Topic: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells  (Read 24050 times)

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Offline Bob Dias

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New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« on: November 02, 2007, 01:11 PM »
Previously I have built an oak stave snare with photos and details posted here in the DC somewhere.  It turned out very nice. But it was a first effort learning experience, so I took that hardware and assembled a snare from a new Keller shell a la  J.Walker (which I use as a go-to everyday snare now).  Now I figure it is time to jump in feet first and try my hand at an entire segmented-shell kit.

The wife would not let me get the big new $6K lathe currently on display at my local WoodCraft store. But I am allowed to significantly update my router table.  I have spent way too many hours planning, scribbling, and scheming and have come up with the following:

1)   The main shop tools used: table saw, router table (w/ various bits), palm sander.
2)   It will be a 5-piece.  12, 14, 16" toms, 20x16 bass, 13x6" snare.  The tom depths are as yet undecided. However, I was planning on shallower depth toms (6, 8, 12" respectively), but am not completely sold there…I have wanted something a bit more musical, and a little less ‘"boom" (eventhough I really like the "boom")
3)   I believe I have decided on a shell thickness of 3/8".  Not too thick, not too thin.  Based on my calculations, this is the average thickness of shells that can be made from common  ¾" wood stock.  It also gives me the most room for error during shaping.  If you have ever tried to build drums, it is nothing if not an exercise in error propogation (and how to minimize it).
4)   The wood will likely be walnut, cherry, ash or a figured maple.  No final decision made there yet either. This decision may be made on price and availability.
5)   The finish will most likely be several coats of tung oil (simple).
6)   The hardware is still to be decided.

I will be setting up my workshop, router table etc. this weekend and will begin by making a few jigs and a test shell from MDF or pine to test the method and the fit.  ANY input to the depth of toms and preferred wood type would be greatly appreciated.

Let the games begin.  Bob
"It's O.K. if you only know three chords, but for God's sake, play'em in the right order" (H. Hill)

Offline NY Frank

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2007, 06:01 PM »
Outstanding.

When you get it down, will you make us some shells to buy?   :)
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Offline Bob Dias

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 07:18 PM »
NYF,
Be careful what you wish for....!  Bob
"It's O.K. if you only know three chords, but for God's sake, play'em in the right order" (H. Hill)

Offline Todd Norris

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 07:35 PM »
Nice!  Turning a bass on a router would be challenging but not impossible. 

Out of the woods you mentioned, I'm most interested in Ash.  It reportedly has a wide frequency response and is a very versatile and pleasing sound.  Plus, I don't think it costs as much as Cherry or Walnut. 

Please be sure to post frequent updates WITH PHOTOS! 

Offline Bob Dias

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2007, 10:06 PM »
Yea,
Ash might be the choice...I love my swamp ash telecaster. I always wondered wy more drums were not made from it...too pedestian perhaps. 

Question:

Does anyone have wooden hoops? you big wide $50 variety that one buys to put on their snare? If so, could you please post or send me the cross-sectional dimensions? Width of hoop x height? I imagine that they are about 1"x 1", but am not sure.  I am contemplating making some wood hoops for as part of this project. 

picked up and ordered some router bits today...and some test-grade wood.  Sawdust should start flying by the end of this week.

Thanks, Bob
"It's O.K. if you only know three chords, but for God's sake, play'em in the right order" (H. Hill)

Offline Todd Norris

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2007, 12:14 AM »

Does anyone have wooden hoops? you big wide $50 variety that one buys to put on their snare? If so, could you please post or send me the cross-sectional dimensions? Width of hoop x height? I imagine that they are about 1"x 1", but am not sure.  I am contemplating making some wood hoops for as part of this project. 


Yeah, matching hoops are a must.  The ones on the snare in my avatar are an inch across and about 1 1/4 inch deep. 

Offline NY Frank

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2007, 08:38 AM »
I have never played a wood hoop.

What does a wood hoop bring?  Is it a look thing only, or does it change
the tone?  Does it change the tone only of rim shots, or of regular hits too?

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Offline Todd Norris

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2007, 08:40 PM »
The rim shots and cross sticks are obviously different with the wood hoops.  Regular hits are debatable.  The theory is that the wood hoops resonate a little from the strike of the head, adding that much more color to the sound of the drum.  I haven't done A/B tests on my drum, but I did play the drum with metal hoops before the wood ones arrived.  I'd like to say the sound is different, but without A/B tests I can't be absolutely sure. 

Offline metalshredder

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2008, 12:53 PM »
Interesting.  They seem quite bulky, do they get in the way of playing at all?  I think that I would find myself trying to avoid rimshots the whole time!
Crush 5pc Clear with light kit, Pearl Reference 5pc Granite Sparkle, Pearl Free Floating Brass Snare, OCDP 14x7 25-ply snare, Paiste Cymbals, Tama Iron Cobra pedals

Offline Louis Russell

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2008, 01:13 PM »
I would find myself trying to avoid rimshots the whole time!

Damaging the wood hoops would worry me but friends who use them don't seem to have a problem. 
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Offline Bob Dias

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2008, 06:40 PM »
OK, here we go.
All the calculations have been made, the jigs tested, the lumber selected.

I am starting from 2 2"x10"x10' long rough sawn ash boards that were sawn to 5' lengths to fit into my truck...




Those were turned into many (many) planks that measured from 4-5" wide, 1" thick, by 2-3' long (~4hrs of garage mill work)...



3 more hours of mill work turned those into suitable-sized beveled planks for gluing...









"It's O.K. if you only know three chords, but for God's sake, play'em in the right order" (H. Hill)

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2008, 06:43 PM »
Looking good Bob!
It's amazing how many hours you've spent thus far.

Keep the photos and details coming! Wish I could shoot some video; I'd air in on DCTV.  8)

Offline Bob Dias

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2008, 06:45 PM »
...the planks are now being glued up. Here is the 16" tom...






and here are the 13" snare and 12" tom glued and ready for shaping (next weekend)...




More images as I progress.

So, this stave set will contain the following:

13x6 snare, 12x6, 14x8 and 16x12 toms, 20x16" bass.

I will be making 1-2 extra snare shells out of this batch of lumber if anyone is interested.

Cheers, Bob
"It's O.K. if you only know three chords, but for God's sake, play'em in the right order" (H. Hill)

Offline NY Frank

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2008, 10:25 PM »
Wow.    Outstanding.
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Offline Bob Dias

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2008, 03:28 PM »
and after ~15 min of exterior shaping...



...a little water to raise the grain, and some final sanding will take the tooling ridges out. I really like this hunk of ash I chose...nice multicolor grain.  It will take me about a week to get around to shaping the other shells. More after that occurs.  I am taking rec's for lugs.  I am considering making them out of a harder wood and using cross-dowel type nuts, or maybe old-style slingerlands.

Making lots-o-sawdust, Bob
"It's O.K. if you only know three chords, but for God's sake, play'em in the right order" (H. Hill)

Offline Bob Dias

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2008, 05:30 PM »
All the rough shaping is complete. it took a weeks worth of evenings to shape the outside, and only two evenings to shape the inside.


The thickness of the floor tom and bass (~1/2")...



The whole family...




Next up, sanding, finishing and hardware...that will take about 2-4 weeks depending on how many coats of oil/varnish/poly I can stand to apply/sand/apply/sand...etc.

Enjoy, Bob
"It's O.K. if you only know three chords, but for God's sake, play'em in the right order" (H. Hill)

Offline NY Frank

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2008, 09:22 PM »
Looks really great.

I'm shop challenged.  Exactly how do you shape it down to the right diameter inside the right tolerance?
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Offline Bob Dias

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2008, 10:30 PM »
NYFrank,
Very slowly.  I built a jig that sits on my router table do shape the outside, and built a jig that houses a hand router to shape the inside.  I take the outside down to a precalculated circumference that gives me a hair under the target O.D. (ie, 13 and 15/16 for a 14" drum). I have a digital micrometer to measure the thickness of the shell as I route the inside, bringing it down to 3/8 for the snare and rack toms, and 1/2 for the floor tom and bass.

Here are pics of the jigs. They work really well.

For the exterior...I hang the drum like a pig on a spit over my router table...




for the interior...




Shaping is not difficult, but it does take time, patience and a commitment to precision when building the jigs.  Cheers, Bob
"It's O.K. if you only know three chords, but for God's sake, play'em in the right order" (H. Hill)

Offline NY Frank

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2008, 08:20 AM »
Wow.  Thanks for those pics.

Way, way, way, way  cool.
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Offline Bob Dias

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Re: New Kit Build: Segmented Shells
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2008, 09:24 AM »
Also...

I ordered lugs and rims yesterday. I have always loved the look of the vintage slingerland kits, so I decided to go with sticksaver hoops (I have these hoops on everything I own), and beavertail lugs. Singles on the bass and 16", doubles on the snare, 12 and 14" tom. Picked up some of the Dunnett bass "spikes". Have not decided on a tom mounting system yet. I have never really liked the RIMS/DSS systems (yes I have used them). I am looking at either the Optimounts (pearl) or just using bolt-to-the-shell mounts. I am open to ideas. Any suggestions?

still making sawdust...Bob
"It's O.K. if you only know three chords, but for God's sake, play'em in the right order" (H. Hill)

 

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