|Project by GnarlyErik||posted 08-07-2012 04:50 PM||3752 views||16 times favorited||7 comments|
I saw videos of these on YouTube, and loved the sounds they make. They are also called ‘Slit Drums’ because of the slitting of the top. I decided to build one of my own, so did some research to come up with the basic parameters. I had the stock on hand so I went to work.
This is a fairly simple project which was quite gratifying when finished. Since I am not particularly musically inclined, I presented the drum to my wife who just loves it. She is jealous and very protective of it when someone else wants to play around with it.
The drum is approximately 18” long by 9-1/2” wide x 5” deep. The sides and ends are of 3/4” #1 Pine, and the top is 3/4” Cherry. The bottom sounding board is 6mm Okoume marine ply which I happened to have lying around, but think any dense plywood without voids will do. The bottom is recessed 1/4” and is removable with 16 #6×3/4” RH screws so the inside is accessible. Finish is Tung oil inside and out.
I understand these may be ‘tuned’ by removing more or less material from the bottom sides of the individual tongues to achieve whatever pitch one desires from a particular tongue. But, I am not musically literate enough with notes to attempt that. Besides, it sounds great to my ears now anyway! The drum may be played on a table, or directly on one’s lap.
Now I must build one for each grand child!
Here is a link to demonstrate the sounds produced by this instrument: https://vimeo.com/47098987
UPDATE 6/26/2015: I’ve made a new blog entry to pass along a few things I’ve learned to help those who may wish to build any of these:
-- "Never let your dogma get run over by your karma!"