When I tell potential customers “If I can make it out of wood, I’ll build it”, I never envisioned building snare drum shells out of my stash of antique Long Leaf Pine. One day this young gentleman came into my shop and asked me if I could make a segmented snare drum shell out of the Antique lumber I have. Up for the challenge I said yes, I could.
I had recently completed another first, my 385 piece segmented bowl. I figure if I could fabricate that bowl a simple snare drum should me a cake walk. Just to be on the safe side, I decide to make two at the same time, (“Murphy’s Law”). After cutting all the 7″ long pieces to the precise angles required, I had to glue them up. Well, let me tell you that trying to glue up a circular stack of lumber is a job for an octopus. I finally taped all the pieces together while lying flat, applied the glue and rolled the entire lot into a drum (no pun intended). The clamps I used were several steel band clamps (big Stainless Steel hose clamps) connected together to make one clamp.
After everything was dry I had to figure out how to put this drum with no bottom or top onto my antique lathe (a 1952 ‘Shopsmith 10ER’). I decided to glue two round plywood discs to the top and bottom. I used the lathe to turn the outside and then the inside(with one plywood disc removed). Sanding this drum was interesting also. Did you know if you apply pressure on a flexible wooden tube, it gives. I had to support the back side, directly opposite where I was sanding. This support method came in handy when I began to polish the drum shell. With several coats of Linseed oil and several more of Tung oil, the shells were almost complete.
I always find it hard to tell customers that I and they have to wait between 2 to 4 weeks for the finish to fully cure, before the polishing can begin. The surface may be dry, but underneath it is still soft and does not like the heat generated by polishing. I can’t wait to see the shells with all their hardware installed. To finalize this story of a unique use for Antique Long Leaf Pine just look at the pictures below, Thank you.