The final two tongue drums - of this Christmas

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Project by JoeinDE posted 12-29-2012 02:33 PM 3121 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The first is a purpleheart soundboard with poplar front and back and cherry sides. The bottom is 5/16” pine. While this one looks the prettiest, only three of the tongues reonsate. They rest are pretty much just percussive. This was disappointing, but my two year old does not seem to mind. If I had a do over, I would make all of the tongues on this more narrow. Since the sound board on this is 1” thick and purpleheart is pretty rigid, only the narrow tongues resonate. There is no video of this one being played since I was that disappointed in the sound.

The second (and last) of the tongue drums has a padauk soundboard, 3/4” play ftont and back and maple sides with a lauan ply bottom. Paduak is THE wood for making tongue drum soundboards (the guys who make a living making these agree). While I was disappointed in how the purpleheart one sounded, I was very pleasantly surprised at how tonal this one is. You can listen in the video below. The pattern from the tongue was loosely adapted from some patterns that I have seen on the commercially produced tongue drums. The padauk is 13/16”.

The second one is a gift for me five year old son. He was so exciting by the one the his cousin, Hannah, received (a few days before Christmas) that he asked if I could make him one. I smiled and said that I didn’t know if I could make one in time since they take a lot of work – while laughing inside because his drum and his sister’s drum were sitting downstairs in my shop.


2 comments so far

View Philzoel's profile


303 posts in 2486 days

#1 posted 12-29-2012 05:01 PM

Cut the fat ones down till they resonat.

-- Phil Zoeller louisville, KY

View mcoyfrog's profile


4483 posts in 3737 days

#2 posted 04-15-2014 06:15 PM

Sweet, these are always my favorite projects to do, love the sound of them too

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

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