These are the tools that you can use to build custom drums. If you don’t have any of these tools, or you don’t want to spend the money on some of these tools I would recommend learning how to build drums with only a screwdriver. If your ready to take the dive into learning more tips and techniques of building drums, you can sign up for free drum building tutorials (enter your name and email in the Free e-Course sign up on the right hand side) that come straight from the eBook!

Drum Building Tools for The Custom Drum Builder

  • Blue Painters Tape: You’ll need this for a number of things; masking the bearing edge and inside of shell; marking the hardware layout on shells; masking for stripes… Get the LOW TACK kind or else you may end up peeling more off of your drum than just tape!
  • J-Roller AKA Laminate Roller: This is used when applying a wrap to smooth out any air bubbles that might be present when you wrap your shell.
  • Contact Cement: My favorite contact cement for applying a wrap. The gel version is nice because it doesn’t run or drip.
  • Swanson Cutting Guide: This comes with 2 C-clamps used to clamp your piece to your workbench while you cut a perfectly straight line using your utility knife.
  • Utility Knife: Use this in conjunction with your cutting guide to cut wrap.
  • Combo Square: Probably my most used drum building tool. I use this to mark the layout of hardware on drum shells.
  • Right Angle Drill: This is another tool that I use all the time! If you plan on drilling from the inside or screwing in lug screws on drums smaller than 12″ you’ll need a right angle drill.
  • Router: If you plan on cutting your own bearing edges, or cutting an inlay groove, you’ll need this.
  • 45 Degree Router Bit: This router bit will help you create a tried and true bearing edge.
  • Eye Protection: Wear eye protection when cutting bearing edges, inlays, shells, and using other power tools. I know from experience that you don’t want a wood chip in your eyeball!
  • Dust/Chemical Protection: Protect your respiratory system! Wear this when painting, using contact cement and even cutting shells. Sawdust in your lungs is not fun
  • Hand File: Use this to shape your snare beds and to match bearing edge profiles of a wrapped drum’s seam.
  • Dust Brush: A quick and easy way to clean your workspace. Keep your workspace clean to prevent accidents.

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