Topic: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"  (Read 28751 times)

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byronand

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2007, 12:33 PM »
I've been going at it on and off for a few days now, and it seems like each step is coming out worse than the last - every time I sand down the existing flaws and reapply the poly, more flaws appear with that next coat.  This morning, I ended up not only with an equal number of sags as before, but also with a bunch of small air bubbles.

Bummer James, hang in there!

Have you read the article at drummaker.com:

 http://www.drummaker.com/bigfred/snare101.htm]http://www.drummaker.com/bigfred/snare101.htm

"...there are different ways to apply Urethane, you can spray it, or brush it, or if you can find it, in a spray can. If you choose to brush it on you will be doing a lot more sanding. You could also use a good spray lacquer in a can if you go that route. I'm going to spray it with a spray gun cause I have one and a air compressor also! (Picture 10) This is a automotive touch up gun. I paid something like $30.00 for it at Northern tool and Equipment Co. They have a store here in my home town. It has been a very good investment as I have used it to refinish furniture as well as the drums."


Offline James Walker

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2007, 01:02 PM »
Bummer James, hang in there!

Thanks.  I just sanded down almost (but not quite) to the wood itself, and I've started building it back up.  In the meantime, I've got some Mike Stern cranked up pretty loud just to "get it out of my system," if you know what I mean.  ;)

Quote
"...there are different ways to apply Urethane, you can spray it, or brush it, or if you can find it, in a spray can. If you choose to brush it on you will be doing a lot more sanding. You could also use a good spray lacquer in a can if you go that route.

Thanks, but I'm going to stick with the process I know, flawed as it may be.  It turned out pretty well originally, on this shell and the others - it's just that I couldn't leave well enough alone, I couldn't accept this shell as being "good enough," and I did something to botch things up.  I don't know if I didn't let a coat dry long enough or what, but there was something FUBAR at some point.

I've tried spray poly before, and I'm even less skilled at that.  "Orange peel" city, and that meant even more sanding for me than wipe-on or brush-on techniques.

As I mentioned before, however, this is probably my last gloss project for a while.  Satin oil finishes are s-o-o-o-o much easier to deal with.
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

byronand

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2007, 07:04 PM »
...I couldn't accept this shell as being "good enough,"....

Spoken like a true musician!  8)

Offline James Walker

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2007, 06:06 PM »
Spoken like a true musician!  8)

Naw - just an obstinate old you-know-what.  ;D

Not much new to add to the blog, other than this quick update:  the hoops arrived earlier today.  I've opted for...which number was it?  Purple on both sides.  I just started applying the poly earlier this evening, so it'll take a while yet before the gloss is built up, but judging from the look of the hoops while the poly is still wet, it looks like the hoops will match the bass drum shell (big sigh of relief!).

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_033.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_033.jpg

And for those of you keeping score at home, the 14x14 tom shell is well on the road to recovery (road to refinishing?) - it just needs one or two more coats of poly to get where it needs to be.  It ain't perfect (my digital camera hides a fair number of flaws that are visible up close), but it'll do:

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_032.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_032.jpg

The lugs should arrive in a few days.  If I can get the poly-ing done soon, I should be able to start doing the layout and drilling, maybe as early as this weekend.  The only thing that might slow me up:  I saw a picture yesterday of a bop kit that had Yamaha "Recording Custom" bass drum spurs on it, and man - what an inspired choice!  They have such a clean look, and cover up even less of the shell than the Pearl-style spurs seem to do.  (I haven't taken measurements, tho, but it strikes me that way at first glance).  I'm going to have to do some searching, see if I can come up with a set somewhere...not that the Pearl-style spurs are a bad choice by any stretch of the imagination, but those Yammy spurs would be perfect...

Stay tuned...  ;)
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

Offline ANDY B

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2007, 11:01 PM »
This thread is a great read Mr Walker...I plan on on building my own kit shortly and reading about some of the problems you've gone through should be a help...Thanks
Cheers
Andy

Offline Louis Russell

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2007, 09:03 AM »
Good job.  I enjoy reading about your work.  I still think about how great your snares look.
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Offline James Walker

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2007, 08:57 PM »
Layout (marking for drilling)

Well, if the good folks at FedEx (and their online tracking system) are to be believed, then I should take delivery of the remaining parts for my kit sometime tomorrow.  With that in mind, I've begun marking the layout for drilling.  (The drilling itself, however, will wait until I've got all of the parts in hand, just to be safe.  I want to make sure that everything is where it's supposed to be, before I start putting a drill to my shells.)

