Cool idea! I'll try some sound off material. Many people don't do the super pinky ball, I'm looking for a better solution. For the record, my inspiration for the super pinky came from playing in a steel drum band. I played the big ones called the '6 Bass'. Most bass mallets for steel drums at that time used some sort of super pinky type ball. I really dig all the build that have come out of this inscrutable!
Sorry for the late reply- Getting back to Insructables!I've had varying luck with many suitcase handles. Some rattle more than others. I took the suitcase handle off of one, but that sucked! Like you said, it is a suitcase. I have replaced one with a leather strap bolted on, it wasnt super comfortable, but worked great. A piece of an old belt would work, heck, even cloth strap would work (military belt?). To be honest though, when i was playing 3 hour gigs nightly on this thing, a roll of duct tape lived in the suitcase and I donated a chunk nightly to the handle rattle. Just strap it down flat. Gaf tape would be even better.
Hard foam - not rubber.
I hope I'm building and drumming at 79! Rock on lord Mick! I have always wanted to try some shallow toms/snares/frame-drums like you have done. Coll build. How does the suitcase sound?