $130. Not to mention the semi hard fiber ones for over $200. Don't even get me started about the solid wooden/plastic ones for $500. Anyhow, I knew I couldn't afford any of them with my current situation. Being a DIYer, I opted to fashion my own from readily available cardboard.
Now I know what your probability thinking that cardboard is too flimsy and weak to be a suitable case. Its not wrong for anyone to disagree, but by using this guide you will create durable water resistant drum cases that will last you until you have the funds. So why not spend a day or two between gigs and practice to mold your own cheap durable drum cases?!
Step 1: Materials
- Cardboard - Plenty of it and the thicker the better!
- Hot glue gun - Allows us to tack the cases together.
- Caulk or Construction Adhesive - This adds total strength to the case and fills in gaps water can seep through.
- Oil Based Paint - Matte black is the standard color, but its always fun to add personality to your cases; even your bands name
- Box cutter
- Measuring tape
Step 2: Start Taking Measurements
My design goes off the fiber constructed Nomad branded cases. Their are made with a clam architecture with a strap that holds it all together.
I first took the first drum measured the diameter at the longest point and added an inch. This measurement will be the larger of the Flat parts the sits on the ground. Next I then drew a parabola around the drum. Making sure to leave a inch in between.
Then I simply cut that piece out. This will be the lid or the longer piece to the case. the bottom will be very similar, but slightly smaller. This allows the cases to interlock to cover the whole drum.
Step 3: Cutting the Sides to the Case
Now that me have our top lid, we need sides. with with of the sides is half of the drums length plus an inch or so more for the next step. Next get a rough measurement of the perimeter of the shape. then simply cut out the pieces. You probability won't have enough cardboard to have a whole long piece, so you will have to glue them together. I used a heat gun to speed up the possess.
Step 4: Cutting Out the Triangles
This is how we will attach the sides to the top. begin making zig zag triangle cuts along one side of the cardboard strip. Then cut out the bottom and cut triangles into each side. The point of this is to increase the strength of the perimeter of the case.
Step 5: Attaching the Sides
First attach the bottom side to the right spot on the top piece. If the tabs should be on the outside of the case. They seem to make the case a little more water proof and stronger. (So the opposite of the picture.)
Step 6: Sleal Up Holes
Now this step will add more strength to the cases and wake them water proof around the borders. Apply the caulk or Construction adhesive to the edges of the pieces inside and out. Let dry overnight.
Step 7: Attach Spacers
Now its time to attach spacers to larger top. Make sure to put glue on the outside only. This make it so the material you choose to hold it together can fit through.
Step 8: Paint!
Pretty simple. Oil based paint works the best though.Pick your color and apply. I did not apply it on the inside though, but this is because I was low on paint. After this layer dries you can print out a stencil of your bands logo and paint it onto the case.
Step 9: Get a Handle and Strap
After all paint has dried, Its time use get material for a handle and strap. I used wire, but your options are limitless. Poke holes through the top and hot glue them in tight. Then run the strap through the two spacers you made on the lid.
Step 10: Rinse and Repeat
There we go! That's one done. Now its time to crank up some music and start working on the other ones. The processes is the same except for the different sizes.
Reminder though: for bigger drums like the bass drum, use two straps on all four sides to hold it it tight!
If any of you want to check out the band mentioned on the cases look here!
Have fun with your new cheap drum cases!!!