I took a few photos as I worked on the 8x12 tom shell.  To start, I know that I want to hide the seam on the shell's exterior ply, using the RIMS mount to camouflage it.  I then took a moment to decide which side of the shell I wanted facing out towards the audience.  Yeah, it's only a cosmetic issue, but why not take a moment to get it right?

Once that was done, I ran some blue painter's tape around what will be the batter side bearing edge.  Why the top?  No reason, other than it's what I usually do, and I tend to be a creature of habit when it comes to this sort of thing.  The more consistent my process is, the less likely I am to botch something along the way.

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_034.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_034.jpg

Why tape?  Using the tape allows me to write on the shell and mark where I'll be drilling, without actually writing on the shell itself.

To mark the lug spacing on snares and toms, I'll use the counterhoop as a starting point.  Using the ears of the hoop, I'll mark out where the lugs should lie around the circumference of the shell.

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_035.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_035.jpg
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_036.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_036.jpg

At this stage, I'll double check the dimensions by measuring between each of the marks with a flexible tape measure.  I'll mark each distance on the shell, and if there are noteworthy discrepancies, I'll adjust things as needed to make sure the distance between lugs is consistent throughout.

I also number the marks for the lugs, in this case 1 through 6.  On a tom, it's not as critical, but it's a holdover from working on snare drums, where there are various components that fit between the lugs.  Numbering the lug markings just helps me to keep my place, and keeps me from putting something where it isn't supposed to be.

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_038.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_038.jpg

Once I've double- (and triple-) checked all of my measurements, I'll run a strip of tape down vertically from each mark, and using a square, I'll run a vertical line down perpendicular to the edge of the shell.  This gives my vertical reference to make sure the two rows of lugs are aligned properly.  Then, I'll mark exactly where I want to drill each hole.  In this case, the lugs are going to be mounted two inches from the edge.  Since the shell is eight inches deep, I'm marking down two inches and six inches from the top.  (Then, even though we're talking about elementary school math, I'll measure from the other edge to confirim the two inch distance for those lugs.)

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_040.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_040.jpg
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_041.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_041.jpg

I then did the same thing for the bass drum shell.  The only difference was, I can't use a counterhoop as my starting point - I'm using wood hoops with claws.  So, I had to do it the old fashioned way:  math.  I measured the outer diameter of the shell, using my tape measure, to determine the radius and do the calculations to figure out the circumference.  Keep in mind that drum shells are a bit undersized, so even though this is an 18" drum shell, iit's not as simple as plugging the number "18" into the formula.  Once I got my measurement and calculated the circumference, I divided that number by eight (for the eight lugs I'm going to use on each head), and that gave me my lug spacing.

On the bass drum, I want to hide the seam by having it on the bottom of the drum as it's set up.  I took my newly-calculated distance between lugs, divided it in half, and measured out that far in either direction from the seam.  This placed the seam exactly halfway between lugs on the bottom.  Then, I started marking out the distances for each lug.  Fortunately, my math was correct, and I was able to situate all of the lug markings on the first try, with the distances all equal.  (That prompted the throaty baritone "YESSSS!!!" that some of you in the tri-state area probably heard about 7:45 this evening.)  ;D

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_043.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_043.jpg

I've put down some extra tape in the approximate locations where the spurs will be mounted.  I'm going to wait before marking them, however - I want to assemble the drum after drilling for the lugs, just to confirm exactly where I want to have the spurs - how far up the shell, and how far back from the front head.  I'm also waiting before I mark the drill holes for the lugs on this shell.  The bass drum heads should be arriving tomorrow, and I want to do a test fitting - something tells me that the 4-1/2" tension rods that I'm planning on using are going to be too long.

Next up:  marking the layout for the floor tom lugs, and then let the drilling commence!
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

Offline James Walker

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2007, 02:40 PM »
Assembly

More details to follow, but I've got all the drilling done, and did a rough assembly to make sure that everything fits together properly.



Rack toms:
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_050.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_050.jpg

Floor tom: 
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_051.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_051.jpg

I'll start in on the edgework tomorrow...RIMS mounts are due to arrive on Monday.  Hopefully, I'll have the drums up and running soon thereafter. 
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

felix

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2007, 04:12 PM »
Will you be using a hairdryer to seat the heads?   ;D

The kick drum looks especially nice to me.

I bet you are really getting the itch to play these babies.


Offline Stewart Manley

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2007, 06:12 PM »
Looking good! Very ... regal.

Did you consider going clawless on the BD?

Offline James Walker

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2007, 09:29 PM »
Will you be using a hairdryer to seat the heads?   ;D

I haven't had a hair dryer in the house for over a decade - Mother Nature long ago saw to it that I don't need one.  ;)

Quote
The kick drum looks especially nice to me.

