Some New Glue

OK, so I went out and got some new glue, as suggested by Fezz on the PDF. All I got was some PVA hopefully it works as its about half the cost for over double the volume. I put two laminated plys into the mould about half an hour ago with the new glue, and i went crazy with it. I also laminated up another set of leaves and went crazy with the glue (so if glues my problem it wont be anymore. )

Its got an open time of about 30min and a drying time of at least 6hours so probably in 8 or more I will take it out and let you know how its going.


Got Some American Walnut.

So Yesterday I went and got some American Walnut to start to make the drums.  17 leaves 300x2400x0.6 to be exact. Plenty

I started off by laminating two leaves of veneer together. All went well, then I did another two and put them in the mould. As I did this, I wanted to create a 7ply drum so that the plys would be (H V) (H V) (H V H) the brackets represent each lamination. So as the drum was in the mould I decided to do three plys at once, to reduce the time that the shell had to sit in the mould, and how many times I had to re-pump the mould.

I don’t know what happened but this lamination turned out awful. I left it for the right amount of time, but it just didn’t work, the glue didn’t bond with the timber. so i threw away that idea. I left the drum in the mould over night and took it out this morning. It turned out pretty bad. It is because I didn’t apply enough internal pressure. I really need to get an air compressor. The seams were pretty bad as well, but discussing it i think i have found ways to make it better. The plys fit real nice and other than some of the wood not bonding it turned out OK. I have started to laminate up a new Drum today. Learning from my mistakes.

I’m still deciding if I want to get a cheap air compressor (like one that you use off your car battery), just to get the extra pressure or go all out and get little bit more expensive but still relatively cheap air compressor (like one that has a tank etc)

First shell attempt

OK so the first process in making the shell is to laminate some veneer together. For this shell I just got some cheap Radiata Pine. To increase the strength of the shell you want to cross laminate the plys. This means that every other ply will have the grain running vertical. Basically to laminate two leaves of veneer together all you do is press them in between two MDF boards. Its pretty simple. Just crank the clamps tight and leave for at least two hours.

After this we cut the laminated ply down to the correct size and dry fit it into the mould. This is to make sure it will fit nicely. I haven’t been able to make a decent seam yet. its still all gappy but each one I’m doing is getting better and better.

After the Plys have been dry fit into the mould I then went along and glued them up. The glue I’m using is called Titebond III. To provide a little bit of help gluing I inserted a gym ball into the mould and pumped it up.

Then after about 6 hours I took the shell out and that was the outcome. It was pretty bad, plys weren’t cut properly, there wasn’t enough internal pressure (need an air compressor) and some of the plys didn’t glue together.

The Mould Begins.

OK so I have started to Build the mould. Well actually I have finished it but for this post i will show you how I constructed it.

First of i got 4 sheets of MDF approx 18” x 18” which I then Constructed a Circle Jig to cut out circles. After I cut out the circles i used some bendyply to make sure they all aligned and then glued up the mould. After this step I then proceeded to glue the Bendy Ply to the mould.

I made a mistake here by not cutting the sheets of MDF exact, and having the circle in the exact middle, as I wanted to attach Hinges and a lock type thing on the front for easy opening, but proved impossible with the way I layed out the sheets. I have overcome this by purchasing some 750mm long clamps and clamp it all up.  so i cut this baby in half and clamped it back together. The reason for cutting it in half is so that I can easily remove the shell once completed. also to compensate for the material the blade takes away i put a 1.2mm piece of plywood in between the two halves.

On a side note I made the mould 14×9 but one of the MDF circles was slightly out of round, which means the usable area is more like 5″ or 6″ deep. not a big deal as I plan on re-doing the mould later.

And it all starts


So I have decided to build some ply drum shells. I have already built the mould and I’m on my way on getting a working shell. I will update with more progress as I go along. I have been following the methods from here

I have already constructed one snare drum, 14×4 Jarrah Stave shell. I did not make the shell myself. but I finished it and put the hardware etc on. It turned out pretty good, except for some minor drilling issues.

%d bloggers like this: