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Drum Building Projects

An incomplete documentation of my Keller-shell snare drum projects.

First shell - came with bearing edges and miniscule snare beds.

Snare drum: orange dye

 Snare drum: pre spray

The first raw shell stained orange with water-based dye

Ready for spraying the fade. Yes, that's a record player

Snare drum: red spray

Snare drum: black spray

After spraying the red component of the fade with an airbrush.

After the black component of the fade.

Snare drum: oil stain

Snare drum: cherry shell

I then added a thinners-based stain to make the colours richer, and also accent the parts of the grain that resisted the water-based dye.

Disaster... while sanding a thin coat of polyurathane with wet sandpaper, I broke through to the wood. To cover up this debacle, I abandoned the dark caramel fade in favour of a black cherry fade. This is how the shell looks now, I also recut the bearing edges and snare beds.

Second run - three shells from AIT, no bearing edges.

Snare drum: orange dye again

Snare drum: fade spray partway

The orange water-based dye again

Partway through spraying the fades

Snare drum: fade spray complete

Snare drum: darker stain

The spraying part of the fades completed

After applying the woodstain. I intended to make the 6.5" snare darker, and used a different stain. However it was way too dark, so I ended up bleaching it and starting over.

Snare drum: tools

Snare drum: sanding block

Incompletely documented:
   around 12 sprayed layers of polyurathane
   uncounted hours of hand sanding
   a couple of attempts at buffing and polishing
   re-squaring the ends
   cutting bearing edges
   cutting snare beds
   drilling...

Essential tools:
   curved sanding block made from laminated cork tile/    sandpaper glued to a thick sheet of MDF
   router mounted on sheet of perspex

Assembling the first two drums

Snare drum: assembling

Snare drum: Bombasticus #1

Attaching the lugs

After all that work, a result at last!

Bombasticus #1

Snare drum: Bombasticus #1

Snare drum: Bombasticus #1

Snare drum: Bombasticus #1

Snare drum: Bombasticus #1

Keller maple shell with gloss deep caramel fade.
14" x 8"
10 brass finish Ego tube lugs
Nickel strainer
Brass finish die cast hoops
Puresound 24 snare wires (20-strand shown here)

Sound - somewhat dry with a concussive attack, supported by heaps of low-end thump. Lay into it hard and you almost get a rimshot effect.

Listen to a sound sample of Bombasticus #1
(reso finger-slap; tuned deep & muffle ring; higher & ringy)

Paladin #1

Snare drum: Paladin #1

Snare drum: Paladin #1

Snare drum: Paladin #1

Snare drum: Paladin #1

Keller maple shell with gloss deep caramel fade.
14" x 6.5"
10 Ego tube lugs
Nickel strainer
Die cast hoops
Puresound 16 snare wires

Sound - considerably less ringy than my equivalently-configured brass 6.5", but more attack, more depth.

The grain on this drum has even more character than usual, because the shell was dyed, stained, bleached, re-dyed and re-stained.

Listen to a sound sample of Paladin #1
(reso head finger-slap; high tuning no muffling)

Bombasticus #2

Snare drum: Bombasticus #2

Snare drum: Bombasticus #2

Snare drum: Bombasticus #2

Snare drum: Bombasticus #2

Keller maple shell with gloss deep caramel fade.
14" x 8"
8 Ego tube lugs
Dunnett strainer
Die cast hoops
Puresound 24 snare wires (Pearl 20-strand shown here)

Sound - dry with a sharp attack and plenty of depth. Slightly more defined than Bombasticus #1.


Listen to a sound sample of Bombasticus #2
(reso finger-slap; deep & muffled; high & ringy)

Bombasticus #3

Snare drum: Bombasticus #3

Snare drum: Bombasticus #3

Snare drum: Bombasticus #3

Snare drum: Bombasticus #3

Keller maple shell with gloss dark cherry fade.
14" x 8"
10 Worldmax traditional tube lugs
Nickel strainer
Pearl brass finish triple flanged hoops
Puresound 24 strand snare wires (16-strand shown here)

Sound - dry with a sharp attack and plenty of depth. Drier than Bombasticus #1 and #2.


Listen to a sound sample of Bombasticus #3
(reso finger-slap; deep & muffled; high & ringy)

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All content Copyright 2007 Trevor Magnusson