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veecharlie

Should I order my drum shell with veneer or do it myself?

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Hey drummers!

Well... I'm at the moment to order my awaited snare from a drum builder. I asked to add a veneer layer with macassar ebony but I am wondering if I shouldn't be doing this myself for less money or is it really so much worth to let somebody else do it? Seems anybody can replace wraps and veneers with not so much effort. What concerns me is the wood supply for this and precision (can't put the veneer on a CNC).

They charge me quite expensive for this add. The shell without any drilling will cost me around 200 euro. It's a 14x8 maple shell. Without would be around 100.

I'd like some intelligent input here. I can describe myself handy at hobby projects and eventually can ask help. I understand about drum shells, bla bla. 

Thanks a lot in advance :)

 

 

 

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If you can use a drill you can drill your own lug and throwoff holes. You just line things up with your hoops and use some kind of square to line up your drilling points.  Or get a baker's pie mat, or better yet a drum mat, which has every possible lay out configuration on it. I got mine from Drum Foundry. Other's make them now, as well.

I use a router table to sneak in my snare beds but, I used to use a file and slowly take them down. Takes longer but, works just as well.

Buying veneer can be iffy because it comes so thin and can be very brittle, if not also wavy and you have to be really careful, usually adding a less expensive backer veneer. You can use various glues and apply a thin coat to both, let them tack up, then iron them together with the iron on low heat. Works pretty well. The glue softens the veneer enough but, you still have to be careful. Once they set/cure you can glue it to the shell, also using an iron. Just leave extra veneer on both sides you can trim away.

If you own a router you can do your own bearing edges easily. You don't need to purchase a router table. You can make your own out of MDF shelving. You can get a couple different bits, practice on some scrap wood. It isn't hard to do.

I am always one to encourage DIY. On the veneer though, take a look at some videos on youtube and access whether it is something you'd feel comfortable doing.  If Oakwood Veneer sold their stuff in pieces I would just tell you to get that. Very easy to use. Getting a whole sheet of Ebony for one drum is ridiculous though.

Let us know what you decide and how the project comes along.

 

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11 hours ago, DiehardDIYer said:

If you can use a drill you can drill your own lug and throwoff holes. You just line things up with your hoops and use some kind of square to line up your drilling points.  Or get a baker's pie mat, or better yet a drum mat, which has every possible lay out configuration on it. I got mine from Drum Foundry. Other's make them now, as well.

I use a router table to sneak in my snare beds but, I used to use a file and slowly take them down. Takes longer but, works just as well.

Buying veneer can be iffy because it comes so thin and can be very brittle, if not also wavy and you have to be really careful, usually adding a less expensive backer veneer. You can use various glues and apply a thin coat to both, let them tack up, then iron them together with the iron on low heat. Works pretty well. The glue softens the veneer enough but, you still have to be careful. Once they set/cure you can glue it to the shell, also using an iron. Just leave extra veneer on both sides you can trim away.

If you own a router you can do your own bearing edges easily. You don't need to purchase a router table. You can make your own out of MDF shelving. You can get a couple different bits, practice on some scrap wood. It isn't hard to do.

I am always one to encourage DIY. On the veneer though, take a look at some videos on youtube and access whether it is something you'd feel comfortable doing.  If Oakwood Veneer sold their stuff in pieces I would just tell you to get that. Very easy to use. Getting a whole sheet of Ebony for one drum is ridiculous though.

Let us know what you decide and how the project comes along.

 

Thank so for your reply! That doesn't sound complex at all. Maybe I should indeed do it myself....

foe the holes and such, I am putting the shell straight to a multi-axis CNC. This machine is super precise and will make all holes exactly where they should be, all equal and nicely finished. 

I also think the same as you. That's why I am doubting. As there is risk always something goes wrong, am I taking an overdone risk on thinking to add my own veneer? I am just doubting...

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Ebony is pretty expensive as veneer goes. You have to decide after watching some of it done and if you can do it. I have a dvd, Guerilla Drum Making, or something like that. Got it years ago. I didn't learn much but, I was curious when I saw it in a magazine. It might be on youtube now, I don't know. ********************* I just checked and it is. Type in install veneer on drum shell and there's plenty that will keep you busy and help you decide.

Some makers use a vacuum press to adhere veneer to shells. I don't. I've been successful with contact cement and a J roller. But, that is always using Oakwood BFV (bubble free veneer). You can't use contact cement with natural veneers. It'll bleed through. Makes a splotchy mess and finishing makes it look worse.

I'm guessing you can do the whole gig. Do your research and you'll know what to do.  

 

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I'm of the DIY mindest myself and have a thread on wanting to attempt this when house projects slow down.  I'm going to *potentially* mangle some cheap drums first to give it a try before I veneer the drums that I really want to look nice.  I'm also waiting to pick up another orphan drum or two for that set and do it all at the same time.  I'm not looking to do ebony, but I'm sure the general process would be similar for any wood type.

I'd like to see CNC video of that drum being drilled out, if you can manage to record it.  That would be cool to watch.

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13 hours ago, SpeedNinja said:

I'm of the DIY mindest myself and have a thread on wanting to attempt this when house projects slow down.  I'm going to *potentially* mangle some cheap drums first to give it a try before I veneer the drums that I really want to look nice.  I'm also waiting to pick up another orphan drum or two for that set and do it all at the same time.  I'm not looking to do ebony, but I'm sure the general process would be similar for any wood type.

I'd like to see CNC video of that drum being drilled out, if you can manage to record it.  That would be cool to watch.

I'll ask about the video, I think is possible. :)

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