The follow section is taken right from the pages of “How to Make Custom Drums”. Like what you see? You might want to consider buying the full version to learn everything you need to know to be able to build your very own custom drum or drum set!
Making an Inlay Jig for your Router Table
Inlay’s can make your drums look pro and classy. This design is extremely easy to make and to use. Just cut a piece of laminated MDF to the size (width or length) of your existing router table then cut a 2×4 to the same size and screw the 2 together. (see picture) Make sure to counter sink your screws so they don’t get in the way. All you need now are 2 clamps.
Cutting Inlay Grooves
2. You need to take the length of the shell, divide by 2, and measure that distance away from the center line marked on your table. This picture is marked for a 1.5” bass drum hoop. Use clamps the secure the jig in place.
Routing The Inlay Groove
4. Use heavy leather gloves for this part; you don’t want to cut your finger off! First you’ll need to adjust the router so that your first pass doesn’t take away much wood. You’ll need to cut the inlay in very small increments and test fit your inlay after each pass. The idea is to make it as flush as possible. Using the jig as a fence, keep the bottom of the fence always hard against the hoop/shell as you CAREFULLY spin it around, always keeping pressure going towards the fence and towards the bit. The slightest movement in any other direction can yield poor results. (also, you don’t need your fence to be as tall as the one in the picture. It only matters that you keep the hoop against the bottom part of the fence.)
Cut Your Inlay Strips
Measure Your Inlay Strips
1. To actually cut your inlay strip you need to measure the actual cut that you made in your shell, and then mark those measurements on the shell. Use a straight edge to transfer the mark down the wrap so you have you a straight line to cut.
Use Scissors to Cut The Inlay
2. Cut the inlay out using a very sharp pair of scissors. This cut has to be very precise, so go slowly and cut exactly on the line. Once it’s cut out, test fit it all the way around the shell. If there are any spots where the strip is too large, mark it and use your scissors to ever so slightly trim it down until it fits.
3. When you’re ready to install the strip, use painters tape to mask off areas of the hoop you don’t want covered in glue. Use contact cement on both the hoop and the stip. Allow it to dry for the manufacturer’s suggested dry time, then firmly stick them together.
Installing Smaller Inlay Strips
I use the “scrapbook adhesives” brand of super high tack photo tape (I usually find it at hobby lobby) for installing smaller inlays. It has a very strong bond and is easy to work with. Apply it to the back of your inlay strip, peel off the strip of dividing wax paper and then install it in your inlay groove.
Scrapbook Paper for Inlay Strips
This drum’s inlay is actually strips of scrap booking paper. There are some really interesting designs that you might find if you’re looking for alternate inlay designs. You might also consider using wallpaper to wrap a drum…
Inlay Strips from Woodcraft
This drum’s inlay came from my local woodcraft store. They offer many different designs and sizes of wooden inlay strips that are also installed using the double sided tape method.