Tom the Drum maker gets technical.


Many viewers of my drums at Gallery-9 brought this posting about.

“Your drums are so beautiful. You must have a very big lathe to turn them on.”
I reply: “I don’t even own a lathe let alone know how to use one.”

So, now for those mathematically inclined, we know that if you approximate a circle with a series of inscribed straight chords – and as the number of chords is increased you get closer to a genuine circle.
Calculus students know that “in the limit” you have a pure circle.
The irrational number Pi (3.14….) is involved in this somewhere but I won’t get into that because I can see your eyes are already glazing over.

And so, I approach the circle with 24 straight chords of laminated wood pieces for each layer, building up five overlaid layers into a strong and graceful looking drum shell. For the larger drums I use 32 pieces per layer.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, the cross-sectional sketch, a cut-away model, and a bottom end view of a finished drum are included to help clarify.

My drums are available for purchase and on display at Gallery-9 in Port Townsend, Washington. Come and visit this wonderful gallery of local artistic excellence.

Thanks for reading:
Tom Stewart – Drum maker

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