Stretch Wrap Bongo Drum




About: Come spend some time in the shop. I'm a hobbyist woodworker and professional computer geek in Northern California. I guess my projects will vary widely, and I have no clue what I plan to make next...

The original idea was born in Harbor Freight with the stretch wrap in my hand, so I needed to try it! I agree a better head would make a huge improvement, but it WORKED. I not going to pretend to be anything short of excited about that. It's fun to see a crazy idea come together....

It's a bongo drum with a stretch wrap head and copper binding. I had a lot of fun with this project! The head is a bit unorthodox but it was the inspiration for the drum. It's simple stretch wrap, and I think it gives the drum an interesting look and cool sound. You opinions may differ!

The woods used in this drum are oak, mahogany and acacia. I had an allergic reaction to the acacia and had to buy a respirator to finish the project!

There are 13 pieces of wood here, all segmented together or rather, coopered.

Each piece is:

1 1/2" wide

1 1/4" thick

12" long

Beveled at 13.8 degrees

I then glued them together and turned them to shape on the lathe.This was a bit of a scary process if I'm honest. The jaws in my chuck couldn't expand wide enough to hold the drum tight, so I used the tail stock to add pressure. It was basically turned between centers.

I used a 30 degree chamfer bit in my router table to get the bearing edge for the drum head and a nice matching look for the bottom.

After that it was just a matter of wrapping the drum in stretch wrap and securing it. I toyed with lots of ways to do it and settled on the copper. I drilled some holes, inserted one end of the wire and tightly wrapped it around. I ended up doing three wraps on the top and one on the bottom.

I used a wipe on poly for the finish.

Will this last forever? No. But it will look cool on my shelf. Sometimes trying something fun is more important to me than making something practical! :)

Thanks for looking!

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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Just curious about why 13 staves? I've done similar projects to make beer mugs and such. Each case it was an even number of staves dividing up 360 degrees. No matter, with a digital miter gauge you can cut the parts at any angle and this turned out pretty cool. For the person who asked about instructions. Here's a link to a wood turner on youtube who shows the process simply.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I really need to do a better job of taking pictures along the way! So sorry. I'll flesh out the description a bit, but most of the detail is in the video.