Homemade Hot Rods (Drum Sticks)




Introduction: Homemade Hot Rods (Drum Sticks)

About: I'm a husband, father, lead worshiper, and a band-aide.

We are making homemade drumsticks that are similar to Hot Rods. When purchasing materials, it became evident that it would be wise for us to make 3 pair, otherwise we would end up with one pair plus one stick. Feel free to amend as you see fit.

Step 1: Materials Needed

This is what we needed for three pair: 14 - 3/16x48" Poplar Dowels 1 - Pkg. Universal Trimmer Line 1 - Roll of Duct Tape 1 -Tape Measure 1 - Pair of Scissors 1 - Sturdy Pair of Pliers 1 - Pencil

Step 2: Remove Stickers From Dowels

Peel the stickers off of the dowels, do whatever you want with the stickers.

Step 3: Measure and Mark

Measure 16 inches from one end of the doweling and make a mark. Then measure 16 inches from the other end and make a second mark. I prefer to measure from the pre-cut ends, as this gives you the best accuracy for at least two of the three pair. Repeat on each piece of doweling, until you have two marks on each piece.

Step 4: Cut Doweling

Using the marks created in step 3, cut the doweling, and place into three piles, keeping the similar ends together. I prefer to use the pliers for this cut, but if you have a better system, feel free to use it.

Step 5: Create the Center Piece

Cut a piece of duct tape at about 1 inch, and then cut that piece perpendicularly in half. Then trifold those pieces, so there is sticky on both sides. Next, wrap those pieces on the bottom and about half way up one of the pieces of doweling. Repeat this step on 5 more dowels, one from the same pile as the first one you did, and two from each of the other piles (assuming you are making 3 pair of sticks). These will be the center of each stick.

Step 6: Add Dowels to the Created Center Piece

Take six dowels from the respective piles of the new center pieces you created, and wrap them around that center piece. For best results, start with one end of your center piece on a flat surface, with the taped parts up, and add doweling similarly. As each piece is added, squeeze the newest piece firmly onto the center piece. Once all six have been connected to the center piece, squeeze all seven firmly to ensure adhesion. Repeat this step on the other center pieces, from their respective piles, until you have six sticks. We're getting close!

Step 7: Create a Trimmer Cutting Template

Place a piece of tape on a flat surface, measure slightly less than 16 inches, and place a second piece of tape (I used the end of my cutting board as the second mark). Then take two additional pieces of tape, underfold one end, and stick the other end close to your other two marking points. This will be the template for cutting the trimmer line to length.

Step 8: Cut the Trimmer Line

Using the template from step 7, cut 36 pieces of trimmer line to just under 16 inches. Place the uncut tip at the one end of the template, use the two underfolded pieces to hold the line down, and then cut the line at the other point. "Pro"-tip: My son and I found it easier for one of us to hold one end at the mark, while the other pulled it tight, and then cut it to length. This line is hard to keep straight.

Step 9: Create the Sticky for the Trimmer Line

Cut a piece of duct tape at about 2 1/4 inches, and trifold the piece (so its sticky on both sides). Wrap it around the bottom of the stick, and make sure this is wrapped tightly. Repeat this process at the middle of the stick, and about 3/4 of the way up the stick. Then repeat this step on all of the other sticks.

Step 10: Add the Trimmer Line

Cut a piece of tape at about 2.5 inches. Then, starting at the top of the stick, add one of the pieces of trimmer line between the outside of two of the dowel rods, and stick it to the topmost piece of outer tape (for best results, try to make the bend in the trimmer line point towards the center of the stick). Next, take the new length of tape, and connect one side of it to the stick, fully covering the width of the sticky tape, and over-wrapping the trimmer line, but leaving it mostly unwrapped. Add the next piece of trimmer line, starting at the top again, and wrap it with the outer tape. Keeping the outer tape tight, continue the process until there are six pieces of trimmer line around the stick. Then start the same process midway down the stick, and again at the bottom. This trimmer line can be a pain to work with, but it will do what you want it to :)

Step 11: Fill Wrap

Using 2.5 inch pieces of tape, fill the space from the middle tape to the bottom with tape, make sure to wrap it tightly, and try to have as few wrinkles as you can. Also, cover the bottom with one piece of tape. It's easiest if its close to square, you center the stick on the square, and wrap from one side to the other.

Step 12: Final Wrap

Cut a length of tape that goes from the middle to the bottom of the stick, and carefully wrap it from one side to the other. You may need two lengths, depending on the thickness of your rods. This is the final wrap, so try to make it look nice.

Step 13: Drum to Your Heart's Content

Now get out there and use them! Let me know what worked or didn't for you, or any modifications that were better for you. Thanks for taking the time to check this out. Have fun drumming!

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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago

    A much better way to cut the dowels is to mark your length, then use a sharp knife to 'roll cut' all the way around the dowel. You just hold the knife at 90 degrees to the dowel and roll the dowel on a hard, level surface. Do this once to set a groove, then a few more times with more pressure to cut deeper, once you are most of way through, you simply snap it off with your fingers.

    Using a pair of wire cutters does work, but it also splits the wood - which will cause it to degrade faster under stress.

    You might also try using either rubber cement or Gorilla brand wood glue for gluing the wood pieces together. Rubber cement will flex with the wood, possibly making it more responsive. Most wood glue hardens to much and becomes too brittle, but Gorilla wood glue is some of the best wood glue out there, and I've used it for a lot of high stress joints that also have to flex a little. If you use the wood glue, use a small paintbrush(1/8 an inch or less in width) to apply it along one side of the dowel. Let it dry a minute or two, then stick your other dowels on. Wait for another five minutes, then start another side.

    You might also want to try using hot-melt glue for the pieces of trimmer-string. If they still come loose, wrap them with masking tape til the glue has cooled. The hot-melt glue could also be used to create a sort of grip if you are careful.

    Cos-players use hot melt glue for more things than just glue - it can also be use for making little buttons or even duplication of a hand-carved/ decorative metal pin. 80% or more of those super-hero, anime, sci-fi, and fantasy costumes are made out of hot-melt glue, cardboard, styrofoam, fabric, pvc, bubble wrap, and old newspaper. The REALLY good ones are made to be worn more than one year, but they also take months to create. If you want more ideas on how to create stuff cheap and fast, check out youtube and other sites for videos on how to build cos-play costumes. Cos-players may make goofy looking stuff sometimes - but they also KNOW how to make stuff that looks good, costs less than retail, and that stuff can be made to last(when they want to make it that way).


    4 years ago

    Cool idea. You can save a bit of time and effort just by using kabob skewers. You can get 100 16" ones for $2.