Drum building

So I went ahead and made my own log drum, native american style, of a big scots pine (Pinaceae Pinus) trunk.

And you’re not really supposed to be making drums out of pine, but it’s one of my favorite tree, and it sounds really nice. Soft, deep and round.

Top side is reindeer rawhide, bottom is fiberskyn, which I had to manipulate and cut.

The main steps are, make the trunk hollow as soon as you can to prevent it from crack or later rot. (Though my log was waiting for a few years stacked of the ground.) The sides should be fairly thin, as thin as you dear to go ahead without cracking the side, also listen to the tone of the wall, a sligthly thicker wall will be a more numb sound but deeper. Something around 1,5 cm at least. How to hollow it? Start drilling (or axing) a hole to get you started. (Don't even think about using a chain saw if your not educated in that craft in some way, it's simply the worlds most dangerous tool, ask for proper advice. And a hole is necessary otherwise a saw can bounce right back at you.) After I got a longer tunnel in the trunk, I then used a special tool like a large curved chisel, wich I had help making. And then hammer down the walls with the chisel and a sledge hammer. It's heavy work! Prepare yourself to give it a few days.

Make the ends really plane, or the skin may burr or vibrate bad. You could use a piece of a window glass to put on the top to see where you need to file of. Put some sandpaper on a piece of plain board and go over it evenly.

Planning to write a more thorough explanation on the work stages and rawhide preparation soon, but for now I can recommend some reading;

Drums, tomtoms and rattles: primitive percussion instruments for modern use by Bernard Sterling Mason.

Going also to put up links and gather useful tips on this page.