Drum Making

  • Drum Making Instructions


    Things you will need to making your drum: Spritzer bottle filled with water, frame, skin, lacings, old towel and a pair of scissors and painters tape.
    1- Gather together everything you will need to make your drum in one place.
    2- Soak your skin in cold water for at least 12 hours
    3- Make holes in your drum skin {see images below}
    4- Lay the skin smooth side down on the towel and place the frame in the middle.
    5- Now place the lacing circle in the middle of the frame.
    6- Cut the end of your lacing into a point so it slides easier into the holes in your drum.
    Making holes in your skin
    You may have noticed that all of the holes are in many drums come in sets of two, this is to give the drum extra stretch without tearing, two holes are stronger then one.  You will need a hammer and your tool for making holes, and a piece of wood that it is ok to poke through.
    There is no set number of holes just try to space them evenly. like this . .       . .         . .         . .  each set of holes approx 4-4.5/5" inches apart and approx 21 sets of holes depending on the size of your drum.
    Stringing your Drum
    Begin by placing the frame on top of your skin and then lay the circle that I have made in your lacing into the middle of the frames laying on the skin.
    If you cut your lacing end to a point and then dip it in beeswax it makes it much easier to thread through the holes.
    Next, take the end of your lacing and poke one end through one of the holes from the inside of the skin and then back outward through the other hole. 
    Now take your lacing and bring it up over the drum and lace it into the circle that is sitting there. 
     Now lace it down the the next set of holes repeating again and again all around the drum.
    This is what it will begin to look like.
     Try to keep the hoop centred while you lace it loosely, use your water spritzer bottle if the lacings or drum begins to get dry.
     This process takes some time, so go slowly and work at it, the fastest way to feel frustrated is to rush it!
    Once you have gone all the way around like you see here, you will be ready to begin tightening your lacings.
     This is best done at a table where you can really see what you are doing. 
    Find the beginning set of holes and start to pull the lacings a little tighter, not too much at first or it will make your inner circle off-center. Slowly make your way around the drum pulling your lacings and making sure that your inner circle is staying in the center as much as possible.
    This is the hardest part of making a drum, so be patient with yourself. Try not to pull too hard on the lacings because if you pull too hard you might rip the lacings right through the holes!
    Once you have gone around 2-3 times tightening and feel that everything is nice and tight and your circle is as centered as it is going to get you are finished and you can tie the lacing close to the drum on the inside.
    Please note: 
    1: I have made sure give my kits extra lacings so you can make a handle for your drum- so do not cut them off at this point!!
    2: Your drum will still feel "loose-ish" this is ok, as it tightens quite a bit as it dries!
     Now that you are done:
    Take some painters tape and go all around the outside of your drum so that the edges stay flat while they are drying. Painters tape is important because it will not leave any sticky residue on your skin after you take it off--most other tapes will.
    You will now need to make a handle  for your drum.
    Take your extra lacings and tie one of them to the top of your inner circle and then back down the the other side and repeat this a few times, until you like the feel and size of it.
    Once this is done you can loop around the do the two sides wrapping and looping in any way that you like. Once it is to your liking you can create a middle part by looping around and around in the center again testing it with your hand until it feels comfortable to hold.
    You may decide that you eventually want to cover these with soft leather so it is even more comfortable for your hand to hold them.
     Allow your drum to dry for 24 hours sitting up or hanging on the wall before you play it.
     Making your beater:
    Take your stick and wool and place the wool around the top portion of the stick, Like to use hot glue to get it on a bit. 
    The cover the wool with your leather.
    Now take the sinew provided in the pouch and wind it around the leather until you feel like it is tight enough.
    i also like to squeeze hot glue under the leather and around the edges so the top does not fly off during drumming!
    It is now ready to decorate.
    Enjoy your drum!