It definitely turned out to be the prettiest drum of the bunch.

Quote
I bet you are really getting the itch to play these babies.

BINGO! 

Patient guy that I am, I went ahead and cut the edges this evening...then I borrowed the RIMS mounts from the 10 and 12" toms on my Ludwig kit.  It's a little late to really play tonight, but I did get to tap them a little bit.  So far, so good.  Pix and sound files to follow shortly.

Looking good! Very ... regal.

Thanks!  It's a fairly dignified shade of purple, unlike...oh, let's say the character in my avatar!  ;)

The lugs that are on the toms and bass drum, are also available in brass.  I didn't think I'd want to do it, but the more I look at it, the more I'm cottoning to the idea of replacing these lugs with their brass counterparts.

Quote
Did you consider going clawless on the BD?

Clawless...do you mean with "bass drum hoop lugs" a la Adonis or Ego?  I did, as I was considering outfitting the entire kit withe Ego lugs, but budgetary concerns put the kaibosh on that plan.

More blog stuff to follow in the next day or so...
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

Offline Robyn

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2007, 10:08 PM »
Wow--you've been really moving along on this project! I thought I remembered from one of your first posts that we might expect several weeks' time in between posts.
 They do look splendid! I really like that color. A lot!

robyn
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Offline ANDY B

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2007, 11:22 PM »
The drum looks great...It may just be the angle of the photo, but it looks like you need some gaskets on those bass drum lugs...
Cheers
Andy

Offline James Walker

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #53 on: January 05, 2007, 11:42 PM »
Wow--you've been really moving along on this project! I thought I remembered from one of your first posts that we might expect several weeks' time in between posts.
 They do look splendid! I really like that color. A lot!

Thanks, Robyn!

Yeah, the timetable definitely was quicker than I originally expected.  What really helped the cause, financially speaking, was deciding to stick with the virgin bass drum.  That saved me about $85 right there for the bass drum tom mount alone.  I also got a good deal online for some slightly used 18" bass drum heads - three for $30 shipped, rather than having to pay $60+ for two new ones.

OK, back to the blog stuff...

There isn't that much to report regarding the drilling.  Once the layout is done, the drilling is fairly straightforward.

Once I took delivery of the remaining parts, I was able to double check a few things before drilling.  One which I mentioned earlier was deciding where I wanted to set the lugs on the bass drum.  I had originally planned on borrowing some 4-1/2" tension rods from another bass drum, but when I fit the parts together and saw where the lugs would end up, I very quickly went with Plan B and used some 2-1/2" tension rods I had sitting around.

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_045.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_045.jpg

With this change, it actually worked out that all of the lugs on the toms and bass drum would be set two inches down from the edge of the shell.  I was able to use a drill press for the lug holes, and I clamped a piece of wood in place to keep the 2" distance consistent.  This way, all I had to worry about was centering the drill hole on the guideline.

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_046.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_046.jpg

I also had to mark the layout for the bass drum spurs.  Nowadays, some drum parts suppliers include layout templates for parts like spurs, but since I'm pirating a set of spurs from another bass drum, I had to make up my own after taking measurements from the spurs themselves.  Looking back at it, I think I continued my tradition of making things more complicated than they really need to be. 

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/spur_layout.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/spur_layout.jpg

It looks overly complicated, but I was able to take those numbers and mark the shell accordingly, and I only had to enlarge one drill hole per spur to make things fit, using a rat tail file:

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_052.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_052.jpg

(Looks like something from Roswell...)

For the edgework, I used about a 45-degree cut on both sides.  On the toms, I cut about three plies in from the exterior edge, and one ply from the interior edge, leaving a "flat" of about two plies.  On the eight-ply bass shell, I cut three plies in from each direction, again leaving a flat of two plies.  I then rounded the cuts slightly with sandpaper.  I didn't want to make the edge too sharp - I don't want endless amounts of sustain, especially in the bass drum.

As noted way back in this thread, I did the unthinkable and cut the edges by hand, with a rasp and file.  I do not recommend this method to anyone reading this thread - if I had router table "chops," I would have used a router table.  It's just that at this point in my development, I have a lot of confidence in my skills working with a rasp, and barely any experience with a router, so I went with what I know.  Fortunately, on each of the shells the plies were quite visibly distinct from one another, and I was able to key in on certain plies to keep my edges "in round."

Hopefully, I'll have some time tomorrow (Saturday) to take some better pictures, give the drums a good test ride, and maybe even track some sound files.   In the meantime, they sure do look pretty, if I do say so myself.  The only strange thing is, compared to the 22" bass drum I have on my other kit, this 18" bass drum makes the 12" rack tom look HUGE..... ;)



So basically, this is how I built my drum set.  Any questions?
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

Offline James Walker

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #54 on: January 05, 2007, 11:45 PM »
The drum looks great...It may just be the angle of the photo, but it looks like you need some gaskets on those bass drum lugs...

That's just the photo.  There actually are gaskets on each of the bass drum lugs, and the tension rods threaded with no difficulty whatsoever.  The inserts on these lugs are not "floating" inserts, so if there were any alignment issues, I would have noticed them when assembling the drum.

EDIT:  Since you raised the subject of gaskets and lug alignment issues, I should mention one small detail about the tom hoops.  I picked up the counterhoops a few years ago as a "lot," with not only these but a bunch of 8" and 6" hoops as well, in varying states of condition.  I'm not sure what make of hoops these are, but they look have at least a few miles on them.  I suspect they were made back in the day before drums were "undersized" the way they are today, and they seem to be just the slightest bit larger in diameter compared to contemporary counterhoops.  As a result, I had to be really careful threading the tension rods on the various toms.  It's not a horrible problem - it doesn't seem to affect the tunings, and it doesn't look like it will cause any structural issues down the road, but it's something I'm going to keep an eye on.  I've been thinking of trying die cast hoops on the toms one of these days, but even if I stick with the triple-flanged hoops, I may pick up brand new hoops all around, just to get everything from the same era and address these sizing issues.
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

Offline James Walker

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #55 on: January 06, 2007, 03:40 PM »
Family picture time

Since it was such a sunny day today, conducive to good photos, I decided to brave the harsh wintry elements we're dealing with in the Northeast to to take a few more pictures of the kit.

Don't pay too much attention to the cymbal setup.  It has been a long time since I've used a two-up, one-down setup like this, with the rack toms off to the side of the bass drum, and I still need to experiment to figure out exactly how I want to set things up. 

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_056.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_056.jpg
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_058.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_058.jpg
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_060.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_060.jpg
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_067.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_067.jpg

Sound files:
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_01.mp3]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_01.mp3
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_02.mp3]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_02.mp3

(Two condensor mic's overhead, one Radio Shack PZM out front of the bass drum, through a Mackie board, into my computer.  No FX or EQ applied at any stage of the process.)
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

Offline drumz1

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #56 on: January 06, 2007, 05:27 PM »
Family picture time

Since it was such a sunny day today, conducive to good photos, I decided to brave the harsh wintry elements we're dealing with in the Northeast to to take a few more pictures of the kit.

Don't pay too much attention to the cymbal setup.  It has been a long time since I've used a two-up, one-down setup like this, with the rack toms off to the side of the bass drum, and I still need to experiment to figure out exactly how I want to set things up. 

 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_056.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_056.jpg
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_058.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_058.jpg
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_060.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_060.jpg
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_067.jpg]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_067.jpg

Sound files:
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_01.mp3]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_01.mp3
 http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_02.mp3]http://www.malletjazz.com/drums/bopkit/bopkit_02.mp3

(Two condensor mic's overhead, one Radio Shack PZM out front of the bass drum, through a Mackie board, into my computer.  No FX or EQ applied at any stage of the process.)

Very nice indeed, James.  Would you care to elaborate on the tuning of the kit, and did you use any muffling in the kick?  It sounds nice and punchy, with just the right amount of overtones, for my tastes.

Also, one question about drilling the holes:  What type of drill bit did you use, such as a Forstner or a brad-point, etc?  I'm just curious as to how you managed to drill the holes without getting any wood "tear-out" on the inner side of the shell.

Good job!!

Regards,
drumz1
I told my wife that a husband is like a fine wine; he gets better with age. The next day, she locked me in the cellar.

Offline chillman4130

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #57 on: January 06, 2007, 06:23 PM »
That was fast! Congratulations!

<---- jealous

WARNING: Check my posts for sarcasm before believing anything I say.

Chris Hillman

Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #58 on: January 06, 2007, 07:04 PM »
GREAT job, James! They look and sound terrific!

Sounds like that little bass drum has some cojones!



Hit on 2. Repeat on 4.
(instructions found written on Mr. A's snare drum)

byronand

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Re: "Jim Walker's DIY Bop Kit Builder's Blog"
« Reply #59 on: January 06, 2007, 07:38 PM »
Wow!
Nice going James! They look fantastic and sound wonderful!
I'm astounded that you cut the edges with a rasp. What do you suppose the difference might be -- if any -- if you had them precision-cut on a router?

 

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