Seeking ways to make a tambourine ... without a lathe

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Forum topic by Mammatus posted 03-24-2014 05:31 PM 806 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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28 posts in 1418 days

03-24-2014 05:31 PM

I’d love to make a tambourine…something along the lines of this one:

But I don’t have a lathe…and won’t be able to get one or have access to one anytime soon.

I have thought about steaming some wood to bend it, but that’s a ton of work…for a tambourine.

Thoughts welcome…

5 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3069 days

#1 posted 03-24-2014 05:41 PM

I’ve made frame drums.

Irving Sloane’s book “Making Musical Instruments” describes
making a tambourine by (iirc) laminating veneers to make
the shell.

Any way you do it, you’re going to have to invest time
and money in setting up to do it.

How much money are you willing to spend?

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2114 days

#2 posted 03-25-2014 11:29 AM

Why not cut out the segments, slightly wider on a scroll saw and then glue them up. Then drum sand the inside and outside.

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View MisterBill's profile


411 posts in 1672 days

#3 posted 03-25-2014 11:59 AM

How about steambending some white oak or bamboo? I have never done it but I did stay at a Holiday Inn (once)!!

Here are links to two videos that I found on youtue, hopefully these will give you a few ideas:

View dhazelton's profile


2284 posts in 1717 days

#4 posted 03-25-2014 12:07 PM

If you just want a tambourine, not necessarily made with exotic woods, I’d go look at a sewing or craft store at wooden embroidery hoops. I don’t know how round they are though. You could stack them as deep as you want. Or do what was suggested above with the scroll saw.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2343 days

#5 posted 03-25-2014 12:16 PM

Bending of oak is pretty easy if you keep the wood limited to 1/8” thickness. I have bent it by soaking for a few days in water, wiping dry, applying glue to a few 1/8” strips, and clamping them together to a curved form to dry for a few days. Very little sanding.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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