Tongue Drum

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Project by Greg Wurst posted 11-30-2008 02:12 AM 3325 views 13 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this tongue drum from a Wood magazine article in the October, 2006 issue. It’s made of red oak with the handles and feet made of some sapele I had left-over. I mounted the side handles on the bottom side of the drum as opposed to the top like they had detailed due to my not noticing. It looks just fine down low as far as I am concerned.

I cut the top with a scroll saw, which cuts so finely I had to cut both sides of the slots. Once the top was mounted one of the fingers was a little too tight so I had to widen the slot with the jig saw. I got a little too wild on the round part and gouged it a bit, but it still looks and plays fine. It’s finished with danish oil and once it fully dries I’ll coat it with a few coats of wiping varnish.

My son seems to like it. Here’s some video of him playing with it. In the first one I dared mute his favorite show and he wouldn’t go back to the drum until I turned the sound back on! ;)

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

15 comments so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 2805 days

#1 posted 11-30-2008 02:16 AM


GO COLTS!!!!!!!!!!

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

785 posts in 2869 days

#2 posted 11-30-2008 02:27 AM

My wife’s the big Colts fan. I’ve been a Cowboys fan for life. We alternate jerseys for the boy to wear. ;)

Fortunately, the Colts and Cowboys don’t play each other very often. When they do it gets ugly around here! :p

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16096 posts in 3255 days

#3 posted 11-30-2008 02:54 AM

That thing has a really cool sound!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View jim1953's profile


2703 posts in 2879 days

#4 posted 11-30-2008 02:55 AM

Cool drum

-- Jim, Kentucky

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 2781 days

#5 posted 11-30-2008 03:00 AM

This is one of the first projects that my son and I made, back when. He took it to school for a science project.
These are neat to make and play. I can’t believe I haven’t made another. Thanks for the post.

View Rustic's profile


3206 posts in 2633 days

#6 posted 11-30-2008 04:08 AM

That is soo cool

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 3363 days

#7 posted 11-30-2008 05:50 AM

I had seen that project in that same issue… I have been wondering how they sounded as well, thanks for sharing the video. I’ve been considering adding this to the list of possible projects to do with my girls.
Thanks for sharing.

View clieb91's profile


3396 posts in 2972 days

#8 posted 11-30-2008 03:45 PM

Very cool project. I have seen these at my local Woodcraft. Would love to make one for my daughter someday. Your son seems to like it, I am sure once his show goes off he’ll have fun with it :).


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3992 posts in 3101 days

#9 posted 11-30-2008 06:20 PM


-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 2943 days

#10 posted 12-01-2008 03:53 AM

That is interesting for sure. It has me thinking now on tonewoods, who’da thought.

View TexasTimbers's profile


67 posts in 2852 days

#11 posted 12-02-2008 07:43 PM

I made one for my kids around 1994 from an article in a wood mag. We loved that thing! Me, arguably the most; being a drummer I could not leave it alone. “Daddy I wanna play it now it’s MY turn! It’s MY drum daddy!” lol.

Its remains are still lurking somewhere. I think it has 3 tongues left.

-- "Sure, listen to what the experts have to say, just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking."

View Kerry's profile


161 posts in 2827 days

#12 posted 12-11-2008 05:33 AM

I saw that article and wondered how it would sound. Nice job.

That first video is too funny! How dare you mute his program!


-- Alberta, Canada

View echarde's profile


6 posts in 2462 days

#13 posted 01-14-2009 12:12 AM

Yeah!!! I love it!! what a coool song! did u have any copy of this article? I want the same :)

View chopnhack's profile


373 posts in 1431 days

#14 posted 03-28-2013 04:10 AM

That’s awesome! I never finished mine for some reason… I really need to get back in the shop and do so. Did you use super hi bounce balls for the drum sticks?

-- Sneaking up on the line....

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

785 posts in 2869 days

#15 posted 03-28-2013 11:25 AM

Yes, any super ball or rubber ball works great. The harder the better.

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

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