The majority of wood drums are made from ply and are basically the same from every major manufacturer.
I make solid drums out of one piece of wood or segments or staves.
- Solid Oak, hand crafted snare drum
- Made from locally sourced English Oak.
- Gold plated die-cast hoops and graceful tube lugs.
- PureSound snare drum wires – one of the best available on the market.
- The finish process comprises of natural wood oils that are put onto the wood during the shell sanding process. The oil is then left to dry, after which the shell is buffed and polished with Carnuba wax. Finally the drum is given a coat of Renaissance polish which was originally developed for museums to stop finger prints being left on artefacts.
- Made from English Oak sourced locally; these drums have been two years in the making. David Bracken starts by selecting oak and preparing it on his saw mill, into blanks. At this point the tree has already been felled at least six months, as this reduces the gases that will be a by-product of the drying process. These gases are acidic and can erode the wood kiln parts.
- The blanks are rough turned into oversized shells that David calls donuts. Drying the donuts is the hardest part of the whole process. If it dries too quickly the donut will crack, for this reason a method called relaxed drying is used.
- The challenge when drying the donuts, is that the wood is unwilling to let go of the water it contains. Without this attribute trees would not survive through long periods of drought or ground frost. Relaxed drying is started by heating up and steaming the lumber at high temperatures (70 - 75°C) this changes the cell structure of the wood, which makes it possible for water to move outwards from inside the wood. The steaming also relieves tension in the wood which reduces the possibility of shells cracking within the drying process. The next step is to dehumidify the lumber at 30 - 35°C. The result is lumber that is “furniture dry” and is of a higher quality compared to air-dried lumber.
- It is because of the problems in drying solid pieces of wood that drum companies have kept away from making solid wood drums, using ply’s, segmented, and steam bent planks instead of the real thing.
The shell is then re-turned and left to settle for another month, after this the bearing edges and fittings are put on the drum.
Available to you via DrumWright
So what is the difference?
Ply drums can go out of shape or out of round easier than their solid counterparts.
Solid, stave, or segmented drums, have less ring with a very clear distinctive sound and the tone is more rounded
You can buy an "off the shelf" drum or be involved in choosing your shell, fittings, bearing edges, and finish. These drums are
very articulate with a responsive snare sound that’s perfect for studio or stage. The drum is customable so that you get the shell thickness that you want. The sound of these drums are warm, dry with a piercing rim shot, the bearing edges give an orchestral sensitivity to the drums. As a guide the thicker the shell more top and thickness is added to the sound, the thinner shell (3/8 inch) the more bottom end you have.
The experience of playing one of these drums is inspiring and you learn about the specific properties of your drum, as you discuss your requirement with the drum maker.
Use the contact page to explore the possibilities of your bespoke drum