Two hand drums

Some years back, while listening to a hunter buddy talk about the difficulty they were having with getting a deer, I happened to mention that a 2x2 buck was frequenting my place, and permission was given to harvest the deer (if they could). After 2 weeks of sitting in wait for a few hours each evening, Blam!, buddy got the deer. The paperwork was filled out, the tag was applied, and the deer was field dressed before being hauled to the butchers.

About a week later, I was given some nicely butchered venison, and a bag containing the deer hide. Not really having a plan for the hide, I soaked the hide, rolled it up, and set it in the sun to dry. That was certainly not the best way to preserve the hide. Then the hide sat, and sat, and sat…

Fast forward to the present… After crafting a Syrinx, I began to dabble more and more with carving wood, as well as a bit of bone carving. For the most part, I was making small pieces. However, after visiting my friend who is fond of carving wooden spoons and mugs, the urge to make a drum was ignited. What I needed to do, was create a wooded frame upon which to stretch a drum head.

The options, as I saw them, were to either laminate a frame from multiple pieces of wood, or carve a frame from a round of light wood. As luck would have it, a pine tree was brought down at my Mom's place, and I picked up a piece to carve into a drum frame. :)

The rounds

yea, that was cut with an electric chainsaw... so quiet, no exhaust, and no vibrations

Tracing the ring's lines

Roughed with bandsaw and chisels

Mmmm coffee

It is just about time to put on the drum head..

Hold on... Time out

Seriously, what the hell do I know about making a deer skin drum head? Nothing; and when I know nothing about an action that I plan to take, aside from doing research, I will make a test or a prototype.

Wikipedia has a list of frame drums, and I followed ever link to learn what I could aboutthe various drums. Afterwards, I watched a few Youtube vids of people making frame drums.

All of this knowledge was assimilated, and condensed down to "with the tools at hand, what is the easiest way for this jezra to make a frame drum?" for we are Borg. There was still a craving for some hands on experience with drum craft.

a 5 inch diameter drum frame

Why is that drum frame 5 inches in diameter?

Roadkill squirrel rawhide

Well fancy that, I just happened to have some squirrel rawhide; and the rawhide is just large enough for a 6" diameter circle... which will fit nicely on a 5" frame.

drum head and lacing

the rawhide was soaked for a few days to make it stretchable. Hot damn, those are some sweet sinister scissors.

All laced up

Cute lil squirrel drum

Making the squirrel drum was an excellent learning experience. Alrighty, back to the deer hide drum.

Cut drum head

A cardboard template was made based on the size of the drum frame, then the template was traced onto the dried rawhide; which was then cut and soaked in water over night. Afterwards, hella feet of lacing was cut from the deer hide.

All laced up!

Horribly boring picture of a circle

That is the head of the finished drum. It is very round. :)

When the wet rawhide dried, it shrank and tighted the drum head. This lasted for a few days, and then the freshly carved wooden ring of the frame also dried and shrank; and that is why one should never carve wood that hasn't had time to cure.

Fortunately, the drum head didn't check too badly and it is still usable. Now I just need to disassemble the drum head, soak it in water for a day or two, and re-tie it to the frame.

Bang on!