I had a couple of inquirys as to how I built my rope tension drums-
These are quicky sketches and kind of vague, but maybe will give someone who wants to try this a starting place
First of all…a little disclaimer: I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT DRUMS—-or I didn’t until this project. I was commisioned to build some replicas for a reenactment, and could not find much information on construction. I looked at a lot of photos, and figured out how to build them with what I had at the time. I went the route of making my own heads from hides- first calf (which was too thick) but wound up using deerskin.
The rawhide was a lot of stinky, hard work, and since these are probably not acurate construction techniques, I’d recomend REMO brand FIBERSKIN synthetic heads. They are easier, don’t go slack in humid weather, and probably sound better. They come with a metal hoop molded to the edge, but if you find just the right color of masking tape you can cover it and it wrinkles a bit and looks just like the rawhide is wrapping around the hoop on a real drum. Get the drumheads first and build the drum to fit them- I think original drums range anywhere from 14” to 16”. I’d go smaller and maybe make a mockup if young or short people are going to play them. They are a little hard to play if dragging the ground.
I have 3 pages of sketches so far…up to the point of putting the heads on. I will still have to do some on making the snare strainer, roping the drum & making leather tensioning ears, and making the sling…but I wanted to get these up so those inquiring could maybe get a start. Like I said, this is just the way I did it…there are lots of ways to build these things. The best way to make the shell I would guess is making it laminated, but at the time I did not have that equipment. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, I’ll try to help. If you click on the below pictures (looks like they are cropped on the blog page) I think you will be able to see all of it by scrolling around.