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I love making things that make noise.

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Project by Mike posted 09-15-2018 09:53 PM 695 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are a couple of the tongue drums that I have made. I have been working on tuning them and that can be a chore but I’ve been able to get all the keys to sound like they belong together. The first drum is made out of oak with a black walnut top, the second is all black walnut.

The tongues in my drums don’t share common cuts. Each tongue is surrounded by wood and not right next to the next tongue. I find this is a little more work, more edges to sand, but it keeps the tongues independent of each other, the tops and the tongues are stronger in case anyone put to much pressure on the top and there are more surfaces with different sounds to play on.

My next set of drums are going to be cajons. I really like making things that make noise.





7 comments so far

View Mike's profile

Mike

66 posts in 2069 days


#1 posted 09-15-2018 10:00 PM

I Forgot to mention that the tongues in my drums don’t share common cuts. Each tongue is surrounded by wood and not right next to the next tongue. I find this is a little more work, more edges to sand, but it keeps the tongues independent of each other, the tops are stronger in case anyone put to much pressure on the top and there are more surfaces with different sounds to play on.

View Lazlo's profile

Lazlo

12 posts in 952 days


#2 posted 09-15-2018 11:27 PM

Nice work! I’ve been thinking about making one of these as well. I’m assuming that to tune it, you’ll have to gradually sand off from the edges of each tongue. But I think that there probably are some basic parameters for roughing out the size/shape of the tongues at the beginning. Can you enlighten me a bit on that? Good luck with your cajon, too!

-- Lazlo

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

1613 posts in 1878 days


#3 posted 09-16-2018 02:42 PM

Very nice looking tongue drums. I have built several. They make noise, but not going to say mine were tuned… I found the purpleheart tops made the best sound of the ones I made.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32087 posts in 3041 days


#4 posted 09-16-2018 06:39 PM

This is a beautiful drum and nicely done.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View Mike's profile

Mike

66 posts in 2069 days


#5 posted 09-16-2018 10:32 PM

Lazlo I used the internet to find directions for tuning, including this one which gives you the basics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpQ9Lfg0vTc&index=2&list=PLyBgSS9Mria21l1p5bOb0DoptxCBZlE2z&t=860s

There are also a few tricks that I’ve learned that may help.
-The best sounding tops are solid hardwoods, sides and bottoms don’t seem to make as much a difference.
-Short tongues are hard to get much sound out of, opt for tongues longer than 3 inches.
-I like to use my jigsaw which has a thicker blade than my scroll saw or band saw. the thicker cutting curf makes sanding the tongues easier and you end up with less rattles in your tongues.
-Build your box so you can add the bottom last. fully glue up the other sides before you try tuning.
-I use a forstner bit to remove wood from the bottoms of the tongues that i’m trying to tune, this seems to be the easiest way to remove the wood.

There’s lots of “tips” out there to get you going. Good luck.

View mcoyfrog's profile

mcoyfrog

4504 posts in 3769 days


#6 posted 09-17-2018 01:31 PM

Nice drums, kewl design. I too love making these they are so much fun and relaxing playing them. Thanks for sharing.

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View irtamos's profile

irtamos

284 posts in 2218 days


#7 posted 09-19-2018 06:22 AM

Great project.

-- irtamos, Belgium